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Are You Drinking Enough Water Throughout The Day? -- Some Helpful Tips For Keeping Track Of Your Daily Fluid Intake

Posted Jun 09 2010 12:00am

As most people surely know, hydration is important, and it can sometimes be tricky to achieve the proper balance -- to drink the right amount of water -- for both fitness and daily living.

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.

For one, you can use a physical tool for water tracking: Erik got us these brilliant little fluid intake trackers a while ago, called F.I.T. for short, & I've found them to be really useful for tracking daily water consumption. I like to use the clip on a refillable water bottle that I carry around with me all day. :)

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 ;),
-C

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