Sunday, June 5, 2016

Stop, Drop, and Chug: Are You Drinking Enough?


You've probably heard the statistic that your body is roughly 60% water. Throughout the day, there are many things that make those levels fluctuate: how much you go to the bathroom, what beverages, you drink, and even how much fatty tissue you have in your body. Drinking water is definitely something that I struggle with because I'm not always feeling "thirsty". I did some research and there are many different perspectives on how much water you should drink in a day. So who is correct?

You've probably heard the "8x8 Rule": 8 fluid ounces of water, 8 times a day. But is 64 fluid ounces of water enough water?

Another way to calculate how much water you should be drinking is be dividing your body weight (in pounds) in half. Right now I'm 160 pounds, which means that I should be drinking 80 fluid ounces of water a day. I know that some days I don't drink 80 fluid ounces though, and I usually can sense it.

This month, I am challenging myself to drink 100 fluid ounces a day in order to replenish what I lose, especially on days when I work out. It's starting to get warmer, so I'm sweating more than normal. I am learning how to take care of my body, and staying hydrated is definitely important.

Also, hydration is a crucial part in weight loss... no it doesn't magically make you lose weight, but it does help you control urges to eat. This article at Women's Health Magazine helped me realize that this could be the "boost" that I need to drop a couple pounds.

Ok, I'm not a doctor, but I have noticed and learned some things:

  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. You just slept for (hopefully) 8 hours. During those hours, you probably did not hydrate your body, unless you woke up to get a drink. So you should probably drink water to balance out your fluid levels.
  • Most beverages have some water content, so don't forget to count the water in your coffee, tea, juice, or soda. Yes, it might only be a percentage, but it's better than nothing.
  • Alcohol dehydrates you, but you probably knew this. Make sure that if you are drinking alcohol, that you drink plenty of water before, after and in between to keep yourself from dehydrating. Dehydration is one of the things that can cause you to have a horrible hangover.
  • Your brain might confuse being thirsty for being hungry. Before you go snacking, try drinking a glass of water. Your hunger pains might go away.
  • Bathroom breaks are your friend. I know I hate getting up every 30 minutes to go to the bathroom while I'm at work, but at least I'm hydrated. It also makes me get out of my desk and get some steps in (people who work desk jobs can appreciate this).
  • Know how much your water bottle holds! My SipxSwell (non-affiliate) is 15 fluid ounces. My Starbucks Tumbler is 12 fluid ounces. My stemless wine glass is 10 fluid ounces. Knowing these numbers helps when I'm tracking my water intake. 
  • Get an app to help you. There is literally an app for everything. I use an app called My Water Balance (Apple), which is free. Other apps that I've seen people use are Plant Nanny (Apple/Android) and Waterlogged (Apple). These apps can give you a visual representation of how much you drank and also send you reminders. If you don't have a smart phone, put a tracker sticker in your planner and check off every time you drink.

Also, if you're scared that you might be drinking too much water... you're probably not. Hyponatremia (Mayo Clinic) is what you'd get if you were super extra hydrated, enough to dilute the sodium levels in your blood. It's super uncommon, except in athletes who drink absurd amounts of water like marathon runners. So don't worry, you won't die by drinking 100 fluid ounces of water.

If you ever want an accountability buddy, I'd love to remind you to drink your water. Don't be afraid to tag me on Instagram (@victoria.gets.fit) when you #stopdropandchug!

My questions for you, the reader: How much water do you drink in a day? Let me know in the comments!

4 comments :

  1. I'm with you on the never know if I'm thirsty train!! Such great tips!! Thanks for sharing!!

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  2. Great insight! I've been trying to be better about drinking enough water. Carrying larger water bottles around definitely helps!

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  3. 64 ounces just doesn't sound like enough to me either. I probably do drink 100, but honestly I haven't kept track. I drink 3 or so cups in the morning, 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and a few into the evening. I should actually keep track, especially on workout days.

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  4. awesome post my friend and im the WORST at drinking water! thanks for this!

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