The Hydration Project

There are drinks out there that are good for you…

and there are those that are, in my opinion, pure evil on ice…

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point in my life, I became a person who does not particularly like to drink either one, or any of the many options in between.

It’s true. If you’ve read any of my posts, you’ve probably come across one or two that mention my dislike for drinks. Actually, disinterest is probably more a more accurate term. I don’t realize I’m thirsty until I’m really, really thirsty and have a searing headache, and “I think I’d like something to drink” just isn’t a thought that naturally pops into my head. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I spend the greater part of my life in a state of chronic dehydration. 

Why, you ask? 

Well, there are lots of reasons.

I spent many years working in food service, during which I was not allowed to have a drink in my prep area, and my restroom breaks were limited. So, naturally, I got in the habit of not ever having a drink.

I also spent a lot of years battling an unhealthy relationship with food, looking for any way to cut calories. As we’ve all heard a million times, you shouldn’t drink your calories. So, because I looked at most drinks as something that would displace the food I wanted, I cut most of them out.

During college, I drank. Sure I did ;)  But, my cup usually held either a double shot of espresso to help me start my day, or a nice dry red wine to help me end it. This was also the time when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was prescribed a diuretic (like I needed another one…) Needless to say, the combination didn’t do much for my hydration status.  

These days, all those bad habits have snowballed into one big problem. I often go a full day without even noticing my thirst. This is particularly bad because, at this point, I nurse a 9-month-old, exercise moderately, and continue to take a diuretic for HBP (which can deplete my potassium), so I need to drink considerably more than average. If I am lucky enough to get pregnant again, it will only be that much more important. 

It’s funny that I should be so interested in healthy foods and healthy lifestyle choices, but so neglectful of healthy hydration. But, if you think about it, it kind of makes sense in that there really aren’t that many readily available healthy beverage options out there. When you are pregnant or nursing, watching sugar, eliminating caffeine, and not even willing to consider artificial sweeteners, you wind up SOL most of the time, and it’s easier to just go without than to drink something that feels unhealthy. There are few good options in the average convenience store or chain restaurant. I know, I know…there’s water. But a girl can only drink so much plain water!!!

Happily, my “get hydrated” goal is not a brand new one. I set out to change my ways quite some time ago, and I’ve discovered that, as with food, there are great healthy options out there if you just look for them and don’t settle for what’s in the nearest soda fountain.

That’s why I’ve decided to start a series of posts entitled The Hydration Project. I plan to share my thoughts on the subject, and I hope you will share yours as well!

Some of the topics I’d like to discuss include (not necessarily in this order):

  • Tips on getting hydrated and staying hydrated
  • Recognizing thirst and the effects of dehydration
  • Preventing dehydration
  • Foods that hydrate
  • Drinks that fall within my/your personal “healthy” parameters (and ones that don’t!)
  • Drink recipes 
  • Your suggestions are welcome!

This is an important topic for me, and from many of the comments I’ve received in the past, it seems that there are many others out there (busy mommies, busy students, busy everybody…) who tend to neglect this very important piece of the big health puzzle. I have several posts planned throughout the coming weeks – and a few fun giveaways, too! –  so look for the title “The Hydration Project” if you’re interested. I look forward to hearing from you, learning from you, and further establishing some healthy hydration habits!

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 I know you all have something to say on the subject of hydration! Comment away! 


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Comments

  1. Good for you for dedicating yourself to better hydration! I’ll be here to cheer you on :]
    Interestingly, I have the exact opposite problem – I have an unquenchable thirst. Luckily, water is about all I drink (besides my morning coffee or tea, and some alcohol on the weekends). I’ve actually wondered before if I have polydipsia, because there are days where I drink well over a GALLON of water (no joke – up to 150 oz. some days) and I still find myself at the water fountain every hour at work chugging 10, 15, 20 gulps at a time…and walking away still thirsty. It’s true that I work out a lot, so I do some sweating, but the strange thing is (sorry if this is TMI) I only pee maybe 5 times a day—definitely not excessively. But my doctor says not to worry about it, so for now, I’m just going to say my thirst is healthy and be thankful I’m (WELL) hydrated. I wish I could give some of my thirst to you!!

    • Wow! Funny how we are all so different. Even in the middle of a sweaty run, I do get thirsty but I still have to really remind myself to drink something or I won’t bother. I wish we could swap, too!

      I’m sure a lot of it just comes down to being busy and not putting my health first. I’m getting better at it, though!

      • It IS funny how randomly different everyone seems to be. My mom is like you; she doesn’t touch her drink during meals, and even after her daily 5-mile walk she has to force herself to stand at the sink and practically choke down 1/4 cup of water…while my dad will drink two full pitchers of iced tea at any restaurant meal. Some of it might be habit, or what you grew up with, but I have to imagine some of it must also just be “luck of the draw”!
        I think, though, with your commitment to change, you’ll get there :]

  2. I am so on board with this! Back in my dieting days I was a water-drinking queen, but then I went to the opposite extreme and stopped consuming liquids entirely. I’ve gone through phases here and there where I’ve tried to strike a good balance, but none lasted more than a month. Just this morning I was saying that I need to get back on board with my water consumption, actually!

  3. Grammie Garden Peas says:

    I would rather drink than eat lately. There’s nothing better than a tall glass of ice water with a slice of lemon. It has to be good water though – we have a ro system that filters our well water – so I know its good and clean and it doesn’t come in a plastic container and is not treated with a ton of chemicals.

  4. staying hydrated is so very important! I drink water all the time, and the few times I don’t my body lets me know….headaches and aches and pains….
    gotta stay hydrated!!

  5. I have to admit that I have three drink loves; coffee, Diet Coke and water. I limit myself to two mugs of coffee in the morning, one can of Diet Coke that I finish before lunch. After that it’s all about water for the rest of the day. I’m one of those that loves the taste of water, especially when the glass is loaded down with ice and it’s very, very cold.

  6. I am terrible at remembering to stay hydrated, even now that I am a long-distance runner AND nursing a 10-month old. Like you, I often don’t think to sip until I am very thirsty. One thing I find that helps is carrying a water bottle with me wherever I go. For some odd reason, I will remember to sip more out of a bottle than from a glass. I always keep a water bottle in the car, to help keep me drinking.
    I find my long runs easier to manage when I bring water with me and sip as I go. I have one of the hand-held water bottle carriers that also allows me to bring my cell-phone or keys or a GU for sustenance.
    But after the run, I will get home and forget to drink anything. I have to remind myself to do it!

Trackbacks

  1. […] The Hydration Project: Eat Your Water Jump to Comments Not a big drinker? Me neither. That’s why I started The Hydration Project. Read about it here. […]

  2. […] It was a box of coconut water from ZICO! What better way to celebrate The Hydration Project than with a whole box of yummy, natural, coconutty beverages! (And what better way to turn my frown […]

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