The summer is nearly over and I am just now tackling the issue of hydration. My timing is impeccable, I know. There are numerous articles about how much water you need to drink, hydration rates, temperatures, and such, and I will not get into those specifics here. They seem to change the recommendations with each article and whatever I post here will be out of date next week. Instead, I will share with you some ways I stay hydrated. I am not a doctor, I do not play one on TV, and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night. Rather, I am a larger fellow that runs, an the slower side, and I do whatever I can not to fall out on the side of the road during a run.
For anyone that I see on a regular basis know that I am constantly drinking water. My daily water intake goal is 128 ounces. I have been striving for this number daily since March 2010 when I was doing Nutrisystem and trying to shed one hundred plus pounds. Nutrisystem calls for eight glasses of water a day, but I am an overachiever! Most days I find it easy to reach the 128 mark, and in fact, most days I eclipse it. As I am writing this post, I have already consumed around eighty ounces today. I have never been a coffee drinker so that was not a barrier for me to overcome. I used to drink several carbonated beverages, but I rarely do that anymore. And honestly, I very rarely drink alcohol anymore either. In the past week, the only liquids that I have imbibed have been water and chocolate milk, which is my go to recovery drink. I even refrained from having margaritas for Susan’s birthday party since I knew I was scheduled to run the following morning. The downside with drinking this much water is that I constantly feel like Forrest Gump when he meets JFK, “I gotta pee!” This can be annoying on road trips, busy days at work, and long runs, but not unmanageable.
I use several vessels for my water consumption throughout the day. While I am at home, I primarily use a twenty-four ounce Tervis cup. I am addicted to these cups, and have over a dozen at the house. They have excellent insulation for cold and hot beverages, and fit perfectly in my truck’s cup holder. The only problem with them is that Beau really wants to share my drinks with me in a Tervis. At work, I use a thirty-two ounce water jug, a twenty ounce Tervis water bottle, or my twenty-four ounce Polar Bottle. I try to rotate them to help keep them clean. Everyone on my floor are accustomed to seeing me walk to the water fountain throughout the day, and probably would call the authorities if they did not see me coming down the hall for a couple of weeks.
On my runs, I use three different vessels. I have a twenty-two ounce Nathan Quick Draw Plus handheld bottle. The bottle comes with a pouch that is advertised to be large enough for your iPhone. This is a rather bold statement, and at least for the iPhone 5, this is not a true statement. The pouch is, however, great for storing running gels, keys, cards, and the such. There is also a reflective stripe on the bottle that is nice, and you can adjust it depending on how large your hand is. The bottle is ideal for quick runs because it is not well insulated, and gathers quite a bit of condensation during a run. Within thirty minutes, your water is warm. I also run holding the Polar Bottle, and despite not having a strap, it is very easy to carry on a run. Water stays cold longer in the Polar Bottle, and there is not as much condensation as the Quick Draw Plus. The Polar Bottle is perfect for a run of about an hour. After that, the air temperature and your body heat significantly warm up the contents of the bottle. If you are in an environment in which you are not constantly holding the bottle or in extreme heat, the contents stay cooler longer. The third option that I use is a CamelBak Military Hydration Pack 3L. This is by far the easiest option to run with since you wear it versus carrying it. When full, you are adding a little bit of weight, but it honestly is not that noticeable. The water in the pack stays cool for over two hours, which is great for my longer runs. I have only had two major issues with it in the three years that I have had it. The first is that I get soaking wet wearing it due to heavy sweating underneath it and the fact that the pack produces a fair amount of condensation. Of course, when I go on a long run, I end up soaked anyways. Second, the Velcro on the adjustable straps wreak havoc on my running shirts. I noticed this one day when I was washing my laundry. At first, it was my older shirts and I thought that they were just wearing out from use. It was after noticing some fabric on the Velcro as well as rough spot on a new shirt that I put two and two together. I have since reversed the straps, and last weekend I did not notice any damage. I am going to keep a close eye on it.
I also feel compelled to admit that I enjoy the taste, or lack thereof associated with water. I get that this kind of makes me a freak, and most people cannot stand drinking the amounts of water they need daily due to this. For these people, I suggest that you use Nuun tablets or Crystal Light or some other water flavoring product that is not full of sugar and calories.