Why Drinking More Water Is Important

by Mary on March 26, 2010

As I look back on this week, I’m fascinated. It was an interesting week.

Of course there was the mile I ran on Saturday and other Fitbloggin fun, then the kidney stone ER episode, and then the travel fiasco on Sunday that led into Monday morning.  I spent the majority of Monday and Tuesday doped up on pain meds drinking water and  then on Wednesday realized I was pain free. Take that kidney stones! Yesterday was spent researching food and my new dietary guidelines and then grocery shopping, which I will write more about later. Probably a lot more, because the lightbulb that went off over my head yesterday seemed like a really important one. It’s been a week of really high highs and low lows. Emotional and physical rollercoaster indeed.

Because of this week it’s kind of thrown all my schedules off. I haven’t worked out since last Saturday’s awesome 1 mile adventure at Fitbloggin. I haven’t been able to work on my ebook to make sure it will be out into the world by my deadline (good thing it was just my deadline). I haven’t done a lot of things this week that I thought I would be doing this week. That’s okay because I’ve learned a lot about taking care of my body and treating it well. Sometimes things happen that through you off, but as long as you take those situations and learn from them you will end up better for it. That’s what I am trying to do and feel like I am doing with this experience.

Because if you don’t learn from a bad experience and improve somehow, what good is it?

At least that’s my take on it.

So, big lessons to come. But the biggest, most important lesson of all?

DRINK MORE WATER!!

Seriously. That’s it. I’ve been pretty good at drinking enough water most days over the last few years. But there were those days where I let myself get dehydrated. And in high school I think I was dehydrated constantly because I never drank water (or anything at all besides coke). And you know what dehydration gets you?  NOTHING GOOD!

Mild dehydration can cause:

  • dry and/or sticky mouth
  • sleepiness/tiredness
  • thirst
  • decreased urine output
  • muscle weakness
  • muscle cramps
  • headache
  • dizziness or lightheadedness

None of those are particularly good things, are they?  And obviously, as I’ve experienced, dehydration and kidney stones don’t mix… okay, well actually they do, but not in a good way.  Severe dehydration gets even worse and requires medical attention. But most of us are just mildly to moderately dehydrated when it happens and can fix it be consuming more fluids.

What causes dehydration? From the Mayo Clinic website:

If you’re an average adult, every day you lose more than 10 cups (close to 2.5 liters) of water simply by sweating, breathing and eliminating waste. You also lose electrolytes — minerals such as sodium, potassium and calcium that maintain the balance of fluids in your body. Normally, you can replenish what you’ve lost through the foods and liquids you consume, even when you’re active.

But when you eliminate more water and salts than you replace, dehydration results — your system literally dries out. Sometimes dehydration occurs for simple reasons: You don’t drink enough because you’re sick or busy, or because you lack access to potable water when you’re traveling, hiking or camping.

Avoiding dehydration!

Okay, so if we are losing 2.5 liters a day without doing much at all… we need to be replenishing that! Most sources tell you that you need to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Really it’s different for everybody, but that is a good guideline. For instance, for me, I have to drink more water than that. (YAY!)  Apparently relying on thirst during a normal day is enough, but for hot environments and exercise you can’t rely on that and just need to drink.

There is really no reason not to do it. I know most of us don’t. I didn’t all the time. Now I’m done with that and will probably always have a water bottle with me if you meet me. It’s just not worth feeling bad because of mild dehydration when I can prevent it. Prevention is your friend!

Wrapping it up.

That’s my big lesson for the week and my new cause to advocate. Drink your water people. It is good for weight loss, for being healthy, for keeping your body ready for exercise, for preventing all sorts of bad and not fun things.

Now I’m off to enjoy the weekend with my family and friends while I drink my water. Hopefully I will start exercising again too. Have a great weekend…. see you on Sunday for a long overdue weigh in!  :)

{ 31 comments }

1 Lauren @ Eater not a runner March 26, 2010 at 11:30 am

I really need to work on drinking more water….thanks for the reminder :-)
.-= Lauren @ Eater not a runner´s last blog ..veggie queen =-.

2 Jess March 26, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I’m doing a piece on drinking more water too! But from a different perspective. Haven’t finished it yet but YES, I’m glad you’re kicking the kidney stones in the ass :) Drink up!
.-= Jess´s last blog ..Day 52: And the Oscar goes to… =-.

