For a little over a week now, I have been focusing on hydration. Most of the time I crave water, but some days I get busy and I forget to keep a glass or bottle near me. I also tend to gulp water when I get thirsty. I use Galloway’s run/walk method in order to walk before I get tired while running. Why not use the same theory for my hydration? Drink before I get too thirsty.
There are several recommendations out there about how much water we should get. There’s the old recommendation of eight 80z glasses. The Institute of Medicine recommends 91oz for women and 120oz for men. Those numbers seem a little random to me. The current recommendation from sports medicine experts is for people to drink anywhere from half an ounce to one ounce per pound of body weight. I currently weight about 135lbs, so my recommended intake would be 68oz to 135oz. That’s a big range. I settled on an even 100, which is right in between. I seem to be able to get about 80 oz in on a good day when I’m not really thinking about it. 100 oz is definitely something I have to be mindful of.
The other thing I have been focusing on is spacing out my water. This gives my kidneys a chance to absorb and use the water, instead of overloading my system and just peeing it out before it has a chance to do any good.
So how do you do a hydration challenge?
- Download a water app on your phone. I use Water Your Body. It’s an Android app, so I’m not sure if it’s available on Apple. There’s several others you can use. If you have a FitBit or use MyFitnessPal, there is a water tracker on those apps, so you don’t have to have a separate app.
- Keep water next to you at all times. As soon as I finish a glass, I fill it back up. I try to sip instead of chug a glass.
- Be prepared to pee a lot. I have a tiny bladder to begin with, so I’m used to frequent trips to the bathroom. I will say that you eventually get used to it and your trips may slow down as your body gets used to having a good amount of water in your system.
- Get fun water bottles. At home, I use either a 12oz mason jar or a regular 16oz Tervis Tumbler glass. When I’m out of the house, I use a variety of bottles…small 14oz bottles that fit in my purse, big 32oz bottles to take to longer shifts at work, 20oz Tervis Tumbler water bottles, and my bike bottles while also hold 20oz.
- Only count water. I usually drink two cups of coffee a day and I don’t include this in my water total. I also drank a pop at Chipotle last week and I didn’t count that either.
- Ease into it. You don’t have to start off drinking 100oz. Start at the bottom of your recommendation range and add from there if you want to.
Here’s the Water Your Body app screens. The first one is my daily view. I add a glass every time I drink it. You can see I spaced it out, trying to drink 12 oz about every hour. The middle picture is my report view. You can see my intake have fluctuated a lot in the last week. I hope to level it out this week! And the last picture is one of my favorite features. You can edit all the bottle/cup sizes to fit your favorite water containers!
So why should I drink this much water? The health benefits of water are endless. You can do a google search for yourself, but here are the highlights I have found.
- Boosts metabolism! – This is true for me. In the week that I’ve been doing this, I’m down 1.5lbs and I’m not eating any less.
- Healthier skin.
- Less headaches, more mental clarity. – Your brain needs water!
- Easier digestion.
- Ease of joint pain.
- Better body temperature regulation.
- Increases organ efficiency.
- Reduces bloat. – This seems backwards, but it’s true!
- Boosts energy.
- Decreases calorie intake. Hunger pains can actually be dehydration. Drink water before a meal to reduce the amount of food you eat.
Are you inspired to drink more water?
Do you track your water intake?
Let me know if you decide to do a personal hydration challenge!