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How Much Hydration Do You Need For Your Workouts?

It's the summer of wellness and we're all ready to refresh our daily routines. Our new Lively series will highlight all things hydration to help you live a fuller, more vibrant life with every sip.

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When's the last time you consistently drank 8 to 10 glasses of water a day? If you're not sure, you might be surprised to know that you need even more than that if you're working out.

Not everyone thinks about drinking water. Sometimes the day can easily take you from your morning coffee to a pre-workout drinkbefore you hit the gym to some wine at dinner. But nothing truly hydrates you for your day and exercise quite like water does.

And if you like your water with a hint of flavor (and electrolytes), keep a stick pack or two of our Vital Proteins® Hydration** + Collagen in your gym bag.

Your body loses water during every hour of exercise. That’s not including what you sweat out during the rest of the day. So should you drink water while working out? Read on to find out how to hydrate your workouts!

Vital Note: This article has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Your licensed healthcare professional can best provide you with the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and assist you as well in deciding whether a dietary supplement will be a helpful addition to your regimen. 

should you drink water while working out

Is it OK to drink water while working out?

Yes, and you'll need to adjust how much water you drink during exercise depending on the activity, heat and personal hydration needs. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) suggests drinking seven to 10 oz. for every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise. It's also important to check in with your doctor before changing your diet for your performance. You should also drink water before exercise, because if you start working out and feel thirsty, it may mean you're already dehydrated.

The first clue is to watch for signs of dehydration:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Increased hunger
  • Muscle cramps
  • Decreased sweat

Even if you show no obvious signs of dehydration, you could still be on your way. So, what is the right amount of water for working out? Here’s the hydration schedule you should be following:

Should you drink water before a workout?

Workout day or not, start every morning with an 8 oz. glass of water. After that, regardless of if you're weightlifting or kickboxing, you should aim to drink water before your workouts. ACE suggests drinking 17 to 20 oz. of fluid about two to three hours before a workout.

How often should you drink water during a workout?

While there is no hard and fast hydration "rule" and hydration needs vary from person to person, you'll probably want to keep a water bottle with you during your workouts. You can aim to drink at least 8 oz. of water during workouts.

If you're doing an hour-long workout that involves endurance cardio, high-intensity intervals or hot yoga, you'll want to drink more than that to replace water lost through sweat. More extensive training, like that required for a marathon, requires multiple water breaks. Plus, if the weather is warmer or you sweat a lot, definitely come prepared.

Is It bad to drink a lot of water after working out?

Walking out of a spin class drenched in sweat feels good, right? Just be sure to get adequate fluid replacement by testing your sweat rate. But you also don't want to drink too much water after working out.

One way to figure out how much water to drink after a hard workout, calculate your sweat rate. To find your sweat rate, weigh yourself before and after your workout. For every 1 lb. of weight you lose during the workout, replace it with an extra 16 oz. of water plus the amount of water you drank during exercise.

If you get feel sluggish during exercise, carry a water bottle with you so you'll always get enough water for your workouts. Word to the wise: If you're thirsty, you’ve been dehydrated for a while!  

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