Healthy Hydration


Water is one of the most essential components of the human body, yet many people do not understand the importance of a well-hydrated body. Water regulates the body's temperature, cushions and protects vital organs, and aids the digestive system. Here are the top ten facts you need to know about staying hydrated and why it is so important:

  • Water composes 75-percent of all muscle tissue and 25-percent of fatty tissue.

  • In one hour of exercise, the body can lose more than a quart of water.

  • Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue, cramping, and loss of coordination.

  • A dehydrated body is unable to cool itself, leading to heat exhaustion and possibly heat stroke.

  • It is important to drink more than thirst demands and to continue to drink throughout the day.

  • It is important to drink even before signs of thirst appear. Thirst is a signal that your body is already on the way to dehydration.

  • To prevent dehydration, exercisers must drink before, during, and after the workout.

    • Drink one to two cups of fluid at least one hour before the start of exercise.

    • Drink eight ounces of fluid 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercising.

    • Drink four to eight ounces of fluid every 10 to 15 minutes or so during exercise.

    • Drink an additional eight ounces of fluid within 30 minutes after exercising.

    • Drink two cups of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise.

  • Both caffeine and alcohol can have a diuretic effect, be sure to compensate for this additional water loss.

  • Other water sources include fruits, juices, soups, and vegetables.

  • To check your hydration level, check the color of your urine. The color should be light to clear. If you are taking supplements, the color may darken for several hours.

Source: American Council on Exercise