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How much water do you need?

Did you know that water makes up nearly 60 percent of your body weight? 

It’s true. Every system in our body depends on water. The amount of water each individual should consume varies by gender, how active you are during the day, how healthy you are and even where you live. Experts generally recommend drinking between eight and 12 glasses of water each day. Not getting enough water can lead to dehydration, which leaves you feeling tired and drained. 

“Water plays such a vital role in our energy and health, especially for athletes, that it’s very important to be mindful of your water intake,” said Dr. Jessica Butts, a family physician with Middle Tennessee Medical Group. “If you are not properly hydrated, your body will not be able to perform at its optimal level.” 

That is why it is so important, especially during the summer, to drink as much water as possible. Being active requires more energy, and usually results in a lot of sweat. The more you sweat the more water your body is losing. Drinking enough water to replace what you lose is critical to avoiding dehydration and recovering quickly from your activities. 

Here are some important tips you should know to avoid becoming dehydrated: 

  • Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours before you start exercising; 
  • Drink eight ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising, or during warm-up; 
  • Drink seven to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise; 
  • Drink eight ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise. 

The amount of additional water needed to replenish your body after working out or doing something physically active depends on how much you sweat during an activity.   Be sure to balance any caffeinated or sugary drinks with an extra glass of water. 

For more information about Saint Thomas Health, please visit Don’t have a primary care doctor? Call 1-800-Doctors for a free physician referral. 



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