More Not Less Fluid Challenge

The fruit and veggie challenge may be complete (or you can start now) but I hope you are now inspired to continue to prioritize them each day. If you found it difficult or stressful to get more in, myself or a registered dietitian near you can help. Our job is to help you find easy ways to change your habits and make healthy work for you. While it does take effort to change your habits, it shouldn’t seem impossible.
On to the next challenge: WATER!

I am currently in Italy and have thus far found it challenging to find bottled water to keep around. In our first tired {overnight flight w/ little sleep) 24 hours, we felt the effects of it, too. When I don’t get enough fluid I feel low on energy, bloated, and get headaches. I know others experience these same feelings and past that, fluid intake impacts arthritic symptoms, exercise capacity, recovery from training and sleep.
These things mean that drinking enough water has many benefits (get my free e-hydration guide)!

  • Improved energy levels
  • Enhanced sleep
  • Less fluid retention and bloating
  • Better digestion and GI health
  • Increased mental clarity
  • Lower inflammation in joints

You don’t have to give up coffee, but you should try to get your energy from healthy food and adequate water as much as possible. Again, I’m in Italy now so while I’m drinking my coffee, it’s not what I am relying on for energy all day and I try not to do that at home either. I’ve already written about the detriments of too much coffee but the biggest problem I see with over consumption of it is underconsumption of water and more hydrating beverages.

So how much water should you drink? This varies for everyone based not only on body weight, but also body composition (how much muscle you have), individual sweat rate, and daily activity. For example, in my profession I am often standing and talking. I need much more fluid to feel well than another female of my body size who may have a seated job with little conversation.
While I can make more indiviudalized fluid recommendations for my clients, especially athletes, when focusing on this change with groups I always have two tips:

  1. Sip water throughout the day to prevent feeling thirsty. If you get very thirsty, you’re already dehydrated and you’ll consume too much at once, causing your body to use it inefficiently.
  2. Check your pee color! Dr. Armstrong at the University of Connecticut {Go huskies!} has done a lot of research on this topic and I talk about it often. You want to see a pale “straw-like” color first thing in the morning.

The infographic below is via the Cleveland Clinic. 

For this challenge, starting Monday the 9th, add an extra glass of water at a time throughout the day that you know you can fit it in. Maybe first thing in the morning, before coffee or breakfast? Whatever works for you.
{In case you missed it, check out my free e-guide to winter hydration}
You don’t like water?!
While this is still something hard for me to comprehend, I hear it from clients and at seminars all the time.
Keep it interesting:

  • Squeeze in a fresh wedge of lemon or lime
  • Buy a diffuser water bottle and add your favorite fruit
  • Drink caffeine free or herbal teas (this is how I hydrate during the cold winter)
  • Drink seltzer such as spindrift brand
  • Steep herbs such as parsley or basil in warm water

Good luck this week and check back in next Sunday for the 3rd of 4 week long challenges to have more in your diet, Not less!

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