I remember it vividly.
The summer of 2009 working my first summer job scooping ice cream at my Aunts shop. It was also the summer I learned about the importance of hydration. My mothers sister eagerly took me in, as I have cousins galore and out of all of them, I was (and still am) the only girl! Craving a female presence in the house coupled with the opportunity for a readily available employee who conveniently did not yet meet the age requirement for a drivers license, it was the perfect match!
My parents carted me two hours up the road to Myrtle Beach, unpacked the “shocking amount of luggage needed for such a short period of time” as said by my father, wished me luck, and promptly turned around, headed back to Charleston. As they faded into the distance (more accurately south on highway 17), undoubtedly giddy at the prospect of a summer spent relaxing with one less child to worry about, I stood excitedly on the metaphorical cusp of what would be one of the best summers ever.
As for the aforementioned cousins, I had now inherited four brothers. Also home from college for summer break, they were seasoned veterans working at the shop and aside from the familial bonds and a shared mailing address to bring us together, they were now my coworkers and bosses!
I don’t know who has or hasn’t worked scooping icec ream, but when it’s the dead of summer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and hotter than Satans house cat, people want their freaking icecream. There is, not shockingly, little room for error when a line of 50 people is out the door and the only thing that is going to disperse the crowd is how fast you can scoop. It was a baptism by fire- literally, it was 103 degrees outside and although I learned a lot, there is one phrase in particular that will always stand out. A phrase repeated ad infinitum by my eldest cousin and manager of the shop.
“Hydration is Key to Success”
And he isn’t wrong. Our bodies are made of 60% water so whether you’re out cycling on the trial or scooping ice cream for a summer job, it should come as no surprise that proper hydration is critical to our bodies functionality. Yet for a task so deeply rooted in the reptilian brain, achieving and maintaining a hydrated state is often overlooked or even forgotten, only remembering to take sip when the dry mouth kicks in or at the onset of a headache.
We know you didn’t come here to do math, so we’ll do it for you.
Although water intake varies by individual and you should let thirst guide you, the 8×8 rule- 8 glasses of 8 oz of water per day, sets a standard that when executed in its totality, will reign victory over dehydration, flaunting the fruits of war after a job well done. Helping maximize physical performance, boosting brain function and improved skin complexion? I’ll have what they’re having, please.
Of course consumption quantities are subject to variation when considering lifestyle and exercise. Dehydration can have noticeable effects when the body loses as a little as 2% of its water. When exercising, it is not uncommon to lose anywhere between 6-10% of water weight. So, if you exercise intensely and tend to sweat, staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.
64 fluid ounces can be a lofty goal
After all, it is a half gallon.
According to the National Institute of Health, the average adult bladder can comfortably hold 16 fl oz……….. we are not all so lucky! But when the benefits so overwhelmingly outweigh the alternative, multiple trips to the bathroom are a small price to pay. In fact, urine color is a telltale indicator of hydration levels. When hydrated, urine will be a light yellow maybe even close to clear. When dehydrated, urine becomes a deep amber or even light brown.
Finding the lock for the key
Now that we’ve enjoyed a trip down memory lane and are well informed on proper hydration procedures and the ramifications that can arise when neglected, it is time to put our plan to action. But how, you might be wondering? With one common goal shared by all of the human race, there are literally billions of people asking the same question.
“How do I make sure I am properly hydrating myself?”
Thankfully, when all of humanity has been asking the same question since the dawn of man, based off of a biological necessity needed for life itself- there comes with it a multitude of solutions! All roads lead to hydration, you just have to pick the way. Find the lock for your key. We’ve chosen our favorite ways to stay hydrated for a variety of lifestyles, sprinkled with tips and tricks to keep you motivated
The best gift I’ve ever received was a 32 oz HydroFlask. HydroFlask makes a variety of products, specializing in stainless steel insulated bottles, with a focus on an outdoor lifestyle. Cold stays ice cold for 24 hours, and hot stays hot for 12. I had no idea how disturbingly chronically dehydrated I was until I owned my own water bottle. All of a sudden water was readily available, ice cold and I didn’t have to use the water fountain at work every time I needed a swig. Add your own flair by adding bummer stickers, also making it easily identifiable!
Hydration is critical for any serious cyclist. If you don’t stay hydrated, your performance will suffer. With longer rides, sometimes a water bottle or two just isn’t enough. Bikepackers often use hydration packs while on the road. The Hydrobak 50 is perfect for cyclists or those who lead an active outdoor centric lifestyle. A smaller hydration pack that doesn’t weigh as much, it carries about 50 oz, which is about two large water bottles’ worth. This is a good option for shorter adventures that won’t last as long, or where you’ll be able to refill it during stops.
Trying to drink more water every day can seem at best boring and repetitive and at worst well, a little torturous. But with some simple tricks and making some fun rules for yourself, it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Here are our best tips for drinking more water every day.
- Add fruit or other flavor to your water
- Use an app to track your water intake like Daily Free Water
- Drink one glass before each meal
- Eat foods with a high water content
- Lettuce: 96% water
- Celery: 95% water
- Zucchini: 95% water
- Cabbage: 92% water
- Watermelon: 91% water
- Cantaloupe: 90% water
- Honeydew melon: 90% water
- Set an alarm
- Make a water wager with your friends and colleagues. Set goals and challenges on who can drink the most water (within reason). Making water drinking fun will encourage you to re-hydrate.
- Set yourself rules.
“I can’t have another coffee or snack until I drink 2 more cups of water. “
- Introduce spicy food to your diet. By eating more spice and hot foods you will naturally want to drink more water
- Invest in a reusable water bottle
- Use a water filter. If you live in a hard water area, your water could have a funny taste. Using a filter will purify your water, making it fresh and delicious.
- Check out our blog post Back to the Basics that also delves into the importance of hydration
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