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How Much Water Do You Really Need to Drink?

Water is the unsung hero of exercise and health, essential for our bodies to function optimally. But how much do you really need when it comes to exercise and daily life?


Hydration for Exercise:

During exercise, your body loses water through sweat, which needs to be replenished to maintain performance and prevent dehydration. Aim to drink about 200- 300 millilitres of water every 10-20 minutes during exercise, especially if it's intense or prolonged. For longer workouts exceeding an hour, sports drinks or electrolyte-enhanced water can help replenish lost minerals along with fluids.


Daily Hydration Needs:

Beyond exercise, your daily hydration needs depend on various factors like climate, activity level, and individual physiology. A general guideline is the "8x8 rule": drinking eight 8-ounce (250ml) glasses of water a day (about 2 litres). However, this can vary widely based on personal factors. Pay attention to your body's signals—thirst, urine colour (aim for pale yellow), and overall well-being—to determine your individual hydration needs.


Factors Influencing Hydration:

Several factors affect your hydration needs. Physical activity, temperature, humidity, and overall health can all impact how much water your body requires. Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, as well as those with certain health conditions, may need more water.


Balancing Hydration with Electrolytes:

While water is crucial, maintaining electrolyte balance is equally important. Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium are lost through sweat and need replenishing, especially after intense workouts. Sports drinks, coconut water, or incorporating electrolyte-rich foods in your diet can help maintain this balance.


Listen to Your Body:

Ultimately, the best gauge for hydration is your own body. Thirst, urine colour, and overall well-being are excellent indicators of your hydration status. Pay attention to these cues and adjust your water intake accordingly.


In essence, staying properly hydrated is vital for exercise and health. While general guidelines exist, individual needs vary, so it's crucial to listen to your body and hydrate accordingly to maintain optimal health and performance. It is recommended to speak to a professional which includes your Exercise Physiologist to inquire about what may be appropriate.







References:


Heinz, V. (n.d.). Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.” Really? Is there scientific evidence for “8 × 8? Journals Physiotherapy. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpregu.00365.2002


Kinet, J. (2021, July). Hydration to Maximize Performance and Recovery: Knowledge,

Attitudes, and Behaviors Among Collegiate Track and Field Throwers. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8336541/#:~:text=During%20the%20training%20session%20fluid,every%2010%20to%2020%20min

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