When my company announced our newest health and wellness challenge—the Hydrate Challenge, aimed at encouraging us to drink more water—I was up for it.
We’ve all heard the studies about why drinking water is necessary for good health.
How much you’re supposed to drink varies. The United States Department of Agriculture, for example, says people need from just under a liter a day to nearly 4 liters, depending on their age, gender and health.
Adult females need at least 2.7 liters of water daily, the USDA says. That’s a little over 91 ounces of water.
In other words, a LOT of water.
So how did I fare in the company water challenge? Did I guzzle 91 ounces of water a day?
Not even close.
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In fact, I got so discouraged by how poorly I was doing in the challenge that I stopped logging my water intake (apologies to the one other person who agreed to be on my team).
But my best guess is that I was drinking 40 ounces of water on a good day, and much less than that on a bad day (I did worse on the weekends, when having a cold beer with dinner seemed more enticing than boring old water).
As you know from my previous posts, I’m a distance runner, so this is pretty awful.
Runner’s World suggests you drink 16 ounces of water or sports drink an hour or two before you run or race, then drink between 5 and 12 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during the run. Runners should drink sports drinks on runs that take longer than an hour.
Truthfully, the only time I’m really diligent about drinking all that water/sports drink is during a marathon. On shorter races and practice runs, I basically wing it.
While runners rarely experience dehydration that’s bad enough to lead to major health problems, trainer Matt Fitzgerald wrote in Competitor magazine, normal levels of dehydration can make you feel uncomfortable and make you run slower.
So I need to step it up.
Women’s Health magazine has these tips. I already keep a cute water bottle with me—it’s just a matter of continuing to refill it and drink out of it!
How do you make sure you stay hydrated?