Making Hydration a Habit

By Desiree Nielsen

Wednesday, May 17th

This is it! The long weekend, AKA the unofficial start of summer, is almost upon us. You can practically hear the patio umbrellas popping.

Three weeks into the challenge, you might have noticed that you are sweating a bit more as the days get warmer… and that means thinking about hydration.

For most of us, pure water is best. If your workouts are less than an hour in length and you don’t sweat to the point of salty skin, you don’t need to worry about electrolytes (because you get them in food!). Of course, if your workouts are longer or take place under the blazing sun, you might benefit from the electrolyte boost of an unsweetened electrolyte powder.

How much water do you need to stay well hydrated? The answer might surprise you. The recommendation that most of us could rattle off in our sleep - 2L a day - isn’t based on hard evidence. Hydration is deeply personal: temperature and humidity; how hard you are working out and even what you have eaten that day all play into hydration status. Want to know if you are well hydrated? Check the water coming out of you; your urine should be pale in colour and if it isn’t, keep drinking.

Make hydration a habit. Sometimes fatigue and hunger is dehydration in disguise. Keep a one liter bottle at your side and sip regularly. When it comes to a workout, start and stay hydrated. Drink a glass of water about a half hour before a workout and sip throughout, particularly if your workout is longer than thirty minutes.