The title of this post is a little misleading. There really is no bad side of drinking water when you’re working out. There are, however, a lot of benefits to drinking water when you’re working out or even when you aren’t. Even a minimalist workout needs a maximum amount of water.
My favorite benefit of drinking water while I work out is to prevent muscle pain. If you’re working out and have muscle pain as a result then you are not drinking enough water. I’ve encouraged friends to drink more water only to have them say “I drink plenty but I’m still very sore”. I don’t believe that. We’ve all been told to drink 8 glasses of water per day. The is generally accepted as a minimum amount you need to drink per day. It is about 2 liters of water but you need a lot more when you’re working out because you dehydrate at a higher rate. I drink water all day. I drink a glass of water about once an hour throughout the day. While my muscles get worked out and tired it is rare I ever get sore muscles and when I do it is because I didn’t drink enough water.
During a workout water works to prevent fatigue. When I was a runner I would have bad runs at times because I didn’t have that extra glass of water before I went out. There were times when I was excited to reach that next milestone and ran out the door without my water. The results were often tragic. I ran one 5k, it was a virtual 5k which meant I ran it at home at a certain time and recorded my time online. Without proper hydration I did poorly in the 5k. I ran it in 48 minutes, had to walk much of the way, and came home feeling like a failure. A couple of days later I ran that same route in 35 minutes. The difference was the amount of water I drank. If you want to set yourself up for success, which you do, then you should be drinking water.
So how much water should you drink? Did you know that even a 5% drop in hydration can cause a 25% to 30% drop in energy. It is recommended that you drink at least 20 oz. of water about two hours before your workout as well as 8 oz. during warm up. During your workout you should drink at least one cup of water every 15-20 minutes. After your workout you should drink another 8 oz. of water.
Something else to consider is if you are getting cramps during your workout, a lot of runners get this in their rib cage, that is another sign of dehydration. If you are not a big fan of drinking water then at a little bit of lemon to add flavor. You can also drink fruit juice or milk because they contain water but nothing will fully take the place of water.
I wake up each day and enjoy two glasses of water. Sometimes I add cinnamon but not always. I try to make them as cold as possible because it does burn a few calories. It gives me more energy in the morning and throughout the day. Drink up!