I sweat a lot when I work out. Should I drink more water?

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Sweating is normal and it helps to regulate your body’s temperature but if you lose too much water (from sweating and not drinking enough while you’re active), you can become dehydrated. Dehydration can make you feel weak and tired, and affect your performance. Water is the best fluid to drink to stay hydrated however if you are very active for 60 minutes or longer, your body is likely also losing electrolytes (such as calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium). You’ll need to drink something in addition to water such as a sports drink that contains sodium and potassium.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends the following:

  • Drink fluids throughout the day; during meals and in between too. Your urine should be clear to pale yellow. If it is darker in color, it usually means that you are not drinking enough fluids.
  • Before exercising- Drink about 8-20 oz. of water about an hour before you work out so you will be well hydrated before you begin to use up energy. This amount will vary depending on your size/weight. One gulp= about 1 ounce of fluid.
  • During exercise- Drink about 4-6oz. of water every 15 minutes. If you are exercising for less than an hour, drink water based on your thirst and the weather (if it’s hot or humid, you need more water).
  • After exercise- Drink 2 cups of water (16 ounces).

If you think you sweat more than your friends when they are doing a similar activity or if you sweat when you are not active (and it’s not hot or humid), talk to your health care provider.