Walking Water Calculator

How Much Water Will You Need for Your Walk?

Woman Walking with Water Bottle and Earbuds
Keeping Hydrated While Walking. andresr/E+/Getty Images

When you go for a long walk or a short walk, it's important to drink enough water and other fluids so you don't get dehydrated. But it can take some planning to know how much to take along, or how often you'll need to be able to refill your water bottle or hydration pack.

How Much Water Do You Need While Walking?

The rule of thumb is that you need to drink three to six fluid ounces of water each mile, or approximately every 15-20 minutes.

Let thirst be your first guide and drink when thirsty. The chart below will help you know how many bottles that translates into.  More: Drinking Guidelines for Walkers

How Much Water to Carry While Walking

The most common ways to carry water with you are in 16-ounce disposable bottles, 20-ounce refillable sports bottles, and hydration packs of various sizes (50/70/100 fluid ounces or 1.5/2/3 liters). The chart below shows the range of the number of bottles fills and hydration pack fills you will need during your walk.

How Much Water You May Need Based on Walking Time

Walking Time

mL

fl. oz.

16 fl.oz
/0.5L

20 fl.oz

32 fl.oz
/1L

50 fl.oz.
/1.5L

70 fl.oz.
/2L

100 fl.oz.
/3L

15 min.

125-250

4-7

1

1

1

1

1

1

30 min.

125-250

7-14

1

1

1

1

1

1

45 min.

375-750

11-21

1-2

1

1

1

1

1

1 hour

500-1000

14-38

1-2

1-2

1

1

1

1

1 1/4 hour

625-1250

18-35

2

1-2

1-2

1

1

1

1 1/2 hour

750-1500

21-42

2-3

1-2

1-2

1

1

1

1 3/4 hours

875-1750

25-49

2-3

2-3

1-2

1

1

1

2 hours

1000-2000

28-56

2-4

2-3

1-2

1

1

1

2 1/4 hours

1125-2250

32-63

2-4

2-3

2-3

1-2

1

1

2 1/2 hours

1250-2500

35-70

3-5

2-4

2-3

1-2

1

1

2 3/4 hours

1375-2750

39-77

3-5

2-4

2-3

1-2

1

1

3 hours

1500-3000

42-84

3-6

2-4

2-3

1-2

1-2

1

3 1/2 hours

1750-3500

49-98

4-7

3-5

2-4

1-2

1-2

1

4 hours

2000-4000

56-112

4-7

3-6

2-4

2-3

1-2

1-2

4 1/2 hours

2250-4500

63-126

4-8

3-7

3-5

2-3

1-2

1-2

5 hours

2500-5000

70-140

5-9

4-7

3-5

2-3

1-2

1-2

5 1/2 hours

2750-5500

77-154

5-10

4-8

3-6

2-3

2-3

1-2

6 hours

3000-6000

84-168

6-11

5-9

3-6

2-4

2-3

1-2

6 1/2 hours

3250-6500

91-182

6-12

5-9

4-7

2-4

2-3

1-2

7 hours

3500-7000

98-196

7-13

5-10

4-7

2-4

2-3

1-2

7 1/2 hours

3750-7500

105-210

7-14

6-11

4-8

3-4

2-3

2-3

8 hours

4000-8000

112-224

7-14

6-13

4-8

3-5

2-4

2-3

The chart shows a a wide range, as you will need to see what works best for you. The simplest rule of thumb is "drink when thirsty." If you find you are running out of water and are still thirsty, you'll know you need to be at the higher end of the range rather than the lower end. On the other side, it is possible to drink too much plain water and wash out your body salt, resulting in hyponatremia, which is also dangerous.

Don't force yourself to drink too much, drink when thirsty.

When to Use Sports Drink

When you walk for over an hour, especially if you are sweating, you may want to begin using a sports drink that replaces sodium and other electrolytes you are losing. Alternatively, have a snack that has some salt. But keep drinking enough fluids. Either bring powdered sports drink with you add to water, or switch to prepared sports drink.

Carrying Water - a Pint (500 mL) is a Pound

Keep in mind that water and sports drink weighs quite a bit. If you want to save on weight but need more water, you'll need to make a plan for where you'll refill your bottle or hydration pack. More: Water Bottles and Carriers for Walkers

Sources:

SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Position Stand Exercise and Fluid Replacement. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: February 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - pp 377-390 doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31802ca597

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