Health

Hydration Challenge – Are You Drinking Enough Water?

I don’t like drinking water most of the time. I keep a water bottle with me at work because cashiering and having a million tiny conversations makes me thirsty. Also it helps when I’m feeling hungry to just be able to drink water. 

Are you drinking enough water?

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The water where I am currently living is terrible. It’s full of calcium or lime or whatever it is that leaves white crusties on the sink. Most people in the area buy bottled water and use the water refill machine at our Walmart. Josh and I started out buying water but soon decided it wasn’t worth the effort and we just deal with it. We bought a water filtering pitcher and it kind of helps. 

So basically I just don’t really drink water at home and I don’t drink very much at work. Not really very healthy. 

A few weeks ago I wound up joining this Hydration Challenge hosted by Rachael Matoska who runs a facebook group called “The Virtual Retreat.” It was five days of “How to drink the right amount of water.” 

How Much Water Do You Need?

First you have to calculate how much water you should be drinking. She posted this image which I’m just going to borrow real quick. 

Calculate how much water you should be drinking every day to be healthy and hydrated.

 

According to this calculation, I should be drinking 167 oz of water every day. That’s 20 8-ounce cups of water. Yikes. 

The general rule of water intake is 8 cups of water (64 ounces). There are some who say you should drink half your weight (in lbs) in ounces of water. 

Health Benefits

I’m no doctor but I know I definitely feel a lot better when I’ve had enough water in the day. My joints and skin feel better when I wake up in the morning, my cuticles are way less dry and gross. My mouth doesn’t taste funny. I feel less hungry.

WebMD has a list of 6 Reasons to Drink More Water if you some more technical reasons. 

Take the 5 Day Challenge

Make a commitment to drink your recommended amount of water for 5 days in a row, or at least try to get close. Start as early in the day as you can. Drinking water right away when you wake up in the morning helps jump start your metabolism and rehydrates you after not drinking any water for all those hours you were sleeping and sweating (trust me, you lose a lot of water in your sleep). Find ways to drink water during the day. It’s good to drink water before meals to aid in digestion. 

Try to time it so you don’t wind up drinking a ton of water before you go to bed. It’s no fun having to get up in the middle of the night to pee. 

Thirst Feels like Hunger

I actually read this a while back that when you’re feeling hungry it’s probably because you’re actually thirsty. So if you’re prone to snacking out of hunger pangs try drinking a glass of water and waiting fifteen minutes. If you’re still hungry then you should eat something.

I also read that if you’re feeling thirsty it means you really, really need to drink some water because you’ve skipped over the hunger feelings. 

How to Drink More Water

Keep a water bottle with you at all times and make it visible. Trust me, if it’s sitting on your desk you’re going to drink it. If possible try to get a very large water bottle. This means you have to refill it less often. 

Try a water tracking app, or utilize the water tracking abilities of a health/fitness app you already have. I’m currently using Plant Nanny. It’s available on all platforms and it’s adorable. It must use a calculation similar to the one above because it gives me a water goal of 161 ounces. So every time you drink a glass of water you tell the app and it makes your plant grow. They level up and allow you to unlock other harder to grow plants. The beginning plants allow you to fall short of your water goal without penalty but some of them require you to meet your goal fully or your plant gets sad and dies. 

Plant Nanny Water Tracking App Available on All Platforms

Use the rubber band trick. This is great for water bottle users. Determine how many times you must fill your water bottle to complete your goal. Then put that many rubber bands around the base of the water bottle. Every time you refill move one band up near the top. When you’ve moved all the rubber bands this means you are done for the day. 

Use rubber bands to count how many times you refill.

Get Back Lost Minerals

Okay, this is the part that sounds a little crazy and it might be crazy but it’s working for me so I’m going to go with it. 

The other thing that I learned from Rachel during the hydration challenge was how to make and use Sole (pronounced so-lay). So fancy salts (like Himalayan pink salt) apparently have a ton of minerals in them because they are mined from good salt and not bleached and ruined (like regular table salt). Sole is basically just salt dissolved in water to the point that the water is fully saturated with dissolved salt. Then you add a tablespoon of Sole to your glass of regular water and drink it, therefore, replenishing those minerals. It does taste like salt water, which I apparently really enjoy. This article from Wellness Mama explains it a really well. 

Before you go dumping a bunch of salt into your glass of water take a moment to check out this list of 12 Different Types of Salt. Not all salt is created equal. I use the Himalayan Pink salt. It was relatively inexpensive at my local Walmart. But buying bags of Himalayan pink salt on Amazon is far more cost effective. I 

So after a few days of the hydration challenge, I was getting these horrible headaches which sometimes happen to me when I drink too much water (stupid right, water is supposed to stop headaches). So I figured it must be because I had depleted these minerals. Since I’ve been using the Sole those headaches have gone. I’m not going to argue with something that works. If I had a more well-rounded diet of fruits and vegetables this probably wouldn’t be such a problem, but I don’t really eat that much variety in my food. 

How It Went For Me

The hydration challenge went really smoothly for me (well, except for the day of terrible headaches).  I probably should have tried for some middle ground instead of going from zero to 167 in a day. That’s probably what caused the headaches. I’ve settled on around 120-130 ounces per day in the couple weeks since the challenge. I’m not a morning person and I’ve noticed that I actually feel better when I wake up because I’m not super dehydrated like I was before. I haven’t noticed any other changes like weight loss or clear skin (my skin was pretty good to start with). 

Are you drinking enough water? Take the hydration challenge and find out.

Let Me Know How It Goes For You

Tell me your water intake calculations and if you’re drinking enough water. Do you have any tricks for staying hydrated? 

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