Hydration means having enough fluids in your body to be able to sweat, transport oxygen throughout the body, deliver nutrients to all your cells, and lubricate joints. It also means you have enough water in your body to avoid dehydration, which would result in muscle fatigue, loss of coordination, excessive body temperature, cramps, and decreased exercise performance.
How much water should you drink to be hydrated? There is truth in the old saying that you need 8 cups of water a day! The good news is, this includes fluids like sports drinks, tea, sparkling and flavored water, milk, and even coffee if you are a habitual coffee drinker. If you tend to become dehydrated, you should limit coffee, soda, alcohol, and energy drinks.
To get enough fluids, be sure to drink throughout the day. I set a goal to drink one water bottle (24 ounces) by lunchtime and another by dinnertime. I also keep track on an app on my phone.
A good way to make sure your body is hydrated is by paying attention to urine, which should be frequent and a pale yellow color.
When you exercise, drink 8-12 ounces before your activity, 3-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes during your activity, and 20-24 ounces of water or sports drink after your exercise. Everyone has individual water needs and different sweat rates, so pay attention to figure out what works best for you.
Find more information on hydration here.
Just One Thing to do: Drink 8 cups of water daily, plus more during the hot summer months and during physical activity.