As the excellent backpack company CamelBak has stated, “Hydrate or Die,” one needs to stay hydrated during exercise. Drinking water before, during and after a workout is essential. Before a workout, experts suggest the following;

• Drink about 15-20 fl oz, 2-3 hours before exercise

• Drink 8-10 fl oz 10-15 min before exercise

Because all athletes are different, there is big difference in individual sweat-loss rates so it can hard to pin-point specific suggestions about the type or amount of fluids athletes should consume.

During workouts, experts suggest the following;

• Drink 8-10 fl oz every 10-15 min during exercise

• If exercising longer than 90 minutes, drink 8-10 fl oz of a sports drink every 15 – 30 minutes.

Staying hydrated during exercise helps your performance, keeps you comfortable and healthy. The longer and more intense the exercise, the more important it is to drink the right kind of fluids. If you don’t regulate your water intake during a workout, you will set yourself up for dehydration. Common signs of dehydration are; 

• Excessive sweating

• Failure to replace fluid losses during and after exercise

• Drinking only when thirsty

What about Sports Drinks?

Sports drinks, which help your body replace sodium, potassium and other electrolytes, can be helpful to athletes who are training at a high intensity for nearly 60 minutes or more.  Regardless if you are drinking water or a sports drink, it’s essential to drink fluids during training.

 The following is from the WebMD website and a good way to gauge fluids during training;

From WebMD

For more information, click on the National Athletic Trainers’ Association link below for more hydration guidelines exercise:

1. Two to three hours pre-exercise: 17 to 20 fluid ounces of water or sports drink. 2. Ten to 20 minutes pre-exercise: 7 to 10 ounces of water or sports drink. 3. During exercise: Fluid replacement should approximate sweat and urine losses and at least maintain hydration at less than 2% body weight reduction. This generally requires 7 to 10 ounces of water or sports drink every 10 to 20 minutes. Include carbohydrates in the beverage if the exercise is intense or lasts more then 45-50 minutes. Water alone will suffice, and save calories, if the exercise is moderate or less than 45-50 minutes. 4. Post-exercise: Athletes should weigh themselves nude before and after workouts to learn how much weight is lost from sweat (water and salt) and then ingest fluid equal to 150% of the weight loss, ideally within two hours, and no more than four to six hours after the event. Including sodium in the drink allows fluid volume to be better conserved and increases the drive to drink, and carbohydrate in the drink will improve the rate of intestinal absorption of the fluid as well as replenish glycogen stores in the muscles and liver. 5. The volume of fluid in the stomach is critically important for proper hydration. Maintaining 12 to 20 ounces of fluid in the stomach will optimize gastric emptying and prevent dehydration. Concentrations of 4% to 8% of carbohydrates should be used if they are included in the fluid (for example, Gatorade and other energy drinks). Concentrations higher than 8% slow the rate of fluid absorption, while 6% to 8% concentrations are optimal for hydration and performance.