“How much water do I need?” It’s a FAQ I get as a fitness instructor.
According to health guidelines, an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15.5 cups (125 ounces) of fluids for men
- About 11.5 cups (91 ounces) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks. (BUT…this is for a body at rest. It doesn’t include additional needs from exercise, or hot weather!)
In one hour of exercise the body can lose more than a quart of water, depending on exercise intensity and air temperature. If there is not enough water for the body to cool itself through perspiration, the body enters a state of dehydration.
- Drink before you are thirsty! Sip throughout the day.
- Please don’t avoid drinking water just because you don’t want to have to use the bathroom during an exercise class. You aren’t bothering the instructor or anyone else if you need to step out for a break. It’s very important to stay hydrated while working out.
The American Council on Exercise recommends:
- Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water two hours before the start of exercise.
- Drink 7 to 10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
- Drink 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise.
For reference, a standard water bottle is 16.9 ounces (see picture).
Stay safe and stay hydrated!