Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hydration Nation

We all know that water is essential to life.  The human body is made up of about 70% water.  Water is the vehicle that transports nutrients to the rest of your body.  It transports oxygen throughout the body and removes waste produced from cellular reactions.

We lose water from our bodies throughout the day through sweating, urination and also respiration.  So it makes sense that more active individuals need more water than a sedentary individual.  Thirst is a sign of dehydration, but you are already dehydrated way before you start to start to feel thirsty.  A urine with a dark yellow color is also a sign of dehydration.

So how much water do we need?  It varies based on the individual and how active one is.  A good rule of thumb is to divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces of water a day.  If you are active or live in a dry climate you will need to adjust that amount upward.  Does this mean we need to drink that amount of water daily?  No.  Actually, we tend to ingest a fair amount of water through the food we eat, especially if our diet includes a lot of water based fruits (melons, apples, peaches).  Obviously, we need to supplement the water we get from the food we eat by actually drinking water.

Lately, I have found this to be very difficult.  I carry a 32 ounce Nalgene bottle (BPA free of course) filled with water with me to work every day.  When I was training for the Chicago Marathon, I forced myself to drink 2 full bottles while I was at work, and whatever I had at home during dinner and after dinner was a bonus.  During that time I never felt thirsty or had that dry pasty feeling in my mouth.  Best of all I had a lot of energy and rarely felt tired even though I did 4am runs, an hour of weights, then worked on my feet all day for 9 hours.  Now, I probably barely drink 20 ounces of water a day and I notice it.  My skin is dry and my mouth is desert dry.  My urine is not the lemonade color is should be, but worst of all is I am tired.  By the time I get home I am beat.  I notice, too, that my workouts are not as stupendous as they once were and I have more craptastic runs than I do fantastic runs.  I am attributing this to dehydration.  I know I need to drink more so why don't I?  Who knows.  Sometimes I get sick of the taste of water.  Sometimes I am too lazy to refill my cup. All I know is I need some creative ways to sneak in more water to my diet 'cuz what I'm doing now just ain't cuttin' it.

Do you drink enough water throughout the day?
What tricks do you use to incorporate more water in your diet?

As a side note I want to thank my followers for, well, following me.  I have been a blog reader for years and held off being a blog author for a long time.


  1. I usually drink enough water but I do have to make a concerted effort. One thing I found that helps is to get one of those 1.5-liter bottles and drink three of them, like refill it so you'll drink three of em. It's not that bad when you think of it that way. If you have to drink like eight glasses or something, that just seems like a ton.

    And I just filled up my glass and am drinking some water in honor of your post :)

  2. I am with you, it is so tough to get that water in because water is so BLAH! You have inspired me to fill up my water bottle and bring it to work today! Thanks :)

  3. I play a little "game" with myself every day. I fill a water bottle and drink it on the way in to work. It takes 40 minutes so I always need to pee the minute I get here. Then I fill up my bottle again and will not allow myself use of the bathroom until I finish it. I repeat this all day long. And I end my day by filling it one last time and making sure it's drank by the time I get home so I can run inside and pee. :)

  4. I'm trying to get better. I like the new straw cups cause they make me drink more.

  5. I'm guilty of not enough water throughout the day. I try to watch my urine color as a good indicator, but my energy level is the best barometer.

  6. Hi, new follower. Fellow Michigan runner! I try to trick it throughout the day before, during, and after my run. I notice a big difference in my performance when I'm not getting enough.