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Is It Okay To Drink Water While Working Out? An Expert Weighs In

If you're an athlete or exercise enthusiast, listen up.

Drinking water every day is essential for your body to function. Good old H2O is especially important for exercise enthusiasts and athletes because when you sweat you lose water, which needs to be replaced, according to MedlinePlus. In order to replenish the fluid your body needs, it's important to drink up! But is it okay to drink water while working out?

You may be surprised to hear that you can sweat out as much as several liters of water while performing vigorous-intensity physical activity for one hour's time, MedlinePlus reports. Sweating is a natural process for your body, as perspiration brings your temperature down, according to Houston Methodist. It's extremely important to replenish your water, because dehydration and heat stroke can be pretty serious. But when it comes to the best time to drink that water, we asked an expert to weigh in, so listen and learn the facts.

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Should you drink water while working out?

woman cycling, demonstrating i you should drink water while working out

We asked Matt Morris, Master Trainer and Programming Manager, NASM-CPT, at Burn Boot Camp, if drinking water while working out is healthy, and he says, "Absolutely," adding, "The human body is 70%+ water and can't function properly without proper hydration every day. A properly hydrated person will perform better in the gym compared to a dehydrated person every time."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), not drinking enough water can lead to a plethora of health issues, such as overheating, dehydration, kidney stones, and constipation. Water gives your joints cushion and lubrication, helps you maintain a normal body temperature, provides protection to your spine and tissues, and helps you have normal bowel movements and urination.

It's essential to drink up before, during, and after working out in order to hydrate properly. The American College of Sports Medicine explained in a review, "Adequate food and fluid should be consumed before, during, and after exercise to help maintain blood glucose concentration during exercise, maximize exercise performance, and improve recovery time. Athletes should be well-hydrated before exercise and drink enough fluid during and after exercise to balance fluid losses."

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How much water should you drink every day?

As far as how much water you should drink on a daily basis, Morris explains it's important to be sure the number of ounces you drink each day equals a minimum of half your body weight. However, keep in mind that the number of ounces will go up based on the activity level you include.

A good way to tell if you're feeding your body enough water, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is by taking note of your urine. On the one hand, if the color of your urine is either colorless or a light straw yellow, that means you're hydrated, so give yourself a pat on the back. On the other hand, if the hue is darker yellow or even amber—and typically accompanied by urinating infrequently—that's a key indicator you need to start drinking more water pronto.

If you find you're not drinking enough H2O, Morris suggests, "If you have a hard time drinking water throughout the day, then set hydration events where you consume 16 to 20 ounces of water at a time throughout the day to help set yourself up for success!"

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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