Water You Waiting For?

Water is A-mazing, y’all. No, really. It’s basic biology-cells need water to function at maximum capacity, drink enough water and they function GREAT. Adequate hydration has been linked to everything from weight loss (because it helps boost that metabolism, makes you feel fuller, half the time you think you’re hungry you’re actually probably thirsty…) to the skin fountain of youth (har har). I always kinda did the pee test for hydration. You know, dark and stinky=drink more, light or clear=fully hydrated. The problem is, for me anyway, I’d just yo-yo around. Oh no, I’m dehydrated *chug chug chug* ok now I’m fine *avoid water like a cat* oh no, I’m dehydrated again! And repeat.

It came as no surprise to me that drinking the correct amount of water was highly encouraged in the coaching group I joined, and, I admit, I somewhat smugly figured I was doing just fine since I avoided coffee and soda already so usually if I was drinking something it was water. But then I actually started keeping track of my water intake, like, really keeping track-and I was falling woefully short.

So I filled up an empty gallon jug and made it my goal to drain the thing by the end of the day. I made it three quarters that first day, and by day three I had finally managed a full gallon. The difference was startling. I had SO MUCH energy. Like, whoa. My husband even commented on it, something to the effect of, “Man, screw 5 hour energy, you just need to drink a gallon of water apparently.” It was great, guys, fantastic.

Are you waiting for the “but”? Yup, there is one.

BUT the recommended daily water intake is your weight divided in half translated into ounces (plus or minus for things like activity level, heat index, etc.). So if you’re 100lbs, you should drink 50 ounces, 200lbs=100oz, 300lbs=150oz, etc., etc. Well, a gallon is 128 ounces. I’ll give you a hint- I do not weight 256 pounds. I was drinking WAAAAYYYY too much. By the following week I was having random dizzy spells and shivery weakness. The answer to the question, “is it possible to overhydrate?” is “yes”, ha. I backed off, but still kept track, and now I get the energy without the weirdness.

I’m telling you this because you should intentionally drink more water. Seriously. Anyone ever heard the recommendation that to maintain a healthy weight you should make sure you get enough sleep? As the mom of two small kids, I HATED that recommendation, especially when dealing with a newborn. Every time I read another article about the benefits of sleep I wanted to chuck my tea mug at the computer. I always felt like they were accusing me of not making sleep a priority (mama bear hormonal rage didn’t help) when I would give almost ANYTHING to sleep a solid stretch of time greater than 3 hours. The point is, sleep is still something of which I haven’t been able to get “the recommended amount” because-kids. Water intake, however, is much more manageable. So DO IT.

Email or facebook message or comment or whatever if you’re interested in doing a “water challenge”. It’d basically be calculating your target water intake and trying to meet that goal for five days straight. I know lives are busy and worrying about your water level is probably low on your priority list, but the thing is, if you can do it for 5 days you can eventually do it for 10 days, and then 20, then a month, and soon you won’t be thinking about it, you’ll just be used to it and it is so very good for your overall health! And THAT is the end game.

Here’s a link to a WebMD article about water and the benefits. There is so much information on the importance of hydration, but this is a good general place to start.