You might have heard the advice to drink at least eight glasses of water a day — but there’s actually a lot more to hydration you should consider, including how active you are and external factors like the weather.
Being well hydrated is fundamental to good health. You should always be aware of your hydration needs to ensure your body’s fluids are properly replenished. Drinking enough water to stay hydrated will allow you to function and exercise at an optimal level.
What is hydration?
Hydration is the process of replacing water lost from your body. It is essential to stay hydrated because more than half (about 50%-70%) of your body is made up of water!
What is proper hydration?
Many guidelines recommend drinking at least 2 liters (68 fluid oz) of water a day. Another simple way to calculate how much water you need is to divide your body weight (in pounds) by two, and that number is how much water, in fluid ounces, you should drink each day.
It’s important to stay well hydrated, because the water inside your body aids many vital functions, such as lubricating your joints, keeping the body temperature stable and moving nutrients to where they’re needed. Hydration is equally important as your nutrition!
Recent studies have found that being well hydrated may also:
Help you sleep better & improve cognitive function
Give you more endurance, allowing for more effective workouts
It’s also worth considering what you’re eating — many fruits and vegetables have high water content and can help you maintain hydration.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration can happen when your body has lost more water than you’ve taken in.
If you are dehydrated, your body’s water balance is disrupted, and your body may not function as it should.
What are the signs of dehydration?
You may have experienced a symptom of mild dehydration before. These symptoms can include:
More severe cases of dehydration may include the following symptoms:
Heat cramps (painful spasms in the muscles)
How you lose water from your body
Sweating during a workout is your body’s way of keeping cool. Your sweat glands release fluid (mainly water), which evaporates from your skin and helps to keep your body temperature stable.
BreathingWhen you workout, you lose fluid through heavier breathing — and the fitter you are, the more you might sweat. You can also perspire more when working out in hot or humid conditions.