Hydration is vital for health and sports performance. Water is an essential component of the human body. Water helps to regulate body temperature through sweating, transport nutrients, eliminate waste products, circulation, digestion and joint lubrication. Approximately 65% of the human body is water; without water we could not sustain life.
Drink when you are thirsty; however do not rely on thirst. Thirst is a sign the body is beginning to become dehydrated, however thirst is not a good indicator of hydration. Consume water before you are thirsty and maintain hydration by consuming water during the day can help to prevent dehydration. Initial signs of dehydration are commonly thirst and decreased sweat production. A urine test is another way to assess hydration status. Pale colored urine suggests you are hydrated; the darker the color of urine may indicated dehydration.
When exercising or partaking in moderate physical activity (power walking, jogging) in warmer temperatures, 6-8 fluid ounces of water should be consumed every 15-20 minutes. If exercising for greater than 60 minutes, water should be replaced with a beverage to replace electrolytes, such as a sports drink.
Plain water can be boring, so jazz it up. Adding fruit to water can add flavor and make water “fun” to drink, especially for children. Slices of orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit can be added to water. Frozen berries such a blueberries, strawberries or cherries can add flavor and keep water cool. Experiment with herbs, vegetable and fruits; pineapple and cucumber slices with mint leaves create a revitalizing flavor. Check out the following link for some more flavor enhancing ideas: http://www.theyummylife.com/Flavored_Water.
Stay healthy and hydrated!