Wednesday, June 9, 2010
8 Are You Drinking Enough Water Throughout The Day? -- Some Helpful Tips For Keeping Track Of Your Daily Fluid Intake
It's really important to hydrate all throughout the day, and not just before a workout. The body needs time to properly absorb and process water in order for one's water consumption to be truly useful & effective for workouts.
So, how can you tell if you're hydrating properly? For the answer to that question & more, please see the article I wrote last summer entitled, "Summer Running Tips: The Whys & Hows of Hydration, & A Review of Various Hydration Systems." You'll find a boatload of useful information, advice, & resources there.
Additionally, most endurance athletes have come to realize -- usually from the lessons of past experience! -- what too much or too little water can do to them, both during their training & in their everyday life. With proper hydration (& fueling!), timing is everything. Not enough water, & we often don't feel very well & tend to "run out of steam" during our workouts. A bit too much water before or during a workout, and well, we all know what happens there. :) It's especially important to know your sweat rate during long distance runs or long cycling trips without facilities along the trail route. ;)
Also, in the extreme, there are serious consequences to drinking too much (water intoxication & its most common resultant condition, hyponatremia) or too little water (dehydration).
So, how can you keep track of your water intake? And what's the easiest way to do this? Well, I have a few solutions for you. First, I'll tell you what I use, and you can see if that'd work for you.... Then, I'll also list some additional tools & resources.
If you'd like to spend a bit more money, you can get a high tech version of this concept, in which the tracker is actually built into the bottle unit itself (Pretty cool, eh?!), called the Sportsline HydraCoach. Here's a product review, if you'd like to read more about it.
You can also track your daily water intake at various online fitness and nutrition logs. (There are also various software applications on the market to do this, but I prefer using an online method because it can be accessed on the go for immediate recording, which helps to ensure that I do it!) Or, if you want to go the "old school" route, you can track your intake via a spreadsheet application like Excel or Google Docs (which is handy, again, because it's in an online format) or one of those printable daily fluid intake logs.
Here are some articles & other resources you might find helpful in your quest to properly hydrate:
How to Drink More Water Every Day (From wikiHow; tips for increasing your daily water consumption)
How to Calculate your Body's Fluid Needs (From eHow; quick overview of basic calculation)
Tri to Drink! (PDF) (TriSmarter's detailed sports-medicine article on fluid intake calculation)
Recommended Daily Water Intake (From MyFoodDiary.com)
Hazards of Hydration: Choose Your Plastic Water Bottles Carefully (From Balanced Living)
Hope you found the above tips & suggestions to be useful!
Happy Hydrating ;),