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At its basic level, hydration is simple. Feel thirsty after a run? Drink something. Heading into an epic meeting? Bring along a water bottle. Despite this simplicity, there's an ocean of misleading information out there that leaves runners confused. Eight glasses a day, or not? Drink before you're thirsty, or only when thirst hits? Does coffee really dehydrate you? Knowing the answers is vital, since hydration is key to your performance. "Water is necessary for every metabolic process in your body," says Penny L. Wilson, Ph.D., R.D.N., a dietitian at Houston's Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute. "It transports nutrients to your cells and takes waste away from them. It's like oil in a car." We dove below the surface of some myths to uncover the facts and make the truth about hydration as crystal clear as the water you drink.
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