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keeping up with those fluids.......
by Dr. Michael Kane
The importance of hydration is certainly a year round issue.  But most people tend to be conscious of the need for hydration in the summer time when the temperature climbs.
Quality and quantity are two of the most important factors in choosing a hydration beverage. 
The hydration beverage of choice is water of good quality.  There are times when something other then water might be recommended. Specifically with extreme exertion electrolyte or sodium depletion from sweating might resulting in the need for a fluid that replenishes those elements.  Most of us are familiar with that sugar laden electrolyte drink that is ceremoniously poured on team coaches after a big win.  But I would recommend some healthier alternatives. Kudsen makes an electrolyte replenishing drink called "recharge' or smartwater is basically just water with electrolytes. These might be good suggestions for those who are working outside in the summer or after heavy workouts, where excess perspiration is more common.
How much ?
There are a number of factors that should be considered in determining the amount of fluid one should consume.
Your size, the amount you exercise, if your are pregnant or breastfeeding, the climate, if your have a fever or other health issues and how much alcohol you drink.  For an estimation of the amount you can take a quiz at water calculator.
The quality of water is key.  I would recommend having your water tested regularly if you have your own well ( every year for microbes and every two to three for toxins) and if you are on city water I would recommend a filtration system for your drinking and bathing water that removes the chlorine and fluoride. You can also check the current quality reports from your water supplier online at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwinfo/ct.htm
Making what comes out of your tap as good as you can would be the goal and filtration can help you achieve this. 
Cleaning your water with filtration devices matched to your situation would be a better option then buying bottled water as water bottles tend to be made with plastics that degrade and contribute to other health concerns.
Water bottles-
I would recommend a stainless steel water bottle or canteen for a number of reasons.  This would eliminate the need for using plastic water bottles which would be good for the environment and good for you.
We carry a great stainless steel canteen for sale in our offices from "Klean Kanteen". These are made with extremely durable high quality food-grade stainless steel. They come in various sizes and work well for the daily use or even for those back woods camping trips.
What if You just can stomach water.
I have a number of patients who "hate water".  The options for making water more appealing are many.  Adding flavor to water with lemon or with a small amount of juice is an option.  Making an herbal iced tea can also help.  For those who like carbonation you can purchase your own home seltzer machines.
You might have to think to drink.
There are many other people (me being one of them) who can tolerate water but literally do not have thirst.  For us the creating of a hydration habit is often necessary just because the signal to drink is not wired in.  The things that work for me....First thing in the morning is to drink a glass or two of water. The other option is drinking and driving- I recommend having a water bottle (klean Kanteen) filled and ready for the morning ride to work.  The goal being finishing the bottle on the way into work and then again on the way home.
Strategic drinking.
What comes in must come out- the challenge of drinking more is most likely you are going to pee more. For some people this is not an issue but for many of my patients who are teachers this can become a strategic night mare.  So timing your drinking can be critical for limiting the disruption of your work or life schedule.
Schedule your intake accordingly- everyone is different and the time from drinking to peeing will be dependent on a number of factors.  On average 20-30 minutes after drinking your bladder could be full.