It varies for everyone and is affected by factors such as body size, activity level, environmental climate, and diet. This is why it’s important for athletes and non-athletes alike to be aware of their personal daily requirements. Many common health complaints (headaches, fatigue, cramping, nausea, dizziness, etc) can be attributed to dehydration. And yes, it IS possible to drink too much water!
On a normal day when I don’t train, I should be drinking about 8 glasses a day. However, this weekend I will be calculating exactly how much water my body requires for a half marathon run. This will empower me to perform at maximum capacity for my race in May.
If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
A dehydration level of only 3% results in an 8% loss of endurance and a 10% loss of strength. For athletes, this is huge. I’ve heard of runners who run for over an hour without ever taking a sip. This is so wrong it’s almost abusive.
You probably know that our bodies are made up of 60% water. What you may not know is that we lose 50% of that when we pee. Another 25% goes out through our pores as we sweat: We can sweat around 1.8 litres of water per hour! That’s equivalent to 4 pounds! We also lose water through our lungs when we breath, as well as via feces.
HOW TO CALCULATE HYDRATION NEEDS WHEN TRAINING
1. Urinate and weigh yourself in kg before you run/exercise.
2. Run/Exercise. Do not urinate and measure what you drink.
3. Weigh yourself after your workout.
4. The kg you lost + what you drank = how much you sweat. This is what you should be replenishing.
If you’re drinking enough, you should be feeling the need to urinate not too long after your workout, and your urine should be light yellow in colour.
HOW TO CALCULATE HYDRATION NEEDS WHEN RESTING
A rough formula is as follows:
Your weight in kg divided by 8 = # of cups/glasses you should be having daily
I say this is rough because of all the special circumstances (mentioned above) that come into play. If you sweat a lot, you may need more. If your diet contains a lot of fruits and vegetables, these also contain water (green peppers are 94% water and strawberries are 90%!), so you may need less.
Generally, it works out to:
Adult male – 2.9 liters daily (12 cups)
Adult female – 2.2 liters daily (9 cups)
Children – 2 liters daily (8 cups)
BONUS WATER TIPS!
1. In the morning, your body needs water as soon as you wake up. You should be drinking before breakfast (water, obviously!). Warm water is better than cold because cold water shocks the stomach and stops digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
2. It is better to take sips of water throughout the day between meals and in between workout sets, as opposed to drinking all your water with your meals.
3. Have a bit of water before your workout to maintain hydration levels steady as opposed to only during and post-workout.
IN OTHER MATTERS…
I had an amazing first nutrition class. The classes are information-heavy and fast-paced. In order to graduate, each student must score a minimum of 80%.
We’ve already established in yesterday’s post that I’m a total nerd, so I’m basically in heaven right now. I really feel this is where the health industry is headed: back to the roots of holistic nutrition.
Like running and fitness, this very much feels like what I was meant to be doing. I’m excited to share my training and nutritional progress in the coming weeks!
AND NOW THE MOMENT WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR….
I drew numbers for the winner of my giveaway. The winner that came out waaaas…..
** CUE THE DRUMROLLLLLLL **
*PLAY CELEBRATORY MUSIC! DROP THE BALOONS! RELEASE THE CLOWNS!*
Here’s the reason she runs: “Running makes me feel strong and good about myself, even when it makes me feel like a wimp at the same time!” You can read more about her at milesmayvary.
Thanks again to everyone who participated and check back for another free giveaway next month!
(Hm. I feel like I need a cool health-related closing salutation to end all my posts. Godspeed? Live Long and Prosper? May the Seed of Your Loin be Fruitful in the Belly of Your Woman?
We’ll work on that.)