Hydrate yourselves, Hydration!”. One of the best educational movie quotes of all time. It is just a shame the scene that contains this quote is from Division III Football’s Finest, where Andy Dick is providing his peewee football team with water mixed with GHB. He has the principle correct, but water will do just fine (no other drugs required). Originally, it has been suggested that 8 glasses of water a day is sufficient for hydration. In my opinion, you cannot put a general statement on how much an individual needs. Needs are different and vary from person to person. So how do I know I am getting enough water? First, let’s look at what water does for us before considering how much we need. Our body consists of about 65-70% of water. So that should be an eye-opener as to how important water is for us. Second, it is used for all our chemical processes in our body. This includes: It saturates our muscles (for contractions and cellular function), it aids with our body’s use of vitamins (ever hear of water-soluble vitamins?), it plays a major role for filtration (kidneys), a huge factor for our cooling system (sweating), affects our blood pressure, and, of course, it quenches our thirst, just to name a few things.

The great thing about water is that it is cheap, contains NO Calories and it…wait for it…hydrates! The problem is that, well, the taste is really none-existent. Humans enjoy some flavor, hence why soda and sports drinks are such a gold mine. Just remember, will power can always overcome human desire. If you can’t, try putting some cut up lemons,limes, cucumbers or any fruit that you like in your water. You would be surprised. It is pretty good! With regards to how much you should drink:

1) Sip on water throughout the day. If you drink a large bottle all at once, chances are you are going to pee most of it out.

2) Drink 1 bottle of water before physical activity, 1 during and 1 within the next 2 hours post-workout

3) Drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning. It’s a good way to start up that metabolism!

Dr. JEST