How Do You Stay Hydrated?

As a child I never drank water. I would drink milk, juice, and lots of soda…. but never plain water, that was gross!

I became interested in physical health in adulthood and it became clear that water consumption was incredibly important. This isn’t really news, but for someone who never really drank water making the switch was a challenge. Reading how water was important for not just physical performance, but cognitive performance as well helped me understand that my aversion to consuming water might have been contributing to some of the fatigue and mental fog that I was experiencing.

I had already started using MyFitnessPal to track how I was eating and started using their water tracker tool to make sure I was getting enough hydration. It was harder than tracking food because if you’re drinking the goal of 8 glasses a day the idea would be that you track each one as you go. That’s a lot of logging so I would often log them all at the same time at the end of the night, but where was the accuracy there? Another drawback of using their system is that it only specifies that you consume 8 glasses of water, but doesn’t specify how big the glasses should be.

How much water should you drink? Healthline adds to MFP’s 8 glasses a day and specifies that it should be 8 ounce glasses for a total of 2 liters daily. The consensus seems to be that 8-8oz glasses is the baseline amount of water you should drink per day. If you’re working out that number should increase, but how much it should increase depends on how hard you work out.

The past week I have been carrying Penelope, the water gallon pictured, with me to work, class and the gym. I’ve seen Gracie with one in her videos lately and it was something I felt like I should try. I always found reasons not to: a full gallon of water seems like sooooo much, plus it’s heavy, how am I supposed to lug it around everywhere with me? It turns out it isn’t as hard as I made it in my thoughts. Sure, at the beginning of the day the bottle is pretty heavy, but by the time I’m leaving work it’s already halfway gone if not more.

The interactions resulting from me carrying the gallon with me have been interesting. I arrived late to class last Wednesday and the professor lost her train of thought staring at the bottle on my desk. She admitted to the class that she had been distracted and asked me a few questions about what it was and why I was doing it and expressed admiration for my dedication. It was a quick exchange, but it reinforced why I’m doing this and made me feel good. I had a similar exchange at work the next morning that motivated me to keep going.

I haven’t noticed any crazy changes in my health this past week, but I do feel proud of myself for being consistent and I do think I have been slightly less fatigued. I don’t think Penelope will be tagging along with me forever, but I will likely hold onto her for a few weeks while I get used to consuming more water. How do you stay hydrated?

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