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Daily Hydration with Urine Color Chart

Information

Water is one of the most important nutrients in an elite athlete's eating program. Drinking too little water or losing too much through sweating can inhibit your ability to train hard and recover properly.

Water provides much more to the body than just hydration. Specific to elite athletes' water: Acts as a transporter to supply working muscles with the nutrients they need during training; gets rid of the waste products resulting from high intensity training; helps keep you cool by dissipating heat through sweat.

Losing even a small amount of fluid from training or entering a workout dehydrated can have a negative impact on performance. Fluid losses of 2-3 percent of an elite athlete's body weight can lead to:

  1. Decreased ability to concentrate
  2. Decreased recovery
  3. Fatigue
  4. Impaired physical performance

Application

An easy yet effective method of determining your hydration status is by the color of your urine. Using the chart below, aim for a urine color throughout the day of No. 1-3, or lemonade colored. Anything above a No. 3 indicates that you are not hydrating yourself properly and your performance will decline quickly. Remember, vitamin/mineral supplements can skew the color of your urine as will your first bathroom break of the day. It's always a good idea to start off your day, whether training or not, with a glass of water.

Urine Color Chart

References

Devlin LH et al. J. Sci Med Sport. 2001; Shirreffs et al. J Sports Sci. 2004.

Courtesy of the United States Olympic Committee