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Being well-hydrated is a must for athletes. 60-70 percent of our bodies are made of water. And, during exercise, our body produces more heat, thus causing sweat to cool us down. When we sweat out our water supply, we must consume more water to keep our core temperature down.

Water has also been proven to aid in weight loss. It helps you feel full while eating less, quenches thirst without adding calories, and allows your body to function at its top capability. 70 percent of our muscles are made of water. Being hydrated helps give muscles that toned, muscular look that so many people desire. Metabolism is a chemical process that requires water, which means if you are dehydrated you will not be burning calories as efficiently, whether you are sleeping or running.

Water is equally important for your skin. Being hydrated will help your skin look (and be) healthy.

And REMEMBER, hydration takes place all day. Start with a big glass of water in the morning. You should drink during your two breaks and lunch at school, and then have a little bit more water before practice. If you are getting cramps, it is most likely because you have lost enough water (weight loss) to begin feeling that negative effect of dehydration.
Effects of Increasing Dehydration on Physical Performance

Body Water Loss Effects
0.5% Increased strain on the heart
1% Reduced aerobic endurance
3% Reduced muscular endurance
4% Reduced muscle strength; reduced fine motor skills; heat cramps
5% Heat exhaustion; cramping; fatigue; reduced mental capacity
6% Physical exhaustion; heatstroke