Being properly hydrated is one of the most important steps an athlete, backpacker or hiker, can take toward achieving peak performance in their sport or lifestyle.
Before we can answer how much water these people should drink, it’s helpful to understand what determines how the fluids we drink end up getting lost.
Fluid loss mainly happens four different ways, of which only some may apply to you and or athletes:
• Exercise Intensity: Exercising for hours (like in endurance sports) means a greater need for fluids and an increased need to create a hydration plan to avoid becoming dehydrated.
• Sweating: Some people sweat more than others, and those that sweat a large amount are at a greater risk of dehydration.
• Temperature: Going out in hot weather increases the amount of fluid lost through sweating. Conversely, being out in the cold can impair the ability to recognize dehydration and also increases the amount of fluid lost through breathing.
• Altitude: A higher altitude has a dehydrating effect on the body and increases the amount of fluid needed to feel sufficiently hydrated.