On average, an individual should drink approximately 96 ounces (3 quarts) of water a day. Those looking to alter their body composition and decrease body fat should drink an additional 8 ounces of water for every 25 pounds they carry above their ideal weight. Water intake should be increased if an individual is exercising briskly or living in a hot climate.
Studies have shown that a fluid loss of even two percent of body weight will affect circulatory functions and decrease performance levels. The effects of dehydration can also include:
- decreased blood volume
- decreased blood pressure
- decreased sweat rate
- increased core temperature
- water retention
- increased heart rate
- sodium retention
- decreased cardiac output
- decreased blood flow to the skin
- increased perceived exertion
- increased use of muscle glycogen
- consume 16 oz. two hours prior to exercise. An additional 16 oz. may be needed for warmer climates.
- drink 20-40 oz. for every hour of exercise
- water should be cold
- if exercising longer than 60 minutes, use a sports drink (containing up to 8% carbohydrate)
- if exercising less than 60 minutes, water is all you need
- drink 20 oz for every pound of weight loss after a workout session, especially if you're doing two-a-day's.