Learning how to drink water while using a treadmill involves more than just sipping carefully to avoid the embarrassment of spilling it on yourself. Drinking water during any exercise, especially if you sweat heavily, is important to prevent dehydration. If you don't want to stop your workout to drink water, the process of drinking while moving can take a little adjustment.
Before and After Your Workout
To lessen the risk of dehydration during exercise, you should begin drinking water long before you break a sweat on the treadmill. The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water between 2 and 3 hours before you start working out and 8 ounces of water about a half-hour before hitting the treadmill. Drink 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. Drinking out of a labeled bottle helps you track of how much water you have consumed.
During Your Workout
Even if you're hydrated before your workout, it's not time to put your water bottle away just yet. The ACE recommends drinking 7 to 10 ounces of water for every 10 to 20 minutes that you exercise. If you plan to run on the treadmill for an hour, be prepared to drink up to 30 ounces of water during the workout. Most gyms have water coolers or drinking fountains where you can fill up your bottle. Do this before you start working out. If necessary, bring a few bottles with you.
Treadmills typically have one or more cup holders mounted to the sides of the display panel, which allows you to store your water bottle for easy access during your workout. A water bottle with a small mouth is ideal for using during exercise; you can place your lips around the mouth of the bottle to avoid spilling. If you struggle with successfully drinking water while using the treadmill, consider slowing the speed of the belt while you hydrate. You may also step onto the platform sides next to the belt for a moment.
If you can't seem to get the hang of drinking out of a water bottle while using the treadmill, consider investing in a hydration pack. These handy devices, which are strapped to your back in the same manner as a backpack, contain a large bladder that you fill with water and have a tube from which you sip while you move. The tube essentially eliminates the chance of spilling water and because many packs are designed so that the tube hangs over your shoulders, you won't need both your hands to drink from it.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.