One Month of Proper Water Drinking – Day One

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I’ve decided to test out the theory of drinking the appropriate amount of water each day for one whole month. February seems like the perfect time because it is 4 weeks exactly, making measurements quite easy.

The reason I want to do this is that I seem to always be thirsty, and my energy levels have felt lower over the past year. I also have a hard time falling asleep and then a hard time waking up. I aim to see if water levels can fix this, or at least give me an idea of what it isn’t. I normally drink fairly well, but it’ll be interesting to see how much more water I’ll actually have to drink.

I’ll be updating these posts hopefully once a week to show progress and what I’ve noticed/learned. So check out the bottom of this post for others in this series if they exist!

 

The Math

I’m basing the “proper amount of water” on the theory that you should drink about 2/3 your body weight in ounces of water. The basic calculation that is the most recommended says it should be 1/2 your weight in ounces, with some others saying it should be about 2/3 your body weight in ounces. Some research also suggests that the two-thirds rule is more directed to those in dry climates, or who are more active.
Since its winter here, and fairly dry around, and I am an active person, I’m going with the 2/3 rule.

Since I’m approximately 180lbs, that means that I need to consume 120 ounces of water, which comes to 3.548 litres. Lets just round that to 3.5 litres for easier measurements.

So my daily intake of water should be 3.5 litres.

Now lets factor in something else: Sports/activity.

When we’re active, we lose more water than being sentient, through sweating and just breathing harder. So we have to re-hydrate even more before, during and after the activity.

The recommended calculation for this is 12oz, or approximately 350ml, of water per 30 minutes of activity.

I’m fairly active most of the time, even more so in summer, but since this is winter, it’ll be easier to calculate the times of activity, since its more controlled. During the winter, I play indoor volleyball, squash and ball hockey to keep active. Each of these sports has a different level of cardio, but for simplicity, I’m going to use the average amount and drink the estimated 350ml per 30 minutes of activity. This amount may not be done all during the sport itself, but I’ll try to balance it after.

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So on most days, I’m looking at 3.5 litres of water, plus approx 700ml for every hour of activity on days I play sports. Easy enough.

 

The Process

I’m making up a tentative schedule for drinking water throughout the day. The body can only absorb about 600ml per hour, so drinking has to be spread out. I do want to start and end the day with about 400ml of water, and try to get some in before meals, plus at least 400ml about an hour before any sports. My go-to vessel for drinking during the day is a 500ml bottle, which makes measuring easy. At home, I have a glass that I know is 400ml, and bottles as well.

So essentially, my day will look like this:

7:30am – 400ml (warm with lemon if possible)

10am – 500ml

12pm – 500ml

2pm – 500ml

5pm – 500ml (just before supper)

7pm – 500ml

11pm – 500ml (just before bed)

 

Add in 700 or more ml for if I’m playing a sport that night.

It doesn’t look too hard to complete.

The hardest part is during the day, at the office, where I can lose track of time. To compensate for this, I’ve installed four (yes, four), apps on my phone to track drinking patterns, and send alerts for when to drink. I wanted to try the top 4 free android apps just to see which one is better. So I’m logging the drinking in each app, and will see which gets the best reporting and usability.

To make things easier as well, I’ll try to get on a pattern of leaving a glass out on my counter for an early morning reminder, try to leave a bottle in the car (hard in the winter due to freezing, but a good reminder if it works), and try to use the App alerts instead of just snoozing them.

 

The Measurements

Hydration is hard to measure without full medical support, so I’m going to base progress on a few factors that I can see myself.

First, is energy levels. I want to see if I feel more energetic, if I have more energy during sports, and how I feel after activities.
Second is sleeping. I’ll keep track of how I sleep, and how I feel waking up.
Third, I’ll watch how hydrated I feel. In the winter, I find my lips chapped and my eyes dry (especially wearing contacts). I also find my nose/breathing dry and skin gets dryer faster. So this will be an easy thing to watch.

While these aren’t the most scientific, they are a baseline I can remember and notice.

 

I’m hoping this 4 week experiment will enlighten me (and hence, you), and will show what drinking the proper amounts of water can do.

Follow this blog for updates, or check on Twitter, @explainedhealth

 

Header image by darwin Bell

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