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How much water should you drink a day?

by Zamst

Understanding how to manage hydration when the body is exposed to exercise is essential in maintaining performance.  How much water should you drink a day? Daily water intake recommendations for adult males is 15.6 cups and 11.4 cups for adult females, with 20% of water intake coming from food consumption and 80% from fluid consumption.  Recognizing the signs and symptoms of dehydration, such as thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness, or decreased performance, is the first indication that a proper hydration protocol should be established when exercising.

The simplest method of assessing hydration is by looking at the color of your urine. The appearance can vary depending on the body’s level of hydration.  Dark yellow urine often indicates dehydration, while colorless urine reveals over-hydration. Staying within a light color will generally show you’re well hydrated.  On hot days it is important to take proper hydration protocol before, during, and after exercise by following these suggested recommendations.

Pre-exercise Hydration

  • Consume 17 to 20 fl. oz. of water or a sports drink 2 to 3 hours before exercises and 7 to 10 fl. oz. or water or sports drink 10 to 20 minutes before exercise.

Rehydration during exercise

  • Consume 7 to 10 fl. oz. every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.

Post-exercise Hydration

  • Drink about 25% to 50% more than sweat losses to ensure hydration 4 to 6 hours after exercise.

How much water should you drink a day? Following these suggested recommendations will ensure proper hydration and maintaining performance throughout your exercise.

Richard Martinez, M.A., A.T.C

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