Reader Asks: How Much Water?

16 09 2009

Hi Blog Friends!  

FitFeat reader Carrie asked a great question yesterday in the comments section about water consumption.

“How much water do you drink during the day? … Do you drink it “plain,” flavored, or mostly in your smoothies?”

Water consumption needs vary from person to person.  If you consume a fair amount of protein or processed foods, you will need more water than someone who doesn’t.  Same if you drink a lot of caffeine, soda or alchohol, live in a dry climate, or sweat a lot when you exercise. 

If you eat a diet that is high in raw fruits and veggies, you’ll find you won’t need as much because many of those foods are water-rich already. 

When I was dieting down for my first NPC Figure Competition, I was drinking 1 to 1.5 gallons of water every day.  But I was also following a very high protein, moderate fat, low carb nutrition plan and exercising my tail off.  These days (since my nutrition is much different) if I had to guess at a total amount I’d say I probably drink about 2 quarts a day, give or take.  I drink water throughout the day, taking in more between meals rather than at meals so that I don’t dilute my ‘digestive juices’.  

A good rule of thumb to follow for knowing whether you are appropriately hydrated is urine color.  Drink enough water so that your urine becomes clear.    (If you take a high-potency vitamin, your urine may not be completely clear, but you’ll be able to gauge by dilution.)  The average would be 2-3 quarts.  It takes a lot to drink too much water, but that being said you don’t want to overdo it because that can start messing with electrolyte levels.  If you are following a program to lose weight, I would recommend your water intake be on the higher end of the average so that your body is adequately hydrated to flush out all the by-products and released toxins (many toxins are ‘stored’ in our bodyfat so as we burn fat & lose weight they can be released.)  Additionally water will help to feel full between meals and snacks.   As you may have heard before, thirst can manifest as a hunger signal.  Often before I eat, I’ll drink some water and if I’m still hungry a while later, then I go ahead and have that snack.

For the most part I drink plain water.  I don’t add any flavoring (i.e., Crystal Lite or other ‘sugar free’ flavorings) anymore because I aim to avoid artificial sweeteners, like aspartame and Splenda.  Sometimes I’ll add lemon slices because they are very alkalinizing.  I count herbal (caffeine free) tea for hydration as well. 

Thank you Carrie for the excellent question!

Tuesday’s feats and eats:  Tuesday as you know was OUTDOOR RUN DAY!!  It’s probably our last Tuesday running meeting – it was just too dark.  The first 15 minutes of the run, I kept thinking I was going to step in a water rut and twist my ankle!  My running buddies were both squeezed for time, so we did one 2.7 mile loop.  This trail is like an interval session.  Heart rate up to 187 for a steep hill climb, then down to a 150 for the downhill.  I never get tired of this place!

I had my coffee and a piece of Genesis toast before the run.  I went to the store yesterday and they had my regular Ezekial back in stock – finally.  So I have a loaf in the freezer for when I get back from my trip. 

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I’m sure you know what I had for my post-run meal:

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I put my cup by the blender so you can see how big this thing is!  This one had 8 oz water, fist o’spinach, 1/2 cucumber, 1/2 pear, 2 clementines, 2 stalks of celery, 2 huge romaine leaves.  I’m trying to time my veggie consumption to use everything up before I leave tomorrow, but still have a green smoothie before I get on the plane.  My green smoothie may be straight spinach at the rate I’m going!

For lunch I made a Ginger Curry Egg Salad.  I didn’t have a recipe, just kind of started to add things to it.  2 HB eggs, a little light mayo, a squeeze of mustard, a few good shakes of curry powder and some minced ginger from a jar.  Mixed it all up, spread it on 2 wasa crackers and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and pepitas.  It was surprisingly good!

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Midafternoon I had an unpictured Larabar – Cherry Pie flavor.  I don’t think this will be on my list of faves.  It was REALLY tart!  The kind that gets you behind the jawbone!

At dinnertime I made an appetizer of edamame while we were waiting for the grill to preheat:

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Then my main course was grilled salmon, grilled corn-on-the-cob and grilled balsamic mushrooms.  It tasted like summer  🙂

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Have you ever grilled your corn?  (You keep the husk on, place on top rack for about 20 minutes and it will steam itself inside the husk!) 

Later in the evening for my snack I had half of a Nana’s No’s cookie (no gluten, no dairy, no refined sugar).  I love these cookies and love that they make them so ‘healthy’.  Nonetheless they are high calorie so I break off half and save the other half for another time. 

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Alright friends!  MSP is waiting for me to get started on our weights so I better skeedaddle!  Have a WONDERFUL Wednesday and I’ll see ya next time!  Thanks for reading and keep the comments coming!

— Shari B. =)




One response

16 09 2009

your egg salad looks DELISH!

we grill our corn, just like you did, however all summer I ate an ear of corn raw on my salad and after that I can’t eat it any other way! so sweet and creamy… was perfect!

i ate more corn this summer than I have in my life!

I am a big water drinker…I don’t count glasses anymore. I just drink when I am thirsty and when I am not… and in between. I have my cup o joe in the am and tea and water the rest of the day. it’s refreshing….and I hate being thirsty.

I do enjoy coconut water sometimes after my workout…OH and I find the more produce I eat the less thirsty I am…. funny

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