Q&A: How Much Water Should An Athlete Drink A Day?

Are you an athlete, or are you the parent, friend, or family member of an athlete?

Are you concerned with the water intake of the athlete in your life?

How much water should an athlete drink a day?

Why are an athlete’s water needs different?

In this article, we’ll give you a brief look at the relationship between water and athletes’ drinking needs. You’ll be able to find out what the recommended increase in water intake is for athletes and you’ll even find some tips and suggestions that can help you out if you’re looking for this information for yourself, too.

Athletes lose a lot more water through sweating every day than non-athletes do, so it’s crucial to understand just how much water you need to replenish if this is happening to you. It’s also a good idea to make sure you know how to recognize dehydration when it happens, so we’ve got some tips near the end of the article to help you with that, too.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering just how much water you really need to be drinking when you’re an athlete, we hope to answer those questions for you below. Read on to learn more!

Athletes and Water

Here are a few facts about athletes and water to help you better understand this relationship. Keep this info in mind when choosing how much water you yourself need in a day. And remember that if you have any further questions, you should always speak to your doctor to find out specific information about the needs of your own individual body.

how much water should an athlete drink
  • The amount of water an athlete drinks depends on the athlete as well as the type of sport. For example, if you’re a young person and you play a sport that doesn’t require heavy daily exercise, then you probably won’t need to add as much water into your routine as an older athlete would, or as someone who works out every day as part of a training plan.
  • Keep in mind, however, that no matter who you are and no matter what you do in terms of daily training or exercise, you do need to plan on drinking more water every day than someone who doesn’t work out or someone who only has a low-impact daily workout.
  • Athletes should drink at specific times throughout the day, especially when exercising, training, practicing, or playing at a sporting event. For the purposes of our chart below, we’ll call all of this “working out,” but keep in mind that this term here refers to a variety of different activities that you may find yourself engaging in as an athlete. Here is a good game plan when it comes to drinking extra water:
  • Two hours before working out – 16 ounces of water or up to 24 ounces of water
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    30 minutes before working out – 8 ounces of water or up to 12 ounces of water
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    During exercise – 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes throughout the workout
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    After working out – at least 16 ounces of water, or more depending on how heavy your workout was and how many calories you burned
  • Athletes need more to drink in a day than other people as long as they are actively working out. This means that, if something happens like a sports-related injury and you’re not able to be as active for a while, you can cut back a little bit on the amount of water you drink every day. You don’t need to worry about increasing your daily water intake if you’re not being that much more active than a non-athlete would be. Just remember that, if you sweat, you’re losing water you need to replace. Even if you feel like a quick workout isn’t making you sweat that much, be sure you’re putting back in your body any water you lose when working out.
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    Sports drinks are not as good for you as a bottle of water. After a really heavy workout or a long and exhausting sporting event, you may be tempted to replace the liquids and electrolytes your body has lost by drinking a sports drink. Although there isn’t anything inherently wrong with doing that as long as you’re an athlete and you’ve burned enough calories to make up for the sugar in the sports drink, it’s still not as good for you as an old-fashioned bottle of water. Drink water to replenish your electrolytes and you won’t have to worry about the risks of too much sugar, sodium, or chemicals that are present in sports drinks.
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    Pay attention to signs of dehydration. It’s always a good idea to know and understand what the signs of dehydration are so you can tell if they’re happening to you. One of the earliest is lightheadedness or dizziness, so if you feel like you’ve sweated too much and you’re also feeling dizzy, make sure you drink some water right away. This can be a sign of other health concerns, but if a glass of water helps, chances are good you were just getting dehydrated.
  • Other signs include infrequent need to urinate, chapped lips, dry mouth, dry skin and hair, and headache, among others.
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    If you have any of these issues and a glass of water doesn’t seem to be helping, you may need to seek medical attention. This could be a sign of a more serious condition.

Conclusion

Do you feel a little more well-informed about the relationship you need to have with your water if you’re an athlete? Although the tips above are general ones and you’ll need to speak to your doctor to find out more specifics related to your own needs, this is a good place to help you get started. And remember, too, that if you’re an athlete and you’re actively exercising, you absolutely need to be sure you’re getting enough to drink in a day.

athlete drinking water

What can happen if you are an athlete who doesn’t drink enough water? In short, you may find yourself very severely dehydrated and you might get quite sick from this. It’s possible that you could even pass out or need to go to the hospital for IV fluids if the situation gets very out of hand. Although most people realize they’re getting dehydrated and get some water before this happens, that isn’t always the case, so make sure you stay on top of things and pay attention to what your body is telling you.

By understanding the signs of dehydration and by knowing how much water you need to be drinking every day, you’ll be able to build healthier water drinking habits in no time.

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