We've all heard the standard "drink 8 glasses of water a day" is important to follow, but the reality is the hydration rule isn’t black and white. The amount of water we need to be drinking each day depends on many factors including diet, age, sex, exercise, and even where you live. Aiming to reach this magical number doesn't make much sense when our body's hydration needs fluctuate day to day thanks to these factors.
Pay attention to your body and check your urine. If your urine is dark or has a strong odor, you likely need to increase your water intake, whereas if your urine is a light-yellow color, you're likely on track with hitting your hydration goals. (Always check with your physician if anything is out of the ordinary.)
Another great tool to determine hydration is, of course, thirst. By the time we are thirsty, we may already be dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration to watch out for include dizziness, fainting, increased hunger, muscle cramps, and decreased sweat.
Getting enough to drink is especially important for athletes. When dehydrated, workout performance and endurance suffer. Luckily, calculating your sweat rate is easy to do. Just follow the below equation to find your sweat rate.
Sweat Rate = (A+B)/C
A= Pre-exercise body weight - post-exercise body weight (in ounces)
B= Fluid consumed during exercise (in ounces)
C= Time exercising (in hours)
I drink approximately 4-5 liters of water a day and here are some of the easy ways I make sure to stay hydrated.
Yes, it is possible to drink too much water. Health conditions – like hyponatremia – occur when the concentration of sodium in the blood is too low. As a result of this the amount of water in the body increases, which causes cells to swell. Hiring a knowledgeable trainer or coach before endurance events can certainly help to avoid these issues before they even happen.