When it comes to hydration, we’re not messing around. Being properly hydrated and making sure that you’re consuming the right amount of water every day is super important, and key to getting the best out of your workouts. It’s not just the cheapest choice for quenching your thirst or the perfect partner to protect your pearly whites, it also helps to increase your energy and productivity levels.
So if you really want the best out of every workout then make sure you’ve got your hydration levels under control, the boost doesn’t only come from those pre-workout coffees! Lots of people ask “is drinking squash as good as drinking water?” and for this we’d say, no. But, if you need some extra flavour in your fluids then opt for sugar free squash, as many fruit juices have lots of sugar compared to plain water. But, remember to look out for any artificial sweeteners!
As well as this, it’s important to remember that tea or coffee and alcoholic drinks don’t count towards your litres of water a day. You can find out more about the pros and cons of drinking squash instead of water over on the NHS website.
You might already know how important it is to get your hydration just right. But team, we know it can be a guessing game trying to work out how much is “just right” for you. That’s where we step in.
Keep reading to find out more about what we’ve been learning on how much water you should drink depending on how much exercise you do. Oh - and make sure to check out our hydration chart below!
No Exercise - Low Exercise
If you’re not a fitness fanatic and you’re not too fussed on getting in those daily steps, or even if you’re just taking some time off to rest and recover, then this one's for you.
We learned that The US Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council gave advice for adults to drink one millilitre of liquid for every recommended calorie of food.
This means that a woman who’s on a 2,000 calorie per day diet should drink 2 litres of water a day as standard.
And for a man eating 2,500 calories per day this would mean you should drink 2.5 litres of water a day as standard. (BBC Future)
One of the best ways to make sure that you’re hitting this target is to purchase a 1 litre water bottle to keep on your desk while you work. This should encourage you to drink regularly throughout the day and avoid the temptation of “binge drinking” your entire daily water intake before bed.
Low Exercise - Moderate Exercise
If you like a low-intensity, low-impact workout now and then or you’re focused on achieving your 10k(ish) steps per day then this is what we’ve learned for you.
You should drink an extra 7-10 ounces of water for every 10-20 minutes of moderate exercise. Of course this will vary depending on how much you personally sweat, as each body behaves differently. (MedicineNet)
To put that into perspective, the average glass size is approximately 8 ounces. This means that if your activity levels are low to moderate (and you eat 2,000 kcals) then you should be consuming your standard 2 litres of water a day, as well as an extra standard glass per 10-20 minutes of exercise.
Active - Very Active
If you’re very active and work out often then it’s super important that you stay hydrated, as you’ll be sweating more than normal.
If you fall into this category then you should increase your water intake by 2.5 cups or more! You should, again, monitor this depending on your own body size and sweat levels - the more you sweat the more you should drink! (Healthline)
What are the benefits of drinking water?
We’re sure you’ve all heard it before but the benefits that drinking water has on your skin are too good to be overlooked! If you drink the right amount of plain water for you, this can lead to:
- Less wrinkles
- Better complexion
- Reduced puffiness
- Clear skin
- Smaller pores
- Tighter skin and much more! (Manna)
Important things to remember:
It’s possible to drink too much water. That’s right, you could actually over-hydrate! Drinking too much water can be harmful and lead to health complications. The excess water dilutes the salts in your body and your cells will swell up - yikes!
Keeping hydrated after you’ve worked out is just as important! This is because water actually helps to recover your muscles. So to help reduce your stiff legs the next day make sure you’re always on top of your fluids.
Basically, the bottom line is to drink a lot (but not too much!), always stay hydrated and try your best to stick to the plain water!
The figures stated in this post are collected from the sources mentioned and to be taken as general recommendations only. Please consult a trained medical professional to determine the correct quantities for you.