As a distance runner and regular exerciser, I have learned how to adequately hydrate my body. This includes pre-, peri-, and post-run/workout, as well as non workout days. Although you'd think to simply drink when you're thirsty, I've made it into a bit more of a science based on the following factors:
EXERCISE: I tend to sweat excessively when I exercise or run so I need to compensate for my fluid loss. The type of exercise also determines how often and what I choose to hydrate with. On long runs of 10 miles or more, I will substitute my water with Gatorade to replace the sodium I lose. I will hydrate every hour on the hour with about half a bottle. On my shorter runs and regular Activate Body workouts I will drink 8-12 oz of water pre- and post-, or as needed.
ENVIRONMENT: Hot and humid weather can cause all of us to sweat more, which in turn, requires a larger intake. Even during colder months, we should be aware of how much moisture is lost through our skin by simply adjusting to the fluctuating temperatures.
HEALTH: Fever, vomiting, and diarrhea will also cause the body to lose additional fluids. Anytime you're sick, water intake should be increased to as much as possible to flush away toxins.
Now, we have all been told that drinking eight glasses of water a day is the standard rule. Studies have shown that this is merely a guideline ... But please don’t put your water bottles down yet! Water is essential to your health.
So how much water do you need? There is no single formula to fit everyone’s needs, but knowing more about your own personal needs for fluids will assist you in determining how much water to drink every day.
In my research I came across the following articles of which I found very helpful:
- Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256?pg=1
We understand that water isn't always the sexiest of choices when it comes to intake. We suggest supplementing your intake with water-based, sugar-free beverages such as crystal light, sparkling water, tea, or coffee. Diet soda is an option, but should be used sparingly. During hot summer months, we like to munch on fruits and vegetables with high water content, like watermelon and tomatoes.
Ultimately, we recommend consuming your body weight in ounces of water, as 6-8 8oz. glasses seem to be rather general guidelines, especially during these hot and humid summer months!