Proper hydration is a need not reserved for pre-season two-a-days or Friday night games. Water is responsible for regulating internal temperature, transports oxygen and nutrients, and aids in important metabolic processes. As an athlete, you must drink at least a gallon of fluid a day, preferably just plain-old water. Do your best to avoid liquids that actually cause dehydration like coffee or soda.On intense training days, this need increases due to water loss through sweating. In addition to normal intake, you should aim to consume 1-2 cups of water immediately before exercise, and continue to drink water throughout the training session (every 10-15 minutes). If you wait until you’re thirsty to drink, it’s too late. Driving your body without water is like driving your car without oil. If you wait too long to fill up your oil, your engine will seize.