A dehydrated athlete is an unprepared athlete and more often then not an unsuccessful athlete. A 1% state of dehydration will negatively affect one’s performance by as much as 10-12%. When dehydrated, athletes will experience increased muscular tightness and decreased mental acuity. So, needless to say, one of the easiest ways to optimize one’s performance on a daily basis is to stay hydrated.
A simple formula for calculating the amount of water that an athlete needs to take in on a daily basis is half of the athlete’s body weight in ounces plus 16-20 ounces for every hour spent training. For example, I am 190lbs, so regardless as to how much I train on a given day I need to take in a minimum of 95 ounces of water. If I play two hours of basketball, I will need to take in an extra 40 ounces of water, bringing my total intake of water up to about 135 ounces of water.
I know what you are thinking, “I can’t drink 2 gallons of water a day. I’m going to have to go to the bathroom too much. I don’t have time for that.” My response to these complaints is that if you want to improve as an athlete and strive towards a state of optimal performance you absolutely have to take your hydration seriously. If you do not water yourself adequately everyday you will fail to achieve your athletic goals, and your mental performance will tank as well.
All of this being said, this simple equation is only a reference tool, once you get a general idea as to how much water you run well on, simply make the consumption of that much water part of your daily routine and I promise you that you will feel and perform better.
So if you want to perform like a thoroughbred, you might have to pee like a race-horse.