How much water should I drink?
The simple answer is about a gallon per day. This would be plenty of water in almost any condition.
But here is the kicker:
WHEN should this water be drank?
Over my life, in the Marine Corps and working with athletes, I have come to some anecdotal conclusions. (This means there is no scientific evaluation of the evidence, but it seems to work.) One of those conclusions is about when you should hydrate, drink water.
I say “Drink Today For Tomorrow.”
I have found out that whenever I am training for a personal fitness test (PFT), race or a big run the more I am hydrating the day before the better i feel. I have tested this on numerous occasions.
Like many people i don’t really pay attention to my water intake and just go an compete in something, like a basketball or football pick-up game. In most of these occasions I am HURTING. Not typically from the activity, but because I am so dehydrated. Typically during these activities I am drinking 2 or 3 Nalgenes during the event, which you would think would help, but they never do.
However, when I know I have an event coming up I can prepare. I always drink at least a gallon (or more depending on environmental factors). I then wake up before the event and drink at least half a bottle of some type of electrolyte drink (like Gatorade, Propel, Powerade or Clif Shot Drink). [On a side note I always dilute any of the major electrolyte drinks 50/50 with water. I find them way to sugary.] After the race I then finish the other half of the bottle. Then throughout the day I get back to that gallon of water per day norm.
If you are doing this correctly you should be peeing almost clear the whole time. Although kind of gross I added a urine chart! I find these incredibly helpful and should be in EVERY bathroom. One thing I want to point out is that you should note the color of your stream, not the color in the water. If all you can check is what is left then add a row (move down one row in color) to the color chart as the water dilutes your urine.
Note: The numbers next to the chart indicate how much water you should drink IMMEDIATELY after urination!
I really hope this was helpful and make sure that you are drinking today for tomorrow. I think it will help you keep from getting dehydrated. Please try out my concept. If it works for you please let me know by leaving a comment below.