We’ve all heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy, but when you’re sweating, eight glasses might not be enough. If you don’t drink enough, you can become dehydrated, and dehydration can cause health problems.

Why is Dehydration Bad?

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. This can occur when you’re sweating during a workout. If you aren’t replacing the fluid lost by sweating, you can become dehydrated.

Dehydration can cause a range of symptoms, from mild to severe, including the following:

      • Loss of energy
      • Muscle cramps
      • Constipation
      • Dry skin or eyes
      • Dizziness
      • Increased thirst
      • Dark urine, or inability to urinate
      • Confusion
      • Blurry vision
      • Fever
      • Chronic back pain
      • Headaches
      • High blood pressure
      • Depression
      • Kidney or heart problems
      • Diabetes
      • Obesity

What’s the Best Way to Stay Hydrated?

The best way to stay hydrated is to replace the fluid that you’re losing by sweating with water. Although sports drinks are touted as a good way to replace electrolytes, many of them are high in sugar, so water is still the best option.

How Much is too Much?

There is such a thing as drinking too much water. This is called over-hydration, and while rare, it is still worth noting. Over-hydration in some cases can lead to death, so it’s important to know how much fluid you should be drinking when you sweat.

You can calculate this by determining your sweat rate, or by talking to a qualified physician about how much you should be drinking during a workout. A general rule for how much you should be drinking each day is to divide your weight in half, and drink that much water in ounces. So, if you weigh 150 lbs, you should drink 75 ounces of water each day.

Staying properly hydrated will keep you healthy and allow you to participate in more effective workouts. Drinking enough water daily is one of the best things you can do for your body.

If you still have questions about how this can affect your overall health, please seek medical advice from your PCP (personal care physician).