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Drinking Water While Exercising: Good or Bad?

There are stories all the time of athletes suffering due to dehydration. Student athletes have been in the news with sometimes fatal results from not getting enough pure water to supply their basic needs.

Exercise is no doubt a very good thing for most everyone and the goal is to stay healthy while expending energy. When outside, you want to be mindful of not overheating or getting depleted of water and electrolytes.

While there’s no debate for how good exercising is, some wonder if drinking water during exercise is really the best thing for you, and if so, what’re the best tips. Here’s what you should know:

Water Consumption and Performance

If you are planning to exercise, you want to get the most benefits you can from your workout. But you can’t get this if you don’t stay hydrated. When you don’t drink water, you can develop headaches, tension, and a general feeling of listlessness and lethargy. None of this is conducive to a major workout.

But if you drink pure water while you’re working out, you are staying hydrated, which not only alleviates these problems but also gives you more energy for the workout. In addition, the water you drink helps boost your metabolism and this, in turn, will help you burn more calories, something you could use in a workout.

In fact, if you were to drink 16 ounces of ice cold pure water, it can cause you to expend more energy, burning about 18 additional calories.

How to Promote Water Drinking

When you’re working out, it’s important to keep a sports bottle on hand allowing you to get a quick drink without having to slow down your workout. Some people report not liking water because it has no taste.

Although there are many chemical additives you can put in to give your water an artificial flavor, if you want to shun artificial ingredients you can flavor your pure water with fruit slices. A little squeeze of orange, lemon, or lime, can give it a shot of flavor that will add a hint of taste.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Water?

The common rule of thumb has always been that you should drink as much water as possible while exercising, even if you are not thirsty. The idea behind this is that sometimes your thirst couldn’t accurately tell you how much water your body needs.

However, drinking too much can lead to hyponatremia, a dilution of the sodium levels in your body, which can cause nausea, headaches, confusion, muscle weakness, seizures, and even comas in extreme instances. As with anything, you should use moderation and drink pure water whenever you are thirsty during a workout. This will give you the hydration that you need to keep going.

How much water should I drink each day and during exercise?

Water consumption during your daily activity is essential. In general, you should take your weight and divide it by two—this would be the lowest range of water consumption you need each day (in ounces). For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, then you should drink a minimum of 90 ounces of water each day. When you are active, such as with exercise, this number will increase.

The bottom line is that drinking water while exercising is essential to your health. By taking in the appropriate levels of water, you will keep your body primed for a good workout.

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