I am a HUGE advocate of hydration and drinking water. I’ve even been borderline anxious/worried about it in the past. When friends and family come to me asking for health and wellness advice, I like to give them a tip they can start incorporating into their day right away. This tip is to drink more water! I often suggest they start their day with a big glass (or two!) of water right when they wake up. This gets everything awake and moving inside your body. I also like to start my day with hot lemon water to get things moving!
Most people are not drinking enough water or getting enough water through the foods they eat. About 80% of our water intake comes from drinking fluids and about 20% comes from the foods we eat (Source). If you’re like the average American, your diet is not very rich with high water content foods. Here’s a colorful visual so that you can choose the fruits and vegetables with higher water content!
Why I’ve Got Hydration On The Brain
Who am I kidding? I always have hydration on my brain BUT I did start a hydration challenge on January 2nd! Healthy Crush’s Jenny Sansouci is drinking roughly 3 liters per day through the end of January. I am doing it too! I recently reposted her challenge on Facebook and received some great, positive responses as well as some concern. The concern was that it might be dangerous to drink so much water. That’s a viable concern so I’ve done my research (and so has Jenny) and here is what I’ve found and what I recommend:
- Water intoxication (hyponatremia) occurs when there is a severe imbalance of water to salt (sodium) in the body. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, confusion, disorientation, muscle cramps or muscle weakness (Source). If you experience any of these symptoms and think you may be experiencing water intoxication, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
- Most cases of fatal water intoxication occur when an individual drinks excessive amounts of water in a short amount of time. Unfortunately this has happened in several cases during hazing and in other extreme contests, etc. Example: 6 liters within 3 hours.
- I recommend you assess how much water you’re already drinking and challenge yourself to drink even more. If you drink only a glass a day, up it to 3 glasses. If you are already close to drinking the 2 liters of water a day that is typically recommended, you may want to join me in drinking 3 liters a day!
We are all unique homosapiens and require different things, foods, amounts when it comes to the health of our bodies. Bio-individuality, one of the biggest principals I learned at IIN, states that there is no one-size-fits-all diet or way of caring for our highly unique bodies. Whenever you are trying anything new to become a little healthier, happier, or stronger keep in mind that YOU know YOU the best. Tap into how you are feeling in your body and in your mind. Any red flags? What feels good? What changes have you noticed recently?
- Pay attention to how your body is feeling.
o It will tell you what you need to know. Are you feeling thirsty, tired, or suffering from a headache? Is your urine a dark yellow color? You may already be dehydrated. Drink more water.
o If you are drinking what feels like a lot of water, are you feeling overly full or nauseous? Is your urine consistently clear and are you constantly running to the bathroom? You may want to cut back on the amount of water and rate at which you’re consuming it.
o It’s okay if you are going to the bathroom every hour or so and if your urine is such a pale yellow color that it’s ALMOST completely clear. It’s also okay if you’re going to the bathroom a little less frequently and if your urine is slightly more yellow. Either of the extremes (consistently clear water and constant urination or dark yellow urine and infrequent urination) are not good and could cause an imbalance in your electrolytes or result in severe dehydration.
- Drink water gradually throughout the day.
o When you first wake up, drink 1 to 2 glasses of water. I measured that I generally pour about 12 ounces into the pint glasses I drink out of. That’s 24 ounces right off the bat to rehydrate you from several hours of sleeping, breathing, (maybe?) sweating and not drinking any water.
o Check in with yourself every hour. Have you taken some sips of your water bottle yet? If not or if you’re feeling thirsty, drink a few ounces and check in with yourself again in an hour.
- Water intake recommendations vary depending on body weight, pH level, activity level, and whether you are male or female among other things such as your diet. The more you weigh, the more active you are, the more water your body will tend to require. I found a hydration calculator or 20 but they all seem to recommend somewhere between 2-3 liters per day as a female of my build and activity level.
- A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces and add 8 ounces per half hour of exercise per day. So if you are a 150-pound female who exercises 30 minutes per day, it is recommended that you drink 83 ounces of water (~2.5 liters).
o If you don’t like water, my head just exploded but I understand a lot of people don’t like the taste. WHAT!? It tastes like nothing!!! Feel free to include herbal teas in your count for the challenge and add a lemon slice or some fresh berries to your water. You can add ice and straw if that helps or just drink room temperature plain. Whatever you need to do, DO IT! Do NOT add sugary sweeteners, processed powders or flavors or think that you can drink soda and sugary from-concentrate juices and count that towards your water consumption! I won’t get into it now but sugar is dehydrating and can make a whole slew of things out of whack.
Quality of Your Water
The quality of your water is also important and so I urge you to check in and see if your tap water is safe to drink. Run your tap water through a filter even if it’s okay to drink. I recommend the Soma. I have been using it for several months and absolutely love it. It is a sustainable product and they donate TONS of money to a great charity called charity:water that helps those less fortunate to get access to clean drinking water.
To receive a $10 discount for yourself & for Soma to donate $10 on your behalf to charity:water, click here: http://drinksoma.com/d1763
I hope you’ll all join me for the rest of January in this hydration challenge! I’ll be using the #hydrationchallenge hashtag when I check in later this month so join me in doing that as well! Feel free to make it your own whether it’s to drink 3 glasses of water per day or 10! You will be amazed at how good, energetic, sharp, and clear-headed you will feel! You might even notice you have less cravings and make healthier choices. Your digestion may start running more smoothly, your skin glowing, and your mood improving!
Comment below if you have any questions about water consumption or hydration. If you have any concerns for yourself regarding drinking more water, please consult with your doctor.
Now go pour yourself a cold one! ;-)
Resources: Is your drinking water safe?: http://water.epa.gov/drink/local/index.cfm Soma Water Filters & Carafe: http://kriscarr.com/blog-video/sustainable-water-filter/ To receive a $10 discount for yourself & for Soma to donate $10 on your behalf to charity:water, click here: http://drinksoma.com/d1763 Charity:water : https://www.drinksoma.com/giving https://www.charitywater.org/ Water Consumption Recommendations: http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2004/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-Water-Potassium-Sodium-Chloride-and-Sulfate.aspx Healthy Crush: http://healthycrush.com/30-day-hydration-challenge/ http://healthycrush.com/is-it-possible-to-drink-too-much-water/ Hyponatremia: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000394.htm Nuun Electrolyte Tablets: http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=nuun+electrolyte+tablets&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=6694098191&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=70617600602642645&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_1axp3rcwpp_b