Cool water is the best fluid to keep you hydrated during workouts or events lasting an hour or less. Sports drinks (i.e., 6-10 percent carbohydrates) are useful for longer events. Most of these types of drinks should be diluted approximately 50 percent with water. Drink even if you are not thirsty. Thirst is not a reliable way to tell if you need water. You won't start feeling thirsty until you have already lost about 2 percent of body weight - enough to hurt performance. And if you stop drinking water once your thirst is satisfied, you will get only about half the amount you need.
Some tips for staying hydrated:
- Drink small amounts of water frequently, rather than large amounts less often.
- Drink cold beverages to cool your core body temperature and reduce sweating.
- Weigh yourself after working out and drink 2-3 cups of water for every pound lost. Your body weight should be back to normal before the next workout.
- Pay attention to the amount and color of your urine. You should excrete a large volume that is nearly colorless. Small amounts or dark colored urine can indicate dehydration.