On average, we need 2-3 litre of water to maintain bodily functions. When we exercise, more fluids are lost during exercise, especially in warmer weather due to heavier breathing and increased sweating. Therefore, during exercise, the amount we drink should increase to prevent dehydration.
Everyone loses fluids at different rates, depending on the type of exercise and intensity of the exercise, however as a general rule this is the guidance we recommend dependant on duration of the session:
- Exercise under 30 mins - no need to drink more while exercising, unless it is very warm, but always re-hydrate with water after the session.
- Exercise from 30-60 mins - consume water as you usually would, but post training rehydrate with water and maybe a carbohydrates source - a hypotonic drink.
- Exercise from 1-3 hours - taking a sports drink with you that contains both water and a carbohydrate source (glucose) to sip throughout the session and afterwards is a good idea - a hypertonic drink.
- Exercise 3+ hours - sip on a sports drink containing carbohydrates and water, and some sodium/salts - an isotonic drink. Continue to drink this post training.
Tips for hydrating during exercise: Don’t allow yourself to become thirsty. Check urine colour to monitor our levels of hydration. Sip small amounts frequently and practise drinking as part of training so it becomes a habit. Don’t overdrink as it could case discomfort and affect training.