Getting Hydrated

This week, I buckled down and drank 64 oz. of water each day. I know, crazy.

I’ve been down this road before. I’ve lugged my cumbersome water bottle around campus all day trying to stay hydrated, only to forget it in my speech class. I’ve sat at the table with my glass while everyone else has a bottle of soda. I previously went through these trials hoping to clear my skin and make my appetite smaller. But alas, there was one problem. I could not remember to actually drink the water.

So... Does water really cure all?

According to Emerson’s on-site dietician Elizabeth Avery, drinking water reaps many benefits. It regulates body temperature, helps one retain mental acuity, evens out skin tone.

“Water can greatly help with weight loss because many people eat out of thirst instead of drink out of thirst.  Thirst pains and hunger pains feel exactly the same,” said Avery.

Avery explained that 64 ounces is not a one-size- fits-all number. “The right amount of water is dependent on one's age, weight, and activity level.  A 115-pound person requires less water than a 175-pound person, and a 20-year-old requires more water per kilogram than a 65-year-old.” she said.  

Day 1 was an adjustment. I drank 40 ounces of water despite my goal of 64. On any day, I find it hard to eat and drink early in the morning. This challenge made it even more difficult. I forced myself to sip on water while I got dressed, but it felt unnatural. By midnight, I realized I would be going to the bathroom all night if I continued drinking.

Avery recommends carrying a reusable water bottle, or drinking tea as an alternative. She also tells people to drink water with every meal, after physical activity, and on hot days.  

Day 2 was a success! I used my 20 ounce thermos as a form of measurement. I refilled the bottle in the morning, at noon, and at dinner. No miracles occurred overnight, but my skin looked much more hydrated. I felt my body adapting to the increase of water. I used the bathroom less, and I also felt thirsty for more water!

Whenever I was not drinking water on day 3, I was thinking about it. Go figure!

I found that my biggest tool in hydration was my phone. I downloaded an app called, “My Water Balance” to keep track of how much water I was drinking.

By day 4,  I felt very discouraged. My skin had a healthier complexion, but up close I noticed new pimples forming. What? I thought water was supposed to heal my body. I ranted to my mom, who just so happens to be a nutritionist herself. The conversation put me at ease.

“Skin is the biggest organ in the body. Your skin might get worse before it gets better because it is flushing out the toxins,” my mom said.

I also remembered that I am by no means eating healthy. Water will not overcome all of the obstacles I am throwing in its way. It is up to me to lead a balanced, healthy lifestyle.

On day 5 I went home for the weekend, and had a cold tea to break up my week of water. And I spent my afternoon of day 7 at the café Explorateur. Instead of coffee, I had water with my croissant. Although I might have eaten less this week because I was drinking more water, I also made healthier food and drink choices.

Overall, I feel less lethargic and more healthy. I didn’t have any headaches. I also think the water prevented me from getting the illness that plagued the rest of Emerson. I might just keep this up!  

Photo: Public Domain