Here in San Antonio the weather has changed. It’s gone from winter to spring pushing into summer. If you are like me the weather change bugs me. Maybe I’m getting old or global warming is really working (probably the first), but heat has been bothering me more and more. One of the biggest factors I can control, drink water. In today’s age of modern drinks, drinking water is hard for me. I’m a Monster addict. I’d rather drink one of them then water. While it’s wet, it doesn’t quite have the same effects in my body.
My point is, drink water! Sounds easy, but is it? And how much water should you drink? Lets start with the crap out there. Just drink eight 8-ounch cups of water. I cry BS! This is for someone that sits in an air conditioned office all day and doesn’t do anything but go home and watch TV. Do you do anything else? Then drink more!
The other crap I’ve heard “Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day, because all fluids count toward the daily total.” (The Mayo Clinic) is totally worthless too. If I drank 64 ounces of Monster a day and nothing else I’d die! So their claim is BS.
What should you drink? Water. Pretty simple. How much? If you do nothing and plan on doing nothing your entire life, drink your eight glasses and be happy. If you are like most people you have weekend plans (I have a firearms course this weekend). So I need to drink more water. The more activity the more you need to drink. If it’s hot and you are physically working you can drink up to 32 ounces of water an hour for every hour you are awake. No it won’t kill you, I’ve done it many years of my life.
It also takes the body three days to become hydrated again. Most people walk around drinking lattés instead of water and therefor walk around in a partially dehydrated state. To fix this it takes three days of drinking water. Your goal should be 1 Gallon (128 ounces) to re-hydrate yourself.
How do you know if you are properly hydrated? Let your pee be your guide. Here is a good chart to check the color of your urine.
The amount you use the bathroom is also a good guide. If you have to pee every hour on the hour, you are well hydrated; anything else and you could stand to drink a little more water.
Common mistakes about hydration and how to avoid them:
- Eat food! People forget to eat when it gets hot and you start getting dehydrated. You don’t have to eat a lot, but a snack is a good idea.
- Drinking Gatorade. You can use sports drinks but it should be at no more then a 1 to 1 ratio with water. I’ve found that drinking 1 bottle of water and then 1 bottle of Gatorade was like drinking 3 bottles of water. I use Gatorade in the desert when it’s so hot you don’t think you can drink enough water.
- Pound water! You should be drinking water all day, not just a bunch at one time.
Easy cheats for you:
- Drink a sports drink every 3rd bottle of water to help get you hydrated.
- If you are dehydrated, eat a peace of fruit that is juicy, like an orange. It works great to bring you back from the brink and has worked for me many times
- Start setting goals and have water handy. If it’s there, you’ll drink it. If a soda is there, you’ll drink that.