3 Mary March 27, 2010 at 11:43 am

There are definitely different perspectives, but it all leads up to DRINK MORE H20!! Hehe. Let me know when it’s up!

4 M March 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Great post, Im trying to get in more water.

PS: Im having a giveaway, check it out.
.-= M´s last blog ..Giveaway =-.

5 Sagan March 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Great message! The nice thing about fluids is that we can find them in food, too. Eating lots of water-packed fruit and veggies are also included in the amount of fluids we should get each day. And tea totally counts! I get most of my fluid intake from tea, especially during our freezing cold Canadian winter months.

I find it fascinating how when we drink TOO MUCH water, the symptoms are the EXACT SAME as if we drink too little. As always, balance is key… but if we’re starting to feel thirsty, that already means that we’re dehydrated.

You live such a whirlwind life, Mary :)
.-= Sagan´s last blog ..The Living Healthy in the Real World Guide to Budgeting =-.

6 Mary March 27, 2010 at 11:45 am

Very true. For me I need to drink mostly just water by itself, but yes fluid filled food and tea totally counts! That’s especially nice for you guys who choose to freeze yourselves.

Balance is key in everything, isn’t it? Yet so hard to find.

Whirlwind. Yes. Apparently. It’s hard to control! I’m just going with it. :)

7 Dr. Kal March 30, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Don’t forget soups. Soups are a great way to get more water. Eating soup with a teaspoon also encourages slow eating which gives you a chance to enjoy your food and your body a chance to realize when it is satisfied.
.-= Dr. Kal´s last blog ..Obesity In America =-.

8 JourneyBeyondSurvival March 26, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Not only that, water is keeping my kidneys healthy from the dastardly medicine I have to take!
.-= JourneyBeyondSurvival´s last blog ..Booty Guard Dogs =-.

9 Nicole, RD March 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm

It’ll be tough to get in all that water, but it’ll help! Just remember how painful those stones were when you swear you can’t drink another drop!
.-= Nicole, RD´s last blog ..::sniffle sniffle:: =-.

10 Mary March 27, 2010 at 11:45 am

Exactly! Pain isn’t worth it!

11 Lauren March 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I’m trying this new thing at work where I drink 2 ounces of water every time I get an email. For me that adds up to about 80 ounces a day. I’ve been having to pee like crazy but hopefully once my body gets used to it it’ll be better.
.-= Lauren´s last blog ..Monday Weigh-In #4 =-.

12 Mary March 27, 2010 at 11:46 am

That’s great! I drink a little more than that and I pee all the time. It’s crazy. Does the body get used to it and pee less? I kinda hope so. LOL

13 Carol March 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Thanks for the reminder to drink more water. I used to be a water fiend, but I’ve let Diet coke (evil) slip back into my day way more than it should.

I love how you take such a roller coaster week and find the positives in it!

14 Mary March 27, 2010 at 11:48 am

I’m trying. It’s better to stay positive than sit around and cry “why me” … Might as well find the positive and improve. :)

15 Ben (@benjamteal) March 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Great post! I get asked a LOT about what is the one thing you can do to change your fitness/health/weight. And people are almost always amazed when I send them off to drink more water.

I second what Carol said above.

You are awesome for taking the negative and rolling them into positives!

Ben
.-= Ben (@benjamteal)´s last blog ..Tremendous Tricep Workout to Build Muscle Fast =-.

16 Mary March 27, 2010 at 11:49 am

Yes, the water thing is great advice for anyone wanting to be healthier. I think many of us hear it a lot but don’t totally accept that it’s true. But it is!!

Thanks buddy. :)

17 Jenn @ Watch My Butt Shrink! March 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Great post! Nice to read just WHY we need to drink all that freakin’ water!
Have a great weekend – I hope you’re feeling well.
.-= Jenn @ Watch My Butt Shrink!´s last blog ..Muvin’ and Gruvin’ =-.

18 Jody - Fit at 52 March 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm

YES! The important this is we learn from it! I loved that Mary & so true. Whether we lose, gain, fall off & then on again.. LEARN from it! Hopefully we don’t make the mistake too many times or we end up like my Insanity post! :-)

Another thing about hydration… many people think they are hungry & they are actually thirsty!

Hope all continues to get better with your bod! Enjoy your family/friends weekend!
.-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..Low Carb Protein Bar; Low Cal Protein Brownie =-.

