I was speaking with someone recently and asking him whether or not he drank enough water. He said, very confidently, “oh yes! I drink one bottle during exercise every day, and two bottles right afterwards.” “Wow!” I said, “that’s great!” But, then I asked him how much he drank throughout the rest of the day … and I got crickets. I explained to him that he’d be better off spreading some of the water he’s drinking out over the course of the day, rather than chugging water in a concentrated period of time and forgetting it the rest of the day.
We all know that drinking water is important … remember that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated! In my initial post on water, I explained the best way to tell whether or not you are dehydrated. Some people also use the rough guideline of 64 ounces per day, or taking half of a person’s body weight in pounds, and drinking that number of ounces per day (so, 75 ounces per day for a 150-pound person). These are great starting places, but because our bodies are so different and there are so many factors that contribute to our hydration levels, it’s really best to find what works for you.
Once you find that amount, though, why not drink it all at once? Well, the cells in our body can’t actually take in as much water as they’re excreting during intense exercise, so a lot of the water that you chug just gets passed through your system without actually hydrating you. Have you ever gotten that sloshy feeling in your stomach while running or exercising? Most likely, this is due to eating or drinking too much all at once during (or just before) exercise … your body simply can’t absorb it that quickly, so it ends up just sitting there until your digestive system can process it all. (picture source)
Of course, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t drink water before, during, or after exercise – those are all important. But, it may be even more important to spread your water intake out throughout the day, so you can reap all the benefits of proper hydration!
I have lots of suggestions for my clients to track their water intake throughout the day – from putting rubber bands around a bottle each time it’s refilled, to phone apps, and everything in between. One product I just came across, though, is the AquaTally, which allows you to rotate a dial on your BPA-free cup to keep track of your intake each day! I love this idea, and will definitely be recommending to my clients who struggle with this. (I am not compensated by or affiliated with the company, and haven’t tried the product yet myself, just passing along for your review). (picture source)
Vega Sport #FuelYourBetter Review
If you read the Dallas Morning News article I was interviewed for or my first post on water, you know that I do not think people in general need sugar-laden sports drinks for most types of exercise (for example, walking for 30 minutes). However, I was intrigued by this sugar-free blend (sweetened by stevia … you can see my thoughts on artificial sweeteners here), and I like the blend of electrolytes and herbal supplements that is included in Vega Sport. Yerba mate, green tea, turmeric, and ginger all have great health benefits, so I was excited to give it a shot.
I’ve tried the Energizer a few times (including before my 5K with Girls on the Run!), and I do actually think it gives me a burst of energy. It’s nice to have something natural and sugar-free to do that, and I appreciate that there are no additives, artificial colors, or artificial flavors. However … the taste takes some getting used to. For something sweetened by stevia, this tasted incredibly artificial to me personally. It definitely wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t drink it, but I had high expectations for Vega, and taste-wide only, this did not measure up. (I still consider myself a Vega devotee – their Vanilla Chai Nutrition Shake will always be my favorite pre-made protein powder, for both taste and nutrition, and their bars are great as well).
This review is part of the #VegaSport #FuelYourBetter campaign.
So tell me in the comments … How do you spread your water intake throughout the day? Any tips for tracking your water? Have you tried the Sugar-Free Energizer?