Three Simple Ways to Determine How Hydrated You Are

woman in black tank top holding white smartphone while drinking

When you go to the bathroom do you ever look at the color of you pee and resonate with this thought:

As someone who has to work at drinking enough fluid each day, this completely resonates with me.

My super smart friends at Oregon State University put together and educational program for student athletes. It focuses on soccer players but can be adapted for other athletes. I have been using it as an educational tool with my student athletes at Sugar Bowl Academy!

The hydration lesson gives a simple acronym for self assessment of hydration status known is WUT?! Yes, WUT. Let’s talk a look:


Everyone has unique sweat rates, so it is important you know how much fluids and electrolytes you need. On top of that, conditions such as heat, clothing, altitude, and humidity can alter how much a person sweats. If training in different conditions often you will want to determined your sweat rate in each of the variable climates to have an idea of how much fluid to drink during workouts. Here is how to determine your sweat rate:

Weigh yourself before & after exercise to determine how many pounds of fluid you lost. For every pound lost replace with 2 cups of fluid.

If you lose four pounds during your workout you will need to replace that with 8 cups of fluid. You want that fluid to contain sodium as well! Why because you may also loose about 800- 1000 mg of sodium and it is needed for reabsorption, retention, and transport of fluid!


Looking at the color of your urine is the easiest way to tell how hydrated you are during the day. Your urine will ususally be dark in the morning after waking up but after that, it should be light colored Dark yellow means your wastes are concentrated and you should be drinking more. Pale yellow is what you want to see.


Thirst is an excellent indicator during the day when not exercising. When you experience thirst during the day drink water. Durin exercise thirt is an indicator that you are have probably already lost 2% or more of your total body weigh in fluid.

Two-percent loss of body weight from fluid is enough to see a ten-fifteen percent decline in performance! So drink ahead of your workout and then drink six to eight ounces every 15 minutes or so of a sports drink containing some sugar and sodium.

There you have it – WUT – in all its glory. How dam hydrated are you right at this momemt?

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Nutrition Strategist and Registered Dietitian with twenty years of experience creating nutrition strategies that influence and inspire people to accomplish big things.