With warmer weather finally here (if you live in Chicago like I do!) we should all be paying closer attention to our daily hydration, especially when leading up to exercise in the heat. You do want to arrive to your workouts well hydrated. One way to determine your personal fluid needs is divide your body weight by 2; for example a 180 lbs athlete requires 90 ounces of fluid in their daily diet.
Many fluids are hydrating. While we now know that caffeine is not dehydrating (it does not produce a great amount of urine than the amount of fluid you consume), overdoing coffee and tea and other caffeine containing beverages can interfere with sound sleep and can have other unwanted side effects.
Here are some other suggestions for daily hydration:
Keep track of how much you are drinking during the day. Do count the morning caffeine containing beverages, but opt for less or no caffeine as the day progresses. Make sure that you arrive to any afternoon and evening workouts well hydrated. Try to consume plenty of fluid containing fruits as well. Watermelon, as the name implies is a great choice, as are melons.
What is the best way to tell if you are hydrated? You urine is pale.
Monique Ryan is a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics with over 25 years of experience helping active people optimize their nutrition and body composition. Contact us at 847-864-8689 to schedule your consult. Ryan has worked with elite athletes in soccer, football, basketball, triathlon, cycling, and mountain biking.
She is the author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd edition.