Hydration is essential to good health. Every doctor and every nutritionist will tell you that. Proper hydration profoundly affects the way your body operates, looks, and feels. Hydration affects your metabolism, your mental focus, your body temperature, your skin and hair, and your muscles. Hydration is even more important when you exercise, whether for health, for fun, and/or for sports and competition. Your health demands proper athletic hydration.
General Hydration Guideline
So how much water should people drink? Years ago, common sense guidelines stated that 8, 8-oz glasses of water a day was enough to stay properly hydrated. More recent, more accurate guidelines recommend you drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day, so someone weighing 160 pounds should drink 80-oz of water each day, or 10, 8-oz glasses.
But exercise and athletic efforts necessitate increased hydration. When you exercise, you sweat, as your body works to cool down your temperature from your effort. By losing hydration, you’re not only reducing the ability for your body to sweat more, but also inhibiting your body’s efforts to transport oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, and transport waste chemicals and carbon dioxide away from your muscles. Athletic effort without hydration means losing focus, becoming more tired, increasing the chance of muscle cramps, or even causing dizziness or heat stroke.
Measuring Hydration Loss
Did you know you can actually measure how much fluid you lose during exercise? Weigh yourself before exercise or athletic activity, and then weigh yourself afterwards. Every pound of difference in weight loss is roughly equivalent to 16 to 24-oz of water lost. That’s why quickly lost pounds from exercise is often called losing “water weight,” because that is the primary source of body weight initially lost due to exercise.
So, if you find yourself about 2 pounds lighter after a hard worker, it actually means you lost at least 32-oz of body fluid. If you are supposed to drink 10, 8-oz glasses of water on a normal day, you now have to add on a minimum of 4 more 8-oz glasses of water in hydration.
Hydrating Before, During, and After Exercise
Because of this, the American Council on Exercise suggests that you drink water before, during, and after exercise. Starting up to three hours before you exercise, you should drink 17 to 20-oz of water. Drink another 8-oz of water during your warmup, and another 7 to 10-oz of water every half hour of physical effort. Once you finish, drink another 8-oz of water.
What About Sports Drinks?
Sports drinks actually do serve a function for athletics. They provide hydration coupled with electrolytes such as sodium and potassium that help balance and regulate the fluids in your body, affecting the pH levels of your blood (acidity or alkalinity), the contraction of your muscles, and the operation of your nervous system. When you sweat, you lose sodium along with water – this is why sweat is salty. When your electrolyte levels are low, you can feel fatigue, headache, nausea, or muscle cramps.
But, while sports drinks can help replenish your electrolytes, they also tend to include high amounts of added sugars or even caffeine. Unlike natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables, or dairy, added sugars tend to be nothing more than “empty calories” designed to make the drink sweeter but offering little nutritional value. Caffeine itself is a diuretic, which means that it can offset any hydration benefits by increasing the frequency of your urination.
Multipure Means Better Athletic Hydration
Aside from the fact that water offers hydration without added sugars or other unnecessary additives, the best reasons to use Multipure filtered water for athletics come down to health, cost, and convenience. Multipure offers cleaner, healthier water, free from potentially harmful contaminants – especially microplastics, which plastic bottles are known to add to their contents. At just $0.12 per gallon, Multipure filtered water is vastly more cost-conscious than sports drinks or other beverages, which tend to start at $1.50 for a 20-oz bottle, equivalent to $9.60 a gallon. And with availability right at your kitchen sink, and portability with a reusable water bottle, Multipure is convenient because is it available when you need it – not just for athletic hydration, but also for washing fruits and vegetables, and for cooking. Multipure offers the cleaner, healthier water your body needs. For Life. For You.
- “Exercise – the low-down on hydration.” Better Health Channel. December 5, 2018. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Exercise-the-low-down-on-water-and-drinks
- "Hydration for Athletes.” familydoctor.org. August 13, 2020. https://familydoctor.org/athletes-the-importance-of-good-hydration/
- Zelman, Kathleen. “Drink Up for Sports and Fitness.” WebMD. Last accessed May 6, 2022. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/drink-up-sports-fitness