Hydration is an often forgotten part of fitness and health. Every bodily function needs sufficient hydration for your cells to function properly. Failing to maintain hydration will drop your performance level, and at the extreme becomes dangerous.
But how much water should you drink when exercising?
Due to the differences in a number of factors between people, there is no single answer. Your weight, body composition, heat and humidity, training experience, general health and the type of exercise you’re doing are all going to have a large impact on your water requirements.
The simplest way to work out what will work for you is to use your bodyweight. Step on the scales at the start of your workout, then again at the end. You should be the same weight.
If you’ve lost weight, then you are dehydrated. Gaining a small amount of weight is ok, but if your weight increases significantly, you might be over hydrating.
If your weight remains consistent, it shows you are taking in as much as you are losing. This indicates you are equally hydrated at the end of your workout as you were when you began. Of course, you need to get your general hydration levels right for this to lead to optimum hydration during exercise.
Experiment using your bodyweight as an indicator, to work out how much water you need to consume.