How Much Water Should I Drink For Fitness and Weight Loss?

Margarita FolkPosted by

Nobody argues that water is great for you, but there a lot of confusion concerning how much water to drink daily.

Water is required for thermo-regulation of body temperature and to prevent overheating.  It flushes fat, acids, and toxins out of the body and keeps the skin looking healthy. Water can indirectly facilitate weight loss because of its ability to rid fat from the body.

Muscle recovery is also impaired due to dehydration.  Protein and amino acids are produced by the body to help repair damaged muscle.  The body’s process of making protein is impaired due to a lack of oxygen and nutrients during dehydration.

Even small amounts of dehydration can have detrimental effects on muscles and the body.  Dehydration, as little as 3%, can impair your strength, speed, and decision making. Dehydration impairs physical performance and mental processes due to a lack of oxygen.

It is recommended to drink about one cup of water every 2-3 hours depending on body weight.  This will generally total around 64-80 ounces (8-10 cups) of water throughout the day.

Remember that your body can only digest about 32 ounces (4 cups) of water every hour, or one cup every 15 minutes, so I don’t think it’s to beneficial to constantly drink large amounts of water. However, this 64-80 ounce recommendation is given without the consideration of significant water loss due to exercise.

Your necessity for water significantly increases when you exercise or work an active job, especially in hot and humid environments.  To keep the body cool, your water requirements can double when exercising in extreme summer conditions.  Carrying a water bottle with you would not be a bad idea during hot and humid days.

I recommend drinking one pint of water two hours before exercise.  It is more beneficial to drink moderately and frequently throughout the day than to drink a large amount immediately before exercise.  Drinking too much water prior to intense activity can cause stomach discomfort.

Although, gulping down a few “chugs” of cold water has been shown to increase the rate water absorption, just don’t overdue it!

Contrary to popular belief, the feeling of thirst is not a good indication of hydration level and your need for water.  By the time you feel thirsty, you are already somewhat dehydrated.

The easiest way to monitor your hydration is the color of your urine.  If you’re hydrated, your urine should be light yellow like lemonade.  If your dehydrated, you urine will be darker, which means your kidneys are working over-time to flush wastes from your system.

I recommend drinking clean, mineral rich water rather than distilled water.  Distilled water, although beneficial on the short term for cleansing purposes, often lacks nutrients due to the distilling process.  Nutrients are essential for proper functioning of the body’s systems and a lack of nutrients can lead to big problems.  You can attain many minerals from food, however, adequate hydration is needed for your body to metabolize and absorb food nutrients. 

There is no need to put forth much effort in regulating your water intake.  Just drink small amounts of water throughout the day, increase your water intake on hot/humid days, drink a pint of water two hours before activity, and monitor your urine.

Source by Greg Cryns