How Much Water Should You Drink During a Workout?

Get-Fit Guy answers this important question

Ben Greenfield
1-minute read

Why do you need water while exercising?

  • Muscle contractions rely on proper hydration.

  • Your body requires water to maintain adequate blood volume.

  • Workout recovery occurs more quickly when you’re hydrated.

But do you have to constantly interrupt your workout with trips to the water fountain?

Here are 2 Quick & Dirty Tips to help guide your drinking decisions:

1) Short workouts don’t require water - If you’re doing a quick 20-45 minute run or weight training routine, you can simply drink 20-24 ounces of water after you finish. Unless it’s very hot or you’re beginning the workout in a dehydrated state, you’re not going to "lose performance" by not drinking.

2) Long workouts require water - By the time you get thirsty during a sweaty, long workout, such as a 10 mile run, you’ve already lost 2% body weight. Dehydration can occur when you reach just 3%. So if you’re waiting to get thirsty before you drink, you could be dehydrating and limiting your performance or recovery. For long workouts, try to consume 5-10 ounces of water every 20 minutes (choose the higher range for hotter conditions).

Remember–more is not better! Water intoxication is a dangerous medical condition, so don’t exceed 30 ounces of water per hour unless you’re exercising for many consecutive hours in extremely hot and humid conditions. Click here to read more about the danger of drinking too much water., or visit Nutrition Diva's episode How Much Water Should I Drink?
Write your questions about water and exercise in Comments below!

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.