OPTIMAL HYDRATION – And why you should care

| Nutrition

Why is hydration so important?

Even mild dehydration is responsible for poor athletic performance and recovery, impaired judgement and cognition, hormonal issues, urinary and kidney issues, and heat-related illnesses just to name a few.

As the temperature and humidity increase, it’s super important to keep your electrolytes balanced as you sweat more when you exercise. Inadequate fluid intake can lead to heat injuries, ranging from mild heat cramps to severe conditions like heatstroke.

How to hydrate?

Although your main source of hydration will always be water, hydration through food should be on your radar too.  For example, cucumber seeds, lettuce, cauliflower, fruits, and the gel-like water formed when fibre is mixed with water can be significant contributors to hydration and should be factored into your routine.

Tap water contains many undesirable compounds that are detrimental to health.  Instead, opt for filtered or spring water. The best water filtration for your home is a reverse osmosis water filter with an alkaliser. It is installed under the kitchen countertop and ensures a constant supply of healthy delicious water.

How much to drink?

There is no one-size-fits-all but as a general guide:

Drink 1 litre of water for every 30kg you weigh, and drink an extra litre for every hour of exercise.

For every 1 litre of pure water add 1/8 teaspoon unrefined salt or concentrated mineral drops. This is to replenish the electrolytes missing in most waters, particularly for individuals who are highly active, stressed, or consume a lot of coffee. Minerals are crucial for recovering from adrenal fatigue and effective exercise recovery.

Keep an eye on your urine!  Almost clear is great – yellowish can mean a little dehydration.

Drink extra to counter the diuretic effects of tea and coffee.

When to drink?

It’s critical to start the day with proper hydration. First thing in the morning, drink a large glass of filtered water with a squeeze of lemon juice. This initial hydration kickstarts the body’s systems, including cognitive functions, setting a healthy tone for the day.

Drink well before and well after meals (small sips during meals are ok) to avoid unhelpful dilution of enzymes and hydrochloric acid required for digestion.

How to drink?

Drink water at room temperature (avoid icy/cold water). Avoid soft drinks and conventional sports/energy drinks (empty calories/high in refined sugar and artificial ingredients). Avoid fruit juices (too high fructose, without fibre). Limit or avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Salt: the addition of salt to water is critical for two reasons. First, it adds back minerals lost through filtration and secondly it keeps the salt concentration of the blood stream constant. Always use unrefined salt such as sea salt, Celtic, Himalayan salt or Australian lake salt.


Proper hydration is a game-changer in the gym. It’s about more than just drinking water; it’s about consuming the right kind of water, in the right amount, at the right times. By starting the day with adequate hydration, tailoring daily intake based on activity levels, ensuring water purity, and replenishing lost minerals, you can significantly enhance your performance and overall health

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For installation of a reverse osmosis water filter in your home, or for a discussion of the best filter for your home contact The Water Shop https://www.watershop.com.au/contact/  02 9458 1111 at 425 Miller St Cammeray NSW 2026 – deliver interstate as well.
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