How much water should I drink before exercise?

How much water should I drink before exercise?

Drink 14-20 ounces of water 2-4 hours before exercise

As a general guideline, drink 14 oz. – 20 oz. of water 2 – 4 hours before exercise.

To be more specific:

Drink approximately 0.08 oz. – 0.11 oz. of water per pound of body weight.


Jack weighs 200 lbs
Jack will need to drink 16 oz. – 22 oz. of water 2 – 4 hours before exercise.

Here’s the math:

200 lbs x 0.08 oz. = 16 oz.
200 lbs x 0.11 oz. = 22 oz.

Drink water 2 – 4 hours before exercise so your body has time to absorb it. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking water at least 4 hours before exercise and drinking more 2 hours before exercise if you have not urinated or if your urine is dark.

Sources: ACSM Position Stand: Exercise and Fluid Replacement
Beth Stover and Bob Murray.Drink Up! The Science of Hydration. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. March/April 2007

Stephanie's Certifications and Experience
About the Author
Stephanie Averkamp

About the Author was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...