Lots of people struggle with dehydration. If you feel at all thirsty, then you aren’t drinking enough water. Drinking water is especially important when you exercise, whether your are running on your treadmill or swimming. All that moving makes you sweat, making your body lose water even faster than normal. So how much water are you supposed to drink?
A good indicator of dehydration is weight. Weigh yourself before and after your workout. If you weight less, it was probably through fluid loss and you need to drink more water.
However if you weight more than before your workout, then you drank a little too much water. The goal is to weigh the same. Weight loss won’t occur immediately, so you should give yourself time to cool off and get a good night’s sleep, weighing yourself for weight loss in the morning. The morning (before you eat breakfast and after you’ve used the restroom) is the best time to weight yourself because you don’t have any food in your stomach, providing you with a more accurate weight measurement.
Anyways, you should drink water before, during and after your workout. If you exercise for more than 90 minutes, it’s recommend that you have some sports drinks too. You want to keep your water AND electrolyte levels balanced. Otherwise your dehydration can escalate to a variety of heat sicknesses.
A fun new idea that’s recently surfaced is replacing your electrolyte balance with chocolate milk after exercising. It provides calcium and carbs, making it a tasty way to finish off your workout. This isn’t necessary unless you’ve exercised for at least 90 minutes or 2 hours, like running a marathon. Water is the best drink for most workouts, especially if they are only for 30 minutes. Have you ever spent that much time on your treadmill?
If you have any questions, about.com has a lot of great suggestions for hydrating during your workout. Thanks!