How often should I drink during exercise?

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The importance of proper hydration cannot be stressed enough. The body cannot adapt to dehydration, which impairs every physiologic function.  Guidelines for fluid replacement during exercise are as follows:
● Consume 14 to 22 ounces (1.75 to 2.75 cups) of fluid 2 hours before exercise.
● Drink 6 to 12 ounces of fluid for every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise.
● Fluids should be cold because of more rapid gastric emptying.
● If exercise exceeds 60 minutes, use of a sports drink (containing up to 8% carbohydrate) can replace both fluid and dwindling muscle glycogen stores.
● When exercising for less than 60 minutes, water is the experts’ choice for fluid replacement.
● The goal is to replace sweat and urine losses.
● Ingest 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after an exercise bout, especially if rapid rehydration is necessary, as in twice-a-day training.

Dr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
During exercise, sweat should be replaced by fluid intake of 6 -- 12 ounces every 20 minutes. Begin drinking early during your exercise; it is better to prevent dehydration than play catch-up. This is easier said than done when you are focusing on exercise or a race. It is not uncommon for us to become so dehydrated that we lose 2 -- 3 kilograms of body weight during a race from water loss alone.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.