Stay Hydrated

October 15, 2020
MUSC Wellness Center water bottle filled with water and fruit slices

Written by Judith Herrin, MS, RD

Pure clean water is the best for us and we should drink more - we all know this. How much water is best for your body, how much water do you need to drink to stay hydrated for a workout, and when do we need to hydrate? The best way to determine if your body is hydrated is the color of your urine. Your goal is to see pale yellow or clear urine that indicates that you are well hydrated. A cloudy yellow, darker yellow, or amber color isn’t healthy - your body needs water. 

Other very simple signs of dehydration include thirst, dry nose, headache, and muscle cramps. It is not recommended to wait until you feel thirsty or see a darker yellow color in your urine to remember to drink more water. Try every effort to always have a water bottle by your side and use water intake apps on your phone with reminders until you realize you REMEMBER and WANT to drink your water. You can also infuse your water with lemon, mint, rosemary, or cucumber.

Another important hydration tip is limiting caffeine and other diuretics. If you choose to drink a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage, follow it with twice as many ounces of water to replace fluids eliminated by the caffeine.

When it comes to working out, remember that your body must be hydrated for physical activity the day before! 

When you are properly hydrated you have a larger reservoir of fluid to draw from over time than if you're dehydrated. Starting your workout well hydrated has other benefits: optimal hydration maximizes your blood volume, which helps general cardiovascular function and your ability to dissipate the heat produced by your working muscles. This reduces fatigue and enables you to maintain your performance for longer.

The Wellness Center offers 10 water fountains with a clear, cool water resource that will help you stay hydrated before, during, and after the workout. If you forget your water bottle, please ask the front desk attendant to provide you with a cup. Drink more water and feel good!