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Q: I’m pretty active–always working out, playing sports…what will happen if I don’t drink enough water?

A: Whether you’re active or not, water is one nutrient you really have to make sure you’re getting enough of in your diet. Exactly how much water you need in order to perform at your best – especially if you’re superactive – has been hotly debated in recent years. Previous guidelines suggested proactively drinking more water than you’re thirsty for trying to stave off a possible performance-sapping deficit. But a 2013 British Journal of Sports Medicine analysis of 15 published studies suggested that simply drinking to satisfy thirst could be the best way for the active person to stay ideally hydrated. The body is remarkably efficient at figuring out how and where to shuttle excess water to support its daily functions and how to handle the kind of stress it experiences during a long run or a hard workout. Keeping up with your own thirst is a simple way to be certain that you’re staying amply watered-up.