Why is it important to drink water during exercise?

Your body depends on water to sustain chemical reactions and to maintain correct body temperature. It’s possible to lose up to a quart of water during an hour of exercise through sweating, which can lead to dehydration if fluids aren’t replaced. Drinking water before and during exercise also has benefits for performance.

Here are some tips for healthy hydration:

  • Consume 20 ounces of water during the two- to three-hour period before you start exercising.
  • For every 10 to 20 minutes of activity, drink 8 ounces of water.
  • Within 30 minutes of finishing your activity, drink 8 ounces of water.
  • For every pound of body water you lose during exercise, drink 16 to 24 ounces of water.
  • Drink cool water as it is more quickly absorbed by your body than warmer water, and it is less likely to cause cramps.