Staying hydrated and preventing dehydration is critical to your good health and your ability to get results in the gym. There is no scientific formula for optimal hydration, but there are a few guidelines to help you reach your goals.

  1. Humans are supposed to drink water, only water. There wasn’t anything else on the planet until about 10,000 years ago when we started to produce dairy. Think along these lines and for the next 90 days try to limit your liquid intake to just water. Avoid caloric beverages including juices, sodas, and dairy in favor of good old fashioned H2O.
  1. A good way to estimate your daily water intake is to take your body weight in pounds and divide by 2. This is the number of ounces of water you should drink every day. Men generally need 3 liters of water daily and women need 2 liters. These guidelines do not include drinking extra water on hot days or during vigorous exercise – you may drink much more than 2-3 liters daily if you are exercising regularly. How much water do you need?
  1. Keep an eye on your urine – yes, urine. Normal urine should be clear or nearly clear. A dark yellow urine generally means that you are dehydrated.
  1. Always drink plenty of water before and during workouts. A good suggestion is to stop for water about every 15 minutes during an hour-long routine. If you are getting tired of water here are two ideas for alternate hydration with an eye toward good health.

Infused water

Jazz up your water with an infusion of flavor from fruits and vegetables. Just chop the plant and drop it into a pitcher of water in the refrigerator overnight. Suggestions include: cucumber, basil, lemon, lime, orange. Let your imagination run wild! For some great tips on infusing waters, plus some neat recipes, try infusedwaters.com.