My teens and I have registered for Run or Dye – a colorful 5K run. How could I resist? My son and I both have some big obstacles to overcome with this goal, but we’re determined to train hard and do our best.
One of the more important things is to make sure we’re well hydrated as we train, and for the actual run. Now, I’m the type of gal who would reach bedtime and realize I hadn’t had any water that day, not even a sip. Yikes. In fact, recent bloodwork showed I am pretty dehydrated. My naturopath said it would take about three weeks of being a faithful water drinker to rehydrate.
According to my naturopath, a good rule of thumb is to drink about half your weight in water. Example: my son weighs about 90 pounds, so he needs to drink about 45 ounces of water.
On days where you are more active or it’s hot out, you’ll need to up your water goal accordingly.
I’ll give you some tips that have taken me from barely drinking to drinking 60 ounces easily. A heads up: you will be visiting your bathroom more often, but your body will adjust.
Room temperature or cool water – I used to “need” a lot of ice in my water. But I’ve found that I can drink a lot more water if it’s at room temperature or slightly cool. Try it!
Measure out your water – I use a quart size jar with a plastic lid (found in the canning section), and I fill it first thing in the morning. Now I know there are 32 ounces in a quart, but when I measured it out to the level I stop at, it was only 30 ounces. Go figure. So I know if I drink two of these a day, I’m getting about 60 ounces which is my personal goal.
Drink a glass first thing – After I fill my quart size jar, I use it to fill my glass (I use small 10 oz jars for water glasses). I drink it down first thing. It takes me a few minutes, and I’m usually puttering in the kitchen while I work on it, but it’s done within 10-15 minutes.
Set mini goals through the day – As I mentioned, my first goal is to drink glass number one down first thing. My second goal is to drink two more glasses (and thus complete my first quart jar) by around lunch time. My next goal is to drink two more by dinner, and my last glass by bedtime.
If I’m more active or it’s a warm (soon to be hot) day, I naturally drink more as needed now that I’m accustomed to this routine.
Use filtered water – There is a lot of information out there about filtering water, and it can get a bit crazy. For me, if it’s filtered, and I like the taste, I’m good.
I read about various water filter pitchers, and ended up buying the Brita Pacifica Model. I like the taste much better than my Pur brand pitcher. Plus, it’s much cheaper than buying water bottles or higher priced systems. I like simple and inexpensive.
I keep the Pur around so we have enough water for everyone, and because the kids apparently don’t have my finer water tasting palate aka picky water snob taste buds.
There are differing opinions on whether a person should include coffee, tea, or sodas in their water count. This is something you will have to decide for yourself. I don’t drink coffee, I rarely (and I mean RARELY) have soda, and I drink tea here and there mostly herbal. I do know some herbal teas can act like a diuretic.
I’ve chosen to not include these in my water count. Simple, refreshing water is my only count. Anything from fruit, soups, teas, etc. are bonus fluids in my book. This way I don’t have to worry about anything, but counting my two jars of water.
Some people suggest flavoring your water with lemon or other fresh veggies/fruits. This might be nice on occasion, but I don’t have the time or budget for this on a daily basis. When it comes to water: Just. Drink. It. Get it down. Get hydrated.
Cut yourself some slack. It takes time to build a new habit especially if you are a water slacker like I was. Keep at it, and it will become easier. Before long, you’ll wonder how you made it on so little water before.
There are so many wonderful reasons to drink water. I won’t get into them here because a quick google search will bring up a lot of information.
You may want to keep a simple chart to track your water as you start out. Remember, it takes three weeks of consistent getting your allotment down to rehydrate. My calendar starts the day after my naturopath told me about the three weeks. If I miss a day, I’m starting my three weeks over. Just a personal goal of mine. You’ll also see I marked July 13 – Run or Dye Day! Woohoo!
Bonus tip: Did you notice the hair band on my jar? I bought some hair bands a while ago and we use these to distinguish our glasses from each other. I don’t have one on my small jar because I am the only one who uses a lid on the smaller jars. The kids have to leave theirs in the kitchen whereas I take mine all over the house. No more kids fighting over who has what glass.
Bonus tip 2: I remove the bands, and put yesterday’s glasses in the dishwasher each morning. Then I pull out clean jars for the day, and the small jar that holds the bands. The kids pick new bands and put it on their jar for the day. Since I started doing this, we don’t have more glasses than people littering the counters.
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