Daily Hydration

An episode or two ago Chad was discussing hydration. I am curious about something that was discussed. I thought i heard that just drinking straight water may be somewhat wasteful because the vast majority of it just moves through the system. If i heard that correctly, i am wondering then what are people drinking for everyday hydration?

I drink about 80oz of straight water a day and then some Beta Fuel or Nuun tabs while on the bike.

I’ve started drinking a bidon with a nuun tab in it every morning to raise my electrolytes, and then during training I have a mix with a small amount of carbs in it along with electrolytes.

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6-8 375ml mugs of instant coffee (with 2 teaspoons of coffee, and 3 of sugar, and about 1/2 ounce of full cream milk). Used to drive the Red Cross mad because they think “slight diuretic” overcomes “increased water consumption”. It’s worked OK for 35 or more years… /shrug

And whatever I get from food.

Sometimes, if I’m feeling parched, or haven’t had a proper source of Vitamin C… a glass of (orange & pineapple) juice.

I’m dubious.

Urination = wasteful? Really?


For Breakfast, I drink a cappuccino with 200ml of milk and a glass of water with multi-vitamins.
During the day,2 liter of water and 500 ml of tea.
During my 1.5 h workout 1.5 liters of water with maltodex (60g) and electrolytes.

I drink 7L of water; 500-600mL coffee, and 250mL juice, on average per day.

I just drink as I get thirsty. I don’t believe in always having to have a 2L flask in your hand and constantly drinking and peeing all day. There’s just no need.


My understanding is that plain water is fine in most cases – it’ll make it into my system largely by osmosis. But if I need to replace water faster (e.g., I’m exercising, or I haven’t actually had any water for hours), then adding a bit of sodium and a bit of glucose can speed things along since there are specific transport paths for those substances, and they drag a bunch of water molecules along with them.

What does this mean in practice? For me, once or twice a day when I know I’ve fallen behind on my water intake, I’ll add a small amount (~1/2 teaspoon) of Skratch into a tall glass (~12-16oz) of water. If nothing else, it tastes nice so I actually drink it.

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I drink about 2.5 to 5L per day, depending on time of year, temperature, exertion, etc. 7L sounds mighty excessive for an average, but to each one’s own.

I’m hoping a TR staffer (or Chad himself) chimes in… I’m the poster boy for being dehydrated I know, but I think what he was eluding to was the value (or lack of) of urine color/ concentration to judge hydration. I also know that hydration is more than just circulating blood volume, but rather the hydration status of the cells themselves.

That’s because I work in the back office of hell.

We usually talk about how much someone is drinking to assess their hydration, but really the focus should be on urine output.

A reasonable goal is to have at least 2 liters of urine output in a 24 hour period. That’s a fair bit if you think about trying to fill a 2 liter soda bottle. Most people tend to over estimate how much urine they produce in a day, so actually measuring it can be a useful exercise. Obviously many factors impact how much urine will be produced including ambient temperature, fluid intake, exercise/activity, and losses from the GI tract.

My assumption, although I believe it to be accurate in my case, is that we sweat a whole lot more indoors than outdoors. This cannot be replaced by water alone. I do take a sports drink on each work out and I recall Nate on a previous podcast recommending at least 2 bottles for the intense rides over 1hr. I’m gonna go the nuun on off days too now to see how that goes.

If any of you guys follow @Jonathan on insta you will have seen this guy pop up - “Dialed Health”.
I have been following and listening to his podcasts recently. The one I have linked below is around hydration.

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I buy “Liquid IV” from Costco. I like it

There’s quite a bit of individual variation in hydration need, as our sweat rates vary by 10x across the population, and some of that variation carries into your rest state, too. You’re always sweating, to some small degree, and dehydrating through breathing. Sleep time is 8-10 hours of dehydration.

I push water and decaf until I can notice the bladder really starting to turn it over - having to hit the head every 30-60 mins. That let’s me know “I’m there”, then I just back off to thirst / desire. I embrace high sodium food, too, as I’m “charging up”.

I’ve noticed the amount of water I need early in the day ties in very closely with the weather. In dead of winter, drinking to thirst works fine. In summer, that’s a straight path to cramps and a terrible workout. It’s taken me years to dial in to a full season-long understanding of what I need both on and off the bike. Experiment.


I just started using this during my “longer” TR sessions on the weekend. The verdict is still out, but after two weekends of using it, I have felt better (less fatigued) post workout.

I just picked some up as well. It is currently on sale at Costco. The ingredients look solid as it is sodium citrate, no chloride, based. I’ll see how I like it in comparison to Skratch’s everyday hydration mix.

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Just a quick update. I don’t think the Liquid IV is a great “everyday” hydration type fluid in that it has a huge sodium content - 500mg. Standard Skratch Sports Hydration is about 380mg and Anytime Hydration about 100mg. However as a sports drink while sweating, or if to replace fluids and electrolytes in the face of dehydration it may be good. It is relatively look calorie with 50 per serving but tastes quite sweet because stevia is also used along with some cane sugar.

I like Nuun, they have a variety of flavors, with or with out caffeine along with daily vitamins.

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In my office the hell part is frozen over! (3 layers on daily trying to keep warm).

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