Despite the abundance of “gym” advice on how much water we should be drinking, there has been a distinct lack of relevant science supporting an exact recommended daily intake for athletes. Recently, the Mayo clinic has come to the rescue with the answer. They have concluded that there is no exact amount every person should drink.
It may help to understand that water is responsible for about 60% of your bodyweight and it’s a key element in all of our biological functions which include brain and muscle functions. You can live for a relatively long time without food but you won’t live long without water. Proper hydration is absolutely key for survival and crucial to performance, energy, strength and stamina if you are an athlete. The magic number of ounces depends on a variety of factors that differ between individuals and from hour to hour. The Mayo Clinic makes it simple by recommending a general baseline amount of 2.2 liters daily for women and 3 liters for men for “the average person living in a temperate climate”.
A common practice in the fitness world is to consume much more of course so before you tear this page out of your iPad and throw it in the garbage, realize that this is just a baseline they recommend to sustain healthy human life. They further explain that you will require increased water intake If you exercise, if you sweat, if the weather is hot or humid, if you spend time in an air-conditioned environment, if you are at a high altitude over 8200 feet, and for a multitude of other reasons that can influence fluid loss from your body.
Your water requirement will fluctuate from day to day just as each of the factors that influence how much water you need to replace will vary, making it hard to know exactly how much to consume. Rather than focusing on intake, the best solution is to drink water steadily and consistently throughout the day and pay closer attention to what is coming out of your body rather than going in. If you are going to the bathroom regularly during the day and the color is either clear or a very light yellow then your body is properly hydrated. If not, then you should increase your water intake.
While drinks other than water do contain water, there may be other factors affecting how much of them is actually absorbed and used by your body. Clean, clear water is your best source of fluids. Properly hydrated you will perform better, feel better, and even look better, and you will be much healthier.