You know you should drink lots of water, but how do you know if you’re getting enough? Here’s why it’s so hard to get a straight answer and how you can evaluate your drinking habits.
How much hydration you need depends on the following:
In other words, a 120 pound woman sitting in an air conditioned office all morning might be sufficiently hydrated occasionally sipping green tea. However, the 220 pound landscaping professional working in the heat needs much, much more.
Even when you aren’t working out, you lose water when you sweat and urinate. The basic rule of thumb is to drink eight glasses of water that each contain eight ounces, or a total of 64 ounces in a day. That’s half a gallon or two liters.
Before you hit the road or the treadmill, you should be drinking enough that your urine is pale. Suck down at least 16 ounces an hour before you run, then sip another four or eight ounces just before you walk out the door.
During your run, consume between four and six ounces every 20 minutes. After follow up with 20 to 24 ounces for every pound you sweated out.
Drink eight ounces of water half an hour before you start your gym workout. Sip while you sweat, with the goal of consuming 16 ounces for every hour you’re at the gym.
If you’re going to be there more than 90 minutes, take an electrolyte-rich sports drink. After you leave the gym, drink another 16 ounces within the hour.
At F.I.T. we keep our cooler stocked with Gatorade, Powerade and ice cold water. No matter how long you stay, it’s easy to stay hydrated.
CamelBak has a cool hydration calculator that gives you a closer idea of how much you should be drinking based on your activity and body type. It asks you to enter your gender, height, weight and age.
Then it asks you to identify the color of your urine. Yes, ew, but then you can move on to answer questions about the activity you’re about to engage in, how long you’ll be doing it and what the outdoor temperature is. The test must not have been created in East Texas because the thermometer only goes up to 100 degrees, but that gets you in the ballpark.
Exercise is good for you. Sweat provides a natural detox and it’s good for your brain (read more about that here). Grab your water bottle and get to Fitness in Training. You’ll be glad you did.