For athletes, proper hydration is as important as proper form. It's not optional; it's critical if you want to perform at your best. That's why the sidelines of professional sports teams are littered with water bottles, jugs and paper cups. But no longer are water bottles the same leaky squeeze-and-sip variety you used in high school. Whether you're working on your layup or training for a half-marathon, these five innovative water sources are the ultimate when it comes to taming your thirst.
1. Fire & Ice from Nathan ($12)
For Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder types, Nathan's Fire & Ice bottle handles the hard stuff as well as you do. Pam Reed, ultrarunner and winner of the Badwater Ultramarathon ("the world's toughest foot race"), is a fan of the double-walled, easy-squeeze bottle that stabilizes liquid temperature in the most brutal conditions -- and keeps liquids cooler longer. When it's time to quench your thirst, the high-flow, soft-sip nozzle delivers the goods with taste-free technology. The soft-grip cap goes on and off easily -- even when your hands are sweaty. On the exterior, the never-wear reflective fabric offers 360-degree visibility at night.
2. Shades from Vapur ($9.99)
The Anti-Bottle is the perfect size to keep you hydrated, but also can be easily stowed in a purse, backpack or gym bag when filled or collapsed down. The new Shades collection lets you sip in style with its rainbow of colors. Like all Vapur Anti-Bottles, the Shades group is washable, freezable, BPA-free and made right here in the U.S. The Anti-Bottle is used by women on the Vapur Pro Team, including Anna Levesque -- a professional kayaker and yogi who is a former member of the Canadian freestyle whitewater kayak team.
3. Camelbak Podium Chill ($12)
Ahhh, this bottle's self-sealing Jet Valve allows you to drink your water -- not wear it. The Garmin-Sharp pro cycling team, which has CamelBak as its official hydration sponsor, uses Podium bottles in training and during races. Here's why: Double-wall construction keeps water cold twice as long as typical sports bottles, yet keeps warm beverages warm during cool-weather rides. The lightweight, easy-squeeze bottle delivers just the right flow to quench your thirst plus the BPA-Free TruTaste polypropylene with HydroGuard lets you taste water, not your bottle.
4. Hydracoach ($29.99)
With tech, everything is getting smarter, so why not this sports staple? Billed as the world's first interactive water bottle, the one-of-a-kind Hydracoach lets you calculate, track, pace and motivate toward your daily hydrations needs. The "intelligent" bottle provides a recommended daily hydration goal; highlights fluid consumption per hour; calculates fluid consumed throughout the day and has a timing feature that reinforces proper hydration pacing.
5. BlenderBottle ($14.99)
The new Sport Mixer is suited for on-the-go convenience while doing double duty as a water bottle and portable mixer capable of providing smooth, lump-free nutritional drinks, meal replacements, electrolyte supplements, fiber powders and smoothies. It works with the BlenderBall -- essentially a circular wire whisk -- that you drop into the bottle before you shake to combine ingredients. The popular bottle is used by a growing number of sports teams, including the Brazilian national soccer team and the New York Jets.