Cutting soda out of my diet wasn’t ever a challenge for me. While I’ve been very blessed with some great genetics on most fronts, my grandmother was kind enough to give me a tendency for UTI’s. That’s short for Urinary Tract Infection for those of you not in the know. Yep, I said it. If we’re talking about health, and if we’re talking about women’s health, then by golly let’s get real for half a second. For all you men out there, keep reading, this only goes on for a second and you should probably work on understanding what your lady is dealing with anyway…..Now when I say “tendency” I mean 4-6 per year, normally requiring two doses of heavy duty antibiotics, which as all ladies know cause other equally fun problems. Soda and caffeine are on a nice long list of no no’s for those with extra sensitive urinary tracts, so it seemed like I didn’t have a choice but to eliminate these from my diet. Therefore, by my early 20’s soda, caffeine and I all got a divorce.
Substituting water seems like an easy enough solution to quenching my thirst, but drinking enough water left me with a few challenges. How much was enough? There’s that whole 8 glasses a day thing, how big are those glasses? Also, I’m pretty sure my bladder is the size of a ladybug, so I would always seem to pee twice as much as the person next to me who drank the same amount of fluids as me. (That made Girl Scout camping trips as a chile super fun by the way; NO ONE teases you for having to pee all the time!) Also, what about hot tea, iced tea, lemonade, Gatorade, or my new found love I found on a recent trip to Austin: La Croix??!! Do those count?
The answer is no. No they don’t. Throw that wishful thinking away on this one. You need half your body weight in ounces of water, so if you weigh 150 pounds, you need 75 ounces of water per day. I know, it sounds like a lot. Here’s the good news, your body gets used to the increased fluid intake and after a while it’ll adjust so that you’re still finding the restroom often, but it’s not crazy disruptive anymore. More news, and whether you see it as good or bad is up to you, but if you’re working out and sweating a lot, you actually need your entire body weight in ounces of water. Yes, ENTIRE.
Here’s a couple tips:
1. Start early: Fill that cup up before you even brush your teeth & drink that first bottle before breakfast. This does a couple things for you – if you do a morning workout, it helps you start on the right foot; you also don’t fill up on breakfast carbs and then feel bloated because you needed to fit that water in, you’ll instead eat less and drink more.
2. Know how many ounces that water bottle holds: Most of mine are 16 oz, but a few are 24; I always know how many refills I need that day.
3. Use a tracker: While Fitbit isn’t the most sophisticated app for athletic enthusiasts, it does include a water tracker and you can input your goal so it’ll tell you how much you have left for the day.
4. Carry your water with you ALWAYS: We as humans have a tendency to eat and drink what’s in front of us even if we don’t want or need it. This stays true for that trusty water bottle and makes it easier to hit your water goal.
5. Refill it as soon as it’s empty!: If it’s already in front of you, you’re less likely to grab for something else.
You’ll soon realize you still have room for all those favorite beverages in addition to your water goal 🙂 and you’ll find you have more energy and even crave the water intake you never thought you’d get used to!