Everyone knows that water is needed to sustain life. Humans need it, animals need it, even plants need it. But how much is enough, and how does it factor into fitness? Hydration is a vital need of your body that you can conquer with a little bit of information and a handy water bottle at your side. 

Water is something you need every single day. Your body runs on water, and you’ll die of thirst far quicker than you die from hunger. While it can be easy to forget to drink your allotted glasses of water for the day it is important to ensure your body is getting as much water as it needs. As a baseline, most people need to be drinking around 64 oz of water a day, though this will vary based on size, age, and activity level. It is important to remember that if you’re also drinking beverages that dehydrate you such as coffee, soda, or alcohol, you should drink a glass of water per glass of other drink to replace those fluids. Drinking enough water ensures that your body is functioning to the best of its ability, and helps remove toxins from your body. A good way to track how much water you’ve had for the day is to get a water bottle that has the ounces listed on the side; keeping this on you at all times will help you keep track of how much you need, and how much you’ve had. Another great way to hydrate is to consume fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. Watermelon, celery, and berries are a great way to achieve this. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you’re in an environment where you’re sweating a lot (hot climate, exercising), you’ll want to be drinking something that is replacing your electrolytes. This can come in the form of a sports drink, one of the most common ways to replace electrolytes. However, when consuming a sports drink you’ll want to keep track of calories and the amount of sugar contained in it. Sports drinks can be great for keeping you hydrated, but try not to have too many in one week. Water is still vital, and you should make sure that if you’re drinking sports drinks often that they contain mostly water soluble vitamins, rather than fat soluble. If you’re sitting behind a desk in an air conditioned building every day, you might want to skip the daily sports drink. 

Staying properly hydrated is important for your body and organs to function well. If you’re properly hydrated, you will be less bloated. The more water in your body the less your body retains, so it will flush out the water weight easier. If you are dehydrated then your body will retain the water in your body, leaving you bloated. Staying hydrated will also help with your workouts, as your body needs water to properly get through a workout. Without water you may feel dizzy or lightheaded, or even get a headache. Staying properly hydrated during a workout will help you achieve any goals you have set, as your body needs to be in proper working order for you to progress. 

While hydration may seem like something that is second nature, it is important to keep track of your body’s intake of water to make sure you are getting enough. Water is vital to life, and ensuring that you’re getting enough will make you healthier and make your body happier.