There's all kinds of fancy hydration products out there, but we always recommend Water first!
We all should be drinking water every day. While 8 cups of water a day is the common "standard" - the amount of water needed varies for each individual depending on their location, activity and genetics.
Additional Sources for Hydration
Fruit and vegetable juices, tea, and even milk are all great additions to our hydration. For those coffee advocates, note that a moderate amount of caffeine isn’t harmful for most people.
While caffeine can be ok, we recommend to limit it as much as possible.
Also consider your overall diet and the fact that some drinks, like milk and juice can add extra sugar/calories into your diet.
Be mindful of sports drinks because many can contain high amounts of salt, sugar/calories. While they can contain needed carbs and electrolytes we recommend drinking them when planning on working out for more than an hour or for high intensity training. Check the nutritional contents and consider watering them down as needed.
Gatorade is a great example where many of use mix water at a 50/50 ratio.
Dehydration is the ultimate risk for not drinking a sufficient amount of water, which will keep your body from operating properly.
In the military we were taught to check our urine color. We even had a chart with gradients of colors with respective proportions of a canteen(s) that we should drink. The darker the urine the more likely you're dehydrated.
Some people are at higher risk of dehydration, including people who exercise at a high intensity (or in hot weather) for too long, have certain medical conditions (kidney stones, bladder infection), are sick (fever, vomiting, diarrhea), are pregnant or breastfeeding, are trying to lose weight, or aren’t able to get enough fluids during the day. Older adults are also at higher risk. As you get older, your brain may not be able to sense dehydration. It doesn’t send signals for thirst.
Note that water makes up more than half of your body weight. You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you’re physically active, or if you have a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to rapid water loss. Be sure to actively drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Stay Hydrated Friends!