Water is one of the most essential nutrients to keep your body working efficiently. Although when it comes to staying hydrated, many individuals underestimate the amount of fluid needed to replace water that is continually being lost through sweating, breathing and digestion. To keep the body from performing at its optimum level, proper hydration is critical.

1) Follow a daily hydration plan

The amount of water required to stay hydrated varies from person to person. A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. This may seem like a significant amount of water to consume, but there are a few methods you can try to meet your needs. Check out these tips below! • Carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times • Download a smart phone hydration app to keep track of your water intake • To spruce up your water with calorie-free flavor, try infusing your water with fruits

2) Don’t wait until you feel thirsty

Studies show thirst is not necessarily a good indicator of dehydration. This is because water loss in the body occurs before thirst is even perceived. If you feel thirsty, chances are you are already dehydrated! Spread your water intake throughout the day at a controlled pace to circumvent feelings of thirst. Hydrate upon waking up, during every meal, in-between meals, during exercise and at night.

3) Look out for signs of dehydration

A few signs to watch for are decreased performance, fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness or nausea. Usually these symptoms emerge during periods of intense activity, so be sure to hydrate before, during and after any physical activity to avoid dehydration. If necessary, include breaks during exercise to hydrate every 15-20 minutes. You are also more prone to dehydration if you plan to spend an extended period in a hot environment, so be sure to hydrate during your time in extreme climates/conditions as well. Prevention is key!

4) Hydrate with your food

Eating a diet rich in fruits and non-starchy vegetables not only supplies your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs, but is also a great way to keep your body hydrated. Foods like watermelon, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes are made up of 85-95% water. Adding these types of foods to your daily diet can contribute to your daily water intake goal.

5) Incorporate electrolytes

Although water is the most essential source for hydration, it is also just as important to replenish the electrolytes lost from sweat during intense physical activity or enduring hot climates. Sweat consists of both water and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which help maintain proper water balance and blood pH, muscle and cardiac function. Hydrating with an electrolyte replacement drink can help replenish these necessary nutrients to help reduce the risk of dehydration. For example, AdvoCare Rehydrate incorporates many of the essential electrolytes, which work in a synergistic manner to maintain fluid balance in the body. To learn more about AdvoCare Rehydrate, the official sports drink of the Miami Open, visit www.advocare.com/rehydrate.