What is Hydration?

woman with towel drinking more water Hydration


Hydration refers to the process of consuming adequate water and fluids to maintain fluid balance and bodily function. Being properly hydrated supports health.

woman after workout  drinking more water Hydration


  • Water makes up 50-70% of bodyweight. It flushes toxins, transports nutrients, lubricates joints, aids digestion and performs countless functions.
  • Dehydration results from inadequate fluid intake relative to sweat and urine losses. Symptoms include headache, fatigue, dizziness and dark urine.
  • Aim to hydrate before feeling thirsty. Drink about half your body weight in ounces of water daily as a baseline.
  • Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium are essential to hydration. Sports drinks can replenish electrolytes.
  • Urine color, sweat rate, thirst and body weight help assess hydration status. Dark urine signals dehydration.


  • Drinking water and electrolytes after an intense workout
  • Carrying a water bottle and sipping regularly throughout the day

Related Terms

  • Hyperhydration, rehydration, electrolyte balance, sodium, bioelectrical impedance

Common Questions

  • When should I drink more fluids? In heat, at altitude, if sick, when training hard, or if urine is dark.
  • Does coffee and tea count? Partially, but the caffeine can act as a mild diuretic.
man and woman drinking more water

Do Not Confuse With

  • Water retention – Excess fluid held in tissues due to medical conditions.
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