Sorry, juice doesn't really count when you need to rehydrate.

Sorry, juice doesn't really count when you need to rehydrate.

Now that the temps are getting up into the high 90s, a lot of clients are asking, “how much water do I REALLY need?  And of course, the correct answer isn’t really a simple one.  Almost everyone has heard that you should drink 8 glasses, or 68 ounces of water per day.  This is a good target for most people who are moderately active, especially considering most people don’t get anywhere close to what they need. And, it is an easy number to remember.  However, if you are working out or playing sports, you probably need more.


First of all, lets talk about why water is important.  Water regulates your body temperature, helps you recover from workouts, aids in energy storage and in metabolizing body fat, as well as keeping you alive!


Dehydration is the loss of water from the body, and a depletion of electrolyte levels (sodium and potassium).  When you become dehydrated even slightly, your body fights back by slowing down the elimination of water.  In the event that this occurs, you retain excess amounts of water.  Dehydration may be caused by inadequate water intake or by excessive water loss, but the most common cause of dehydration is a simple failure to drink liquids.  By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.


The average person loses approximately 2.5 percent of total body water per day.  Any activity that causes you to sweat further depletes your body fluid levels.  So how do we figure out how much we really need?


Recommended water intake according to the ISSA:


Step 1:  Select an appropriate need factor.


Need factors:  0.5 – Sedentary, no sports or training, 0.6 – Jogger or light fitness training, 0.7 – Sports participation or moderate training 3x per wk, 0.8 – Moderate daily weight training or aerobic training, 0.9 – Heavy weight training daily, 1.0 – Heavy weight training daily plus sports training, or “2-a-day training.


Step 2:  Multiply weight in pounds by the appropriate need factor to arrive at the recommended water intake in ounces per day.

ex. 120 lbs x 0.6 = 72 ounces per day


It is better to spread out your water intake throughout the day, rather than guzzling it all at once.  It is also recommended that you drink 16 ounces of water for every pound of weight lost during strenuous exercise.


The importance of water is unquestionable, especially for anyone who is physically active.  And, I’m sorry to report, that although other drinks like milk, sugared soft drinks and fruit juices are thirst quenchers, they actually increase your need for water.  If you have trouble drinking plain water, try adding a few slices of fresh fruit like lemon, lime, or orange for some flavor.  It is amazing how much better you will feel when you are properly hydrated!

June 14, 2010 Kerri Davis