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…..Of water that is!

As a clever street vendor in Las Vegas once said to me…

“Don’t let de-hy-dra-tion ruin your va-ca-tion”.

But how do we know how much water is enough to stay hydrated?

Or even hydrated enough during and after exercise?

Well, there are 2 ways to tell.

One is intuitive the other a bit more….scientific lets say

Intuitively, we can drink when we are feeling thirsty, we can usually tell when we need a sip, or if we haven’t had water in a while.

The other way is to actually calculate your sweat loss rate.

Usually, this formula is based on approximately 1 hour of exercise, and much easier to calculate if you refrain from going to the bathroom for the duration of the period you are using to calculate.

In order to calculate sweat loss you take:

Your nude weight before exercise

-Minus your nude weight after exercise

+Plus any fluid consumption during exercise

-Minus urine volume

If this amount of sweat loss is 3% or greater of your body weight, you should aim to replace about 110-120% of the fluids lost.

If you are under 3% sweat loss, you will most likely be hydrated enough by drinking about 500ml(16.9oz) of water before bed and another 500ml(16.9oz) of water about an hour before exercise.

As a general rule, we should aim to drink about half of our weight in ounces of water per day.  Therefore a 150lb person should drink 75 ounces of water each day for regular hydration and bodily function.

If you are not getting that much water per day, here are some tips on how to start making it a habit:

  1. Fill a 20 ounce water bottle and keep it with you during the day, aim to refill it at least 3-4x (based on body weight)
  2. Set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you to drink at certain times
  3. Make a game of it with your significant other or family members, whoever hits their water intake goals “wins”
  4. When that “2:30” feeling hits or you feel low on energy, reach for a bottle of water, rehydrating yourself may just give you back that burst of energy you need to finish out the day

What can you start doing today to make hydration a new habit?