Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
'Drink to thirst' when exercising to stay hydrated
spotlight AP

'Drink to thirst' when exercising to stay hydrated

  • 0

Exercising in hot weather can be dangerous, especially if it is very humid. Here are a few ways to safely exercise outdoors when it’s warm outside.

If the Summer Olympics inspire you to start working out, Mayo Clinic health experts say it's important to stay hydrated when you exercise. And a valuable term to remember is "drink to thirst."

"You can become dehydrated if you take in too little. And you can actually cause problems, such as exercise-induced low sodium or hyponatremia, if you take in too much," says Dr. Sara Filmalter, a Mayo Clinic family physician. "So the general rule of thumb at this point among physicians is to drink to thirst."


Rather than planning out arbitrary amounts of fluids during your workout, your body is the best indicator when you need hydration. Drink when you're thirsty.

"I typically recommend that they consume about half their fluids in water and half their fluids in a beverage that contains electrolytes without an enormous amount of sugar," says Filmalter.

When you sweat, your body is losing fluid, along with those electrolytes, such as sodium and chloride.

"The purpose of rehydrating is using water or, even better, those electrolyte-containing beverages to pull fluid back into our system and rehydrate so our organs are happy," says Filmalter.

So during that next workout, remember to drink to thirst and hydrate your body with sports beverages and good-old H20.

Here's more health news you can use:

Build your health & fitness knowledge

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Democrats have hit a snag in their effort to compile a $3.5 trillion social-spending bill this fall — moderates are resisting support for Medicare drug price negotiation provisions that would pay for many of the measure’s health benefit improvements. Meanwhile, the new abortion restrictions in Texas have moved the divisive issue back to the political front burner. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interview’s KHN’s Phil Galewitz about the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment, about two similar jaw surgeries with very different price tags.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.