10 Healthy Water Alternatives for Proper Hydration to Promote Performance and Weight Loss

How Much Water is Enough? How Much Water is Too Much?

Formula for Water Consumption Standards

There are many formulas on the internet for how much water you should drink.  All diet books and courses I have read agree that lack of water leads to poor removal of waste from your cells.  This decrease cellular output and performance.  A lower cellular output suppresses metabolism.  For most people, you can estimate water needs by taking half of one’s weight in pounds and converting that to ounces.

In general, I recommend people use the divide by half rule and then add additional water so that their urine is clear.
  So if I weigh 200 pounds, I need roughly 100 ounces.  From here the whatif’s start.  What if I am hiking — water needs go up?  What if I am eating a lot of soup — Water needs go down.  What if I am eating a lot of salty foods1 — water needs go down.  The aforementioned formula is a baseline, you can still be hypernatremic2 or hyponatremic3  What about the rule of just drink when you are thirsty?  You’ll generally be working in a constant state of mild dehydration then.  Thirst is created through a negative feedback loop.  By the time you notice this feedback loop kicking in, you already have 2-3% less water than ideal.

How Much Water Should your Drink When Exercising?

If you are just working out for an hour, you probably don’t need any water.  Despite what energy drink companies, Gatorade, or BCAA companies may tell you, the human body has enough water in it to optimally perform for an hour before needing more water.  If it’s very hot and humid, you may require water earlier.  If you are working out in a gym, you are probably OK.  If you find that you need water within 20 minutes, you were likely dehydrated when you started.


Measuring Yourself Before and After a Workout:  If you want to know how much water you actually transpire during a workout, just measure your body mass on a scale before and after your workout.  Assuming you don’t eat or drink anything, the difference in weight is your water consumption in pounds.  Assuming its 2.5 pounds, for example, that equates to 40 ounces.  40 ounces is slightly more than one liter of water (5 cups).

Water and Weight LossWhat are Some Healthy Alternatives to Water?

There are many healthy alternatives to water.

  1. Green Tea
  2. Herbal Tea
  3. Oolong Tea
  4. Sparkling Water (Paul’s Personal Favorite)
  5. Cucumber water (Second Favorite — cucumber magic)
  6. Strawberry Water
  7. Almond Milk
  8. Flax Milk
  9. Cashew Milk
  10. Lemon or Lime Water
  11. Iced Tea
  12. Pure Vegatable Juice

Which Beverages that are Less Healthy for you?

  1. Beer
  2. Wine
  3. Hard Alcohol
  4. Fruit Juices
  5. Sweetened Vegetable Juice
  6. Smoothies Made with Fruit
  7. Soy Milk
  8. Rice Milk
  9. Sweetened Tea
  10. Sweetened Lemonade
  11. Soda
  12. Diet Soda
  13. Creamers like International Delight, Coffeemate
  14. Eggnog
  15. Sweetened Water or Fruit Water Drinks

Beverages that are OK depending on the Time or Use

  1. Energy Drinks. If you take one before your workout, and the stimulants provide you with the ability to move substantially more volume than you could without it, a case could be made that the glycemic impact is balanced out by improved performance.  All things being equal, go for the energy drinks having fewer sweeteners.
  2. Protein Shakes. The recovery benefits of drinking a protein shake after a workout outweigh the negative aspects of If you take one before your workout, and the stimulants provide you with the ability to move substantially more volume than you could without it, a case could be made that the glycemic impact is balanced out by improved performance.  All things being equal, go for the protein drinks having fewer sweeteners.
  3. Coffee.  Black coffee contains antioxidants.  Most nutritionists believe two cups a day is generally safe.  At higher levels, coffee can cause dehydration and raise cortisol levels.
  4. Kombucha Health Benefits include gut health through probiotics and cancer prevention through antioxidants.  However it also contains sugar, so timing-wise it best consumed immediately before or after your workout.
  1. I do not recommend that for performance or weightloss btw.
  2. State of not having enough water in your system.
  3. State of having too much water in your system.

About Coach Paul

Paul Bio PictureView my Bio | Email me
BioMedical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University.
Juris Doctorate - Rutgers.
M|WOD, CrossFit Level II, 3DMAPS, FMSII, YBT, RKC, TRX, PN.

Paul has trained over 3000 clients and more than a 100 personal trainers over his 10 years as a mobility and strength coach.  He emphasizes safety and corrective exercises in all programming (strength, weight loss, conditioning, etc.)  His practice focuses on improving flawed movement patterns to prevent injury and improve skeletal-muscular function.  Paul employs a balanced approach in training utilizing his training Yoga, CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Movement Courses to systematically strengthen weakened muscles and mobilize joints and muscle tissue.  Move Better ... Train Better.

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