Using microcalorimetry, we follow changes in the association free energy of β-cyclodextrin (CD) with the hydrophobic part of adamantane carboxylate (AD) due to added salt or polar (net-neutral) solutes that are excluded from the molecular interacting surfaces. Changes in binding constants with solution osmotic pressure (water activity) translate into changes in the preferential hydration upon complex formation. We find that these changes correspond to a release of 15-25 solute-excluding waters upon CD/AD association. Reflecting the preferential interaction of solute with reactants versus products, we find that changes in hydration depend on the type of solute used. All solutes used here result in a large change in the enthalpy of the CD-AD binding reaction. In one class of solutes, the corresponding entropy change is much smaller, while in the other class, the entropy change almost fully compensates the solute-specific enthalpy. For many of the solutes, the number of waters released correlates well with their effect on air-water surface tensions. We corroborate these results using vapor pressure osmometry to probe individually the hydration of reactants and products of association, and we discuss the possible interactions and forces between cosolute and hydrophobic surfaces responsible for different kinds of solute exclusion.