Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Drinking GoodSport

3 min read time


How To Properly Hydrate When You Sweat More Than Average

If you’ve ever wondered why you sweat so much, you may have wondered about the next logical thought: “Does that mean I need to drink more in order to properly hydrate?” Yes, heavy sweaters, research confirms that your hydration needs are different.  

Sweat rates vary widely among people. To prevent significant dehydration during physical activity, those who sweat more must drink more.

The variation in sweating rates among people is enormous. Genetics, fitness level, heat acclimation, clothing/equipment, exercise intensity, and environmental conditions combine to dictate why you sweat so much. Some people’s sweating rates are low, less than 1 quart (roughly 1 liter) per hour. Others have sweating rates well in excess of 2 quarts/ hour. 

As we become fitter and accustomed to physical activity in warm/hot environments, sweating rates typically increase.

Whenever a large sweat loss is expected, begin physical activity with the stomach comfortably full of fluid. This is especially helpful when fluid intake during physical activity will be limited.

The key to how to hydrate properly is to ensure you are well hydrated prior to beginning physical activity.   Consume roughly 2–4 ml per pound of body weight in the 2 to 4 hours before exercise (e.g., 300—600 ml [10-20 oz] for a 150-lb person.)  Being well hydrated prior to physical activity that will cause profuse sweating delays the onset of dehydration and helps sustain cardiovascular and thermoregulatory functions. 

In order not to become dehydrated during training or competition, heavy sweaters must try to continue to drink periodically to replace the fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat.  Weighing yourself before and then again after a typical exercise session can help gauge if enough fluid was consumed during exercise.   Weight loss of more than 2% of body weight is an indication to drink more during similar circumstances in the future. Weight gain is an indication to drink less.

Knowing how to hydrate properly is key to optimal performance and a quick recovery. If it turns out you have not been able to drink enough during your workout to prevent dehydration, make sure to replenish your fluids and electrolytes as soon as possible especially if you have another training or competition to participate in so you may recover adequately.

  • Cheuvront SN, Kenefick RW. Personalized fluid and fuel intake for performance optimization in the heat. J Sci Med Sport. 2021;24(8):735-738
  • Kenefick RW. Fluid intake strategies for optimal hydration and performance: planned drinking vs. drinking to thirst. Sports Sci Exchange. 2018;29(182):1-6.
  • Burke LM, Castell LM, Casa DJ, et al. International Association of Athletics Federations Consensus Statement 2019: Nutrition for Athletics. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2019;29(2):73-84.
  • Rivera-Brown AM, Quinones-Gonzalez JR. Normative data for sweat rate and whole-body sodium concentration in athletes indigenous to tropical climate. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2020;30(4):264-271
  •  McDermott BP, Anderson SA, Armstrong LE, et al. National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for the Physically Active. J Athl Train. Sep 2017;52(9):877-895. 
  • Thomas TD, Erdman KA, Burke LM. Nutrition and athletic performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016;48(3):543-568.
  • Murray R. Training the gut for competition. Curr Sports Med Reports. 2006;5:161-164.