Most folks in the Denver area are pretty good about staying hydrated. Most restaurants I've visited automatically bring water to the table, great for the tourists unaware of how dry it can be at altitude.
The reason I've brought up the subject is more focused at the weekend warriors and aspiring young athletes who may not be aware of the importance of drinking water. Consuming plenty of fluids is important but not as important as choosing water above all else. Gatorade, Powerade and the like are all nice but they aren't as effective as plain old water! These alternatives are loaded with sugars that can impede water absorption of muscle tissue. "Yeah but they have electrolytes" is what some might say! Yeah and thats what those multi billion dollar companies would have you believe is needed. Not true. Who knows what an electrolyte is? EXACTLY!! Just a fancy word for sodium and potassium, the two elements responsible for cell action potentials. Trust me when I say we all have plenty of those two in our system!
Some might suggest you need the sugar to provide energy to compete. Wrong again! any energy stores used for competition were secured 24-72 hours prior to competition. The exception being the ultra marathon types that are going for 4+ hours. Any carbohydrates (sugars converted to energy in the body) consumed during competition have minimal effect of performance. Its the carb loading and hydration done the 2 days leading up to the event that make the difference!
For those of you in two-a-days going on in the heat of the summer, Salt pills and bananas don't cure cramps on the spot. Salt pills can actually make things worse! If your prone to cramping during fitness you're not drinking enough water. Regardless of what the coaches say, just keep drinking water! Before, during and after practice, water should be your only drink during this 2-4 weeks of intense exertion in the summer heat.
I know water isn't flashy or super tasty, I've actually had people tell me they don't like the taste of water. I don't even know what to say to that!? I'm a big fan of the old saying "Keep it Simple Silly" (K.I.S.S.). When you keep it simple things work like they are meant to with fewer complications. Oh and while I'm at it, The energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster are the absolute worse thing for you before a competition! Excessive water, 8+ hours of sleep and quality food are the 3 best things for anybody serious about competing! And yes, I'm aware its not necessary to do these things but if you're serious and in it for the long haul, its the only sustainable means of accomplishing what you want as an athlete! Cheers