Have you ever gotten so focused on your workout that you suddenly realized you haven’t had a drink of water since you started? You’re not alone. It’s an easy mistake to make—and an even easier one to correct.
Cara Young, Fitness Services Manager at Spectrum Santa Monica, says you can’t overestimate the importance of drinking enough water, especially before, during, and after your workout:
- “Water is the body’s most important nutrient. Other than oxygen, nothing is more essential to your survival. Staying hydrated helps regulate your temperature and transports waste through your body.”
- “When you sweat, a drop in blood volume can occur. That blood volume decrease can result in dizziness, muscle cramping, and fatigue. Dry mouth, headache, and feeling lightheaded or dizzy during a workout are all indications you may not be drinking enough water.”
- “How much water your body needs can depend on a variety of factors, including the altitude, temperature, and how much you sweat. The more you sweat, the greater your risk for dehydration.”
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 17 ounces of water two hours before working out, 8 to 10 ounces about 10 to 20 minutes before exercise, and another 8 to 10 ounces every 15 minutes during your workout. While that may sound like a lot of water, remember that you’re sweating during exercise and need to replenish fluids.
“Buy a good refillable water bottle and keep it filled throughout your workout,” says Cara. “Make it easy to stay hydrated. Your body will thank you.”