Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Why My Dumbass Should Drink More Water

If you are Facebook friends with me, you may have watched me bitch about drinking water.  I am not a fan of water these days (for the last year and three months, in fact -- since I started this "new" job).  I don't know why.  My poison of choice is Vitamin Water (energy -- the yellow one -- because it has the tiniest bit of caffeine and it's the only yummy flavor).  I try to limit those to one per day though (and actually feel sick if I drink more than two).  I don't drink sodas very often.  No coffee.  Rarely tea.  Never iced tea.  Very rarely alcohol.  I should be drinking water.  And a lot of it.  If the rumors are true, and you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water, I should be drinking well over 100 ounces a day. 

But I don't like it.  I don't want to drink water.  It's has become a full time job making myself choke down even half of what I should be getting on a daily basis.  So I am DEHYDRATED.  It's painful and no fun and yet still, I fight myself on this every single day.  

I sometimes add Mio flavoring to my water, but I wonder what all those chemicals are doing to me.  I do love adding cucumbers.  But my store was completely sold out of cucumbers this week!  They didn't even have the expensive organic ones!!  

So I thought I would remind myself why water is so important.

Let's first start with some symptoms of dehydration:
  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output — no wet diapers for three hours for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness 
Oh wow, that sounds pleasant.  I should totally continue depriving myself of water!

Now here are some fun facts:

~ To function properly, a human body requires between 1-7 liters of water per day.

~ In 2004, the Food and Nutrition Board recommended that women should consume 2.7 liters of water and men should consumer 3.7 liters of water per day. 

~ Area fitness experts recommend that 17-20 ounces of water should be consumed 2-3 hours before exercising.

But really, how much water should YOU drink every day?

Here's that calculation I mentioned above:

"The first thing you need to do is calculate how much water your body needs at rest. That's working at a desk, puttering around the house, reading and doing all of the other things you do throughout the day. This is your bare minimum water requirement – what your body needs to function.

The basic equation for determining this is by dividing your body weight in half. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you would need 100 ounces of water per day if you're not doing anything strenuous. If you're working out, hiking, at a high altitude or outdoors a great deal, you're going to need to add to those 100 ounces."
 
 "When you don't get enough water, every cell of your body is affected. When you sweat, you lose a lot of electrolytes, including sodium, potassium and chloride, which are essential to your body's functions. Pretty much all of your cellular communications revolve around sodium and potassium, including muscle contractions and action potentials. This is why you'll often get a cramp when you work out without proper hydration."

And how do you know if you're getting enough water?

"The easiest way to know if you’re drinking enough fluid is to look at the color of your urine. If you’re drinking enough water, your urine will be clear or pale yellow. A darker yellow means you aren’t drinking enough water.

People who drink enough water also usually have soft bowel movements. Hard bowel movements or constipation can be signs that you aren’t getting enough water."

I personally also notice I'm not drinking enough water if I put a hair rubberband around my wrist and the indent stays there for hours after I've removed it.

I have always wondered if electrolyte-infused water like Smart Water would help me.  I don't really like Gatorade.  Maybe it's the sodium but it makes me sick (Vitamin Water has similar calories and it doesn't make me sick, so I don't think it's the sugar).  I am a pretty sweaty person but I haven't been beastly sweating lately.  It has been pretty cold, so unless I'm in a crazy spin class, I'm only moderately sweating.  So maybe if I were to drink electrolytes when I don't need them, I would just throw off my body more.

Anyway, I am curious about how you "force" yourself to drink water if you aren't excited about drinking it.  Do you like adding fruit?  Tell me your tricks!   I have to stop doing this to myself!

8 comments:

  1. Funny you should write this... I just wrote about water too, I think it's scheduled to post in a few days. Anyways, I hated drinking water when I was in Peace Corps because it was always warm and I had to drink so much to stay hydrated in the hot Ghanaian sun. Mostly I just went for chugging it quickly to get it over with, especially in the mornings when I first woke up, and maybe again in the hot part of the day. Kind of like brushing your teeth- just get it over with. Anyways, good luck.

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    1. Thanks! I've been getting enough in for the last week or so. It's definitely a struggle still but it's a necessary "evil."

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  2. I'm one of the weird people who has always loved the 'taste' of water.It's my beverage of choice actually. Ive been that way since I was a kid. However getting myself to drink enough can sometimes still be hard. I found that since I got a water bottle that is easy to drink out of, I have been carting it around with me everywhere I go. I ten to sip from it frequently and stay more hydrated. I know some co workers who made their own 'vitamin' water by adding different fruit and letting it chill in the fridge.

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    1. Before I had this job, I had no issues getting water in. Maybe I'm punishing myself for being unhappy here. lol I got some cucumber to add, which I love. I also bought a different bottle for work so I can't use the excuse that I left my bottle at home. I'm making a goal to get 16 cups (128 ounces) every day. Most days I'm hitting it. But damn, I feel like I'm going to float away!

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  3. I won't even "like" water unless I do some major mind of matter shit that I'm personally not interested in. What I do sometimes is play tricks on myself or give myself rules. So with water, I made it a rule that before I could have my coffee or tea or juice, I would have to drink one glass of water. I'd gulp that shit down just to get to my lemonade quicker. And when that got too easy, I made it a rule that I had to drink 2 glasses of water before my coffee or juice or whatever. Usually by the 2 glass of water, I didn't want the other beverage any more. Also, at home, I no longer buy juice or any other beverage. I only keep water in my fridge unless I have guest coming over. Then I'll buy lemonade. Oh and I always have tea.

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    1. Yeah I get up first thing and drink two cups before I do anything else. Then I have a cup of unsweetened almond milk in my protein shake (so you best believe I'm counting that as cup three). Making a goal to hit 16 cups a day. It's a damn full time job!!!!

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  4. Ha. I've always loved water. I grew up with terrible eating habits for the most part but I never had to be forced to drink water. Have you tried electrolyte tablets? That might help. I usually use Nuun. They come in various yummy flavors that may make a water hater more likely to drink.

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    1. I haven't tried them...but I wonder if I need them or if they would throw my system off???

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