To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Good Eats: Hydration and Sports Drinks,” by Erin Zimniewicz Williams, in the October 2010 issue. Article summary: Water is the most abundant compound in the body. It’s used in hundreds of physical and chemical processes—without it, life can’t exist. Water helps to carry nutrients and energy to our body cells; it helps repair and remodel bone and muscle tissues; and it carries waste products away. Water also helps to regulate our body temperature, an important factor when exercising.

• Aim for one-half of your body weight in ounces of water daily for optimal health.

• Don’t wait until you are thirsty before drinking water.

• Drink more than enough water to satisfy your thirst.

• Drink an additional 8 ounces of water at least 30 minutes prior to any sports event.

• About one cup (8 ounces) of cool water every 15 to 20 minutes during an activity is about right for most athletes.

—Erin Zimniewicz Williams, C.N., L.M.P.