19 Mary March 27, 2010 at 11:51 am

EXACTLY. One reason I used to eat a lot is because I was thirsty. I got dehydrated so often when I was in school and would end up eating instead of just drinking a glass of water. (That was back in the day!) Now I’m much better about recognizing thirst vs hunger.

Thanks!

20 beej March 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm

You are so right! Water is essential. I had a nutritionist speak at my work a little while ago, and she called it a macro-nutrient (in the same category as fat, carbs, and protein–things you need a good amount of every day). Interesting stuff…

I’ve always heard that 8 cups a day thing, but recently, I’ve been hearing that it should be 1 cup for every 2 pounds of body weight…that means I should be having almost a gallon a day. Yikes! Good thing I drink about that much…

Have a fun weekend!
.-= beej´s last blog ..Another short one–just the stats =-.

21 Mary March 27, 2010 at 11:53 am

I’m not an expert about anyone’s ratios. I know they recommend 8-10 glasses in most places and I’m supposed to drink a gallon at least a day. So much water! :)

22 Holly March 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I know since i started drinking a lot more water a while back i’ve learned to tell when i’m dehydrated very easily. I get headaches and they go away as soon as i drink water :) I’ve also noticed that it’s amazing how much better you feel just by drinking water. I like to formula of drinking half your weight in oz. It seems to work well for me.
.-= Holly´s last blog ..Re-boot =-.

23 Mary March 27, 2010 at 11:54 am

I used to get those headaches a lot too and they would evaporate once I started drinking water. Amazing how easy it is!!

24 merri March 26, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I drink water and tea the whole day at work. I should drink more water than tea, but i get COLD. and more water at the gym. but its wkends that im bad.. sometimes ill forget to drink much on the weekends. i need to work on that.
.-= merri´s last blog ..Pretty is as pretty does: Part 2 of 3 (why towns arent all that) =-.

25 Darci March 26, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I’ve always known water is important and I’m pretty sure I get my daily intake in, but wow all those bad things if you don’t drink enough!

Sheesh, you’ve had quite the week!!
.-= Darci´s last blog ..Home!!! =-.

26 Mary Lutz March 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Me, my sister and my kids all quote my mother: “Drink more water!”. Anytime we have a headache, a tummy ache, a sore muscle, a sore throat, an itch, a toothache, or were crabby, Mom would say, “Drink more water!” I think she’s right by golly!
.-= Mary Lutz´s last blog ..Love, Love, Lovin’ Veggies!!! =-.

27 Anele March 27, 2010 at 11:02 am

Alright fine, I’ll go get my water! Hmmph! ;-)

28 Mary March 27, 2010 at 11:54 am

LOL. Good job!

29 Chad March 27, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Good reminder! I need to be much more intentional about my water intake. I don’t stay on top of it nearly as well as food.
.-= Chad´s last blog ..Karma: I Hate You… =-.

30 barry March 28, 2010 at 2:20 am

Its a mistake I make myself. Iheard someone say you should keep a litre bottle of water close to your bathroom this way when you go, its there to remind you to fill up again.

Here’s 4 reasons why you should drink more water especially when it comes to losing weight…

1 – Thirst – Sometimes it’s difficult for you to tell the difference between thirst and appetite you may think your body needs more food when in fact it’s just looking for more water. Drink a glass or two when hunger pangs strike and you may be surprised that they disappear.

2 – Liver Function – By staying well hydrated you make it easier for your kidneys to do their job. But if you aren’t drinking enough water you slow down their work which brings your liver more into play to help out getting rid of waste products. This takes your liver away from one of its important role which is fat burning.

3 – Water Retention – By slowing down or limiting your water intake you can cause you body to hold onto more water. This is because your body thinks its going through a time of major stress and needs to survive. Unfortunately, another side effect of this stress is that your body also clings to fat to survive. So, drink more water and take the stress of your body.

4 – Fat cells are made up of a dry mucus-like substance to make them better at storing fat. The more hydrated your fat cells are, the easier it will be to eliminate unwanted fat.
.-= barry´s last blog ..6 Ways To Gain the Willpower to Lose Weight =-.

31 Jenn March 28, 2010 at 9:14 am

When I’m working out heavily or it’s hot I easily drink a gallon a day. Otherwise I drink about 3/4 of a gallon. When I get dehydrated my skin looks older and I REALLY DON’T like that!!
.-= Jenn´s last blog ..Candy. Soda Pop. Fun? =-.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: