Friday, March 20, 2015

Back to Fitness Basics: Importance of Proper Hydration

Are you thirsty yet? While the actual feeling of thirst isn’t a good sign of dehydration, it is vital for all of your body systems to remain hydrated. “Water is one of the most essential components of the human body. Water regulates the body’s temperature, cushions and protects vital organs, and aids the digestive system. Water not only composes 75 percent of all muscle tissue and about 10 percent of fatty tissue, it also acts within each cell to transport nutrients and dispel waste.” 1
Now that you have been living a more active lifestyle, it is vital that you work on your hydration throughout the day. A good rule of thumb on how much water to drink each day is simply half of your body weight in ounces. Example, if you weigh 180 lbs. you should drink 90 oz of water a day.
How much are you sweating in your workouts? Perspiration in your workouts, isn't necessarily a sign of a workout’s value, but it is a good sign of how much water is lost during your workout and also how much water needs to be consumed after the workout in order to replenish the body’s hydration status. Another great simple hydration rule to follow is to simply consume half a liter of water for every pound lost during a workout. Example, if you lose 2 lbs. during the workout, drink a liter of water when you finish the workout. When you weigh yourself before and after your workout, wear loose clothing or simply compression shorts, and/or a sports bra.
The next question to ask is, “Are you currently hydrated”? A great method is to simply check your urine color. “In addition to recording body-weight, hydration levels can be monitored by simple urine color measurements. When optimally hydrated, urine color will appear clear or very light yellow. As dehydration settles in, your  urine color will become dark yellow or even brown. The darker, more concentrated the urine appears the more you are dehydrated.” 2.
All of the great hard work you have worked on so far, in your improved diet and exercise, will be for nothing if you are poorly hydrated. Water composes so much of the human body and all of the systems within the body need it to operate efficiently. As you sweat more this summer, be sure to drink an extra glass or two of water to keep yourself properly hydrated. Avoiding dehydration is critical in helping with your health goals. Bottoms up!

  1. Healthy Hydration. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2015, from
  2. Hot Topic: Beat the Heat - Combat Dehydration. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2015, from

1 comment:

  1. Researching hydration, one of the biggest factors of dehydration I found were determining thirst and urine color. It's dangerous that fitness loving people are so under-educated about being hydrated. When training for high intensity and long workouts, like a half marathon, I found that staying hydrated was so difficult because of sweat loss. I had never noticed it before in regular exercise until I realized that i was constantly thirsty and craving water. It would be beneficial to exercise lovers and fitness majors alike to become more educated about hydration because it can be the difference in their next workout and recovery.