"How much water do you drink on a daily basis?"
This is the question I ask my clients more than any other. And, it probably drives them nuts that I keep asking this question the entire time they coach or train with me.
"Geez, Leslie, give it a rest," they likely think.
Sorry, friends. No can do.
And here's a little story from a good friend of mine as to why.
Alana (not her real name) had been suffering from intense abdominal pain for weeks. After repeated visits to her doctor, urgent care, and the ER she learned she had a kidney stone. If that isn't painful (and scary) enough, she needed surgery to implant a stent to help pass the stone. After weeks of pain, the stone passed (thankfully) and she was able to have the stent removed. Here's what she told me (shared with permission):
"The Physician Assistant who removed my stent today told me my stone was made up of calcium and since it's the first one I've had for 22 years, it was most likely caused by chronic dehydration."
She went on to say, "For the past 3 weeks I've been drinking 100 oz of water a day because it eased the discomfort of the stent a bit. 21 days and now it's a habit that I intend to keep because there's NO FREAKING WAY I EVER want to go through this again."
"This whole ordeal has cost me $6700 (Urgent care, ER, 2 ambulance rides, a 2nd ER, 2 surgeries (one emergency and overnight in the hospital). I've hit my out of pocket for the year so it was a very expensive lesson."
So how much should you drink? Great question.
The current recommendation is to follow your thirst cues. However, because so many of us are distracted, confused, or tricked by other competing cues (think sugary-dessert coffees and tantalizing sodas), we often mistake thirst for hunger.
My suggestion, then, is to work toward 1/2 your body weight in oz. per day.
So, if you weigh 150 lbs, you're working toward 75 oz of water. This is a general recommendation, not a mandate. Of course, you can also use this handy-dandy urine color chart as a guide. It's a real hit with the kids.
Got more questions? Shoot me a quick reply, give me a call or schedule a meeting. I would love to talk more with you.