Is Water Killing You?
No it’s not killing you, in fact, the opposite. Read on.
You’ve heard it a million times before, “Drink water.” But the issue is always how much and how do I remember to drink enough water throughout the day. Lately the internet has been swarming with viral videos of water pH balance and the effects of drinking a sufficient amount of water over a thirty day period, so we wanted to give you a rundown of our bodies favorite liquid.
On a day-to-day basis, here at Courthouse Club Fitness, we see people not dehydrated, but not fully hydrated. When fully hydrated, skin becomes more “springy,” muscles and joints are better lubricated, we don’t feel as hungry or tired, and organs function better, among many other things. According to Trent Nessler, Managing Director of Baptist Sports Medicine in Nashville, “being even 1% dehydrated can cause a significant drop in metabolism,” meaning that all that dieting we do is not as effective when we don’t have enough water. He continues to say that the body has a very difficult time differentiating between hunger and thirst, so grabbing a drink of water compared to a snack may help get rid of that hungry feeling.
How much is enough? The rule for years has been 8 cups a day; however, with the evolution of science, dietitians have found that it’s not enough for optimal body function. There are many factors that determine how much water you should drink. It depends on variables such as diet, weight, activity level, alcohol consumption, environment, or even if one is pregnant. The general guideline now is 1 ounce of water for every pound of body weight. The easiest way to find this is to multiply your weight by ⅔, which will give you roughly the amount of water you should drink (Example: 130 lbs x ⅔ = 87 ounces; or 130 lbs x 2 = 260/3 = 87 ounces).
The most challenging part of drinking water is remembering to drink water. Now that you know how much you should drink, try to figure out how many “bottles” that equates to, this will make it easier to keep track of your water intake. If you have a 25-ounce bottle and need to drink 100 ounces, it’s easier to remember to drink 4 bottles in a day than 100 ounces. Many people employ different methods to remember, here are some of my favorite:
Have a giant bottle or a gallon jug. A gallon holds 128 ounces, which will cover most people’s daily water requirements. Beer Tap Houses sell large thermoses that can be used for water, but you can also find inexpensive versions at discount stores like TJ Maxx or Ross. If using a plastic gallon, mark the times of day on the container as an extra challenge.
Have one bottle for every bottle you need to drink. This can be a lot to carry, but if you don’t like carrying a huge water bottle, keeping a few in your car or at home can ensure you drink enough.
Use a tallied marker system. This be anything from a notepad, to an app, to a sophisticated Rube Goldberg machine that tracks the amount of bottles drank. Check off or write down when you drink water to know where you are in your daily water intake requirement.
Use an App. Apps like “My Water Balance,” “Daily Water,” or “Hydrate Daily” are free and easy to use. They offer alerts and allow you to easily check off how much water you’ve drank. Let technology be your friend.
One other way to get your water is to trick yourself into looking forward to your water. Infusing water is not like pouring Kool-Aid into a glass, infusing your water means putting fruits and vegetables that blend well into your water, effectively leaching out the nutrients and subtly infusing the flavor. One I highly recommend trying is plain ole’ cucumber. It simply leaves the water tasting fresh and clean. Cucumber even contains awesome nutrients and antioxidants, way more than you would think from such a watery vegetable. Cut it up and put in the water… piece of cake.
Are you bad at drinking water? We know you know how, water in mouth, right? But keeping up on drinking enough water can be hard. Remember that habits form in 30 day increments. This applies to every habit but in this case use that knowledge for water. Tell yourself you are doing a 30 day challenge, tell your friends, and hold yourself accountable. Even if you don’t continue as rigorously after the 30 days, I bet you will form new habits of drinking more and feel a lot better.
Have you tried a 30-day water challenge before? How did you feel? Let us know below!