Of course we have heard that we need 8, 8oz glasses of water per day but that is a very general recommendation. It is very individual for each person. Now this is going to sound funny but the only way to tell if you are hydrated is by the color of your urine. If it is pale yellow to almost clear you are doing well. If it is darker (about the color of apple juice) you are dehydrated.
Thirst is not a good indicator as typically you are already dehydrated. Plus, if you are someone who typically doesn’t drink enough fluids your body has adapted and the thirst signal may not be working.
Early signs of dehydration: decreased athletic performance, fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, light-headed, flushed skin.
Severe signs of dehydration: muscle spasms, difficulty swallowing, clumsiness or stumbling, blurred or dim vision.
General guidelines for hydration:
•drink water all day long
•drink about 2 cups 2 hours before activity
•drink 1/2 cup 15 minutes before
•drink 2-4 ounces every 15 minutes during activity
•if activity or exercise is lasting longer than 1 hour or working in a hot or humid climate consider a sports drink or electrolyte water
•for every pound lost post activity drink 2-3 cups of water per pound to help muscle recovery