Proper Hydration: The key to performance is staying properly hydrated

Woman tennis player drinking water, Inphorm, Proper hydration

Water is life and proper hydration starts here. This simple, often-quoted phrase underscores the essential role hydration plays in our overall well-being. Despite its simplicity, maintaining proper hydration is a cornerstone of good health, impacting everything from physical performance and cognitive function to skin health and digestion. As we navigate the hustle and bustle of daily life, understanding how to stay properly hydrated is crucial.

Why Proper Hydration Matters

Our bodies are composed of about 60% water, which is involved in a multitude of vital processes. Water regulates our body temperature, lubricates joints, aids in digestion, transports nutrients, and eliminates waste. Even slight dehydration can hinder these functions, leading to fatigue, dizziness, confusion, and other health issues. Severe dehydration can result in more serious complications like kidney problems and heatstroke which is even more reason why proper hydration is key.

Daily Proper Hydration Needs

The amount of water a person needs can vary based on several factors, including age, gender, weight, and level of physical activity. The commonly recommended daily intake is about 8 glasses (64 ounces) of water.  Remember this does not include water used to make tea, coffee, smoothies, or water that may come from water-rich fruits and vegetables. If you’d like to include all of that, you can follow the CDC’s advice to consume approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces) for men and 2.7 liters (91 ounces) for women from all beverages and foods.

Signs of Dehydration: Lack of Proper Hydration

It's essential to recognize the signs of dehydration early. Common indicators include:

  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth and lips
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Decreased urine output

For athletes especially tennis, golf, and pickleball players or those engaged in other intense physical activities, monitoring these symptoms is especially important as the body loses significant water through sweat.

Strategies for Staying Properly Hydrated

  1. Drink Water Regularly: Don’t wait until you're thirsty to drink water. Thirst is a late indicator of dehydration. Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day.
  2. Incorporate Hydrating Foods: Many fruits and vegetables have high water content. Cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries, and oranges are excellent choices to help maintain proper hydration.
  3. Keep a Water Bottle Handy: Having a reusable water bottle with you ensures you have access to water wherever you are, at any time so you have no excuse.  And if you’re like most Tiktok-ers these days, you’re so attached to your water bottle that it literally offers emotional support (ok maybe not literally but subconsciously maybe lol). #emotionalsupportwaterbottle  
  4. Add some Flavor: If you don’t like the taste of plain water, add some fresh fruit, such as lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries, or even cucumber or mint to your water bottle for some natural flavoring. If the bottle is kept in a fridge, the fruit will stay fresh for about three days.  Doing something simple like this is an easy way to maintain proper hydration.
  5. Add Electrolytes: If you are doing intense physical activity for more than 75 minutes or while it is extremely hot outside, consuming electrolyte drinks or adding some electrolyte powder to your water would be beneficial.  Some popular ones are Gatorade, Essentia, and Liquid IV.
  6. Add some bubbles: Not a fan of flat water?  Opt for seltzer or purchase a soda machine for your home so you can have sparkling water any time!
  7. Set Reminders: Use phone alarms or apps to remind you to drink water, especially if you tend to forget during busy periods.  Or grab a water bottle with time markings on the side so you can keep track that way.
  8. Limit Dehydrating Beverages: Drinks containing caffeine and alcohol can have a diuretic effect, leading to increased water loss. While they can be part of your fluid intake, balance them with plenty of water.
  9. Adapt to Your Environment and Activity Level: In hot or humid conditions, or during intense exercise, your body requires more water. Increase your intake to compensate for the additional loss through sweat.
  10. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body feels. Adjust your hydration habits based on physical activity, dietary changes, or health conditions that might alter your water needs.

Proper Hydration is not just about drinking water; it's about maintaining a balance that supports the body's myriad functions. By staying mindful of your water intake and making hydration a daily priority, you can enhance your energy levels, improve mental clarity, and support your overall health. Remember, the goal is to integrate hydration into your lifestyle seamlessly, so you’re always at your best.

In a world where we often overlook the basics, ensuring proper hydration is a simple yet powerful step towards a healthier, more vibrant life.

Which tip are you going to incorporate right away?  Comment below as we’d love to know!

Reading next

two women wearing Inphorm tennis outfits jumping in the air
Knowing how to choose and wear a tennis bag can improve your game days.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.