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!