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
As part of my Sweat Pink partnership, I was recently sent a box of Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer to review. (I wasn’t compensated for the post and opinions are, as always, my own).
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).
Overall … will I finish my box? Yes. Will I buy it again? I would buy it again for the nutrition, for sure, but I’d need the taste to grow on me before I chose to purchase it again.
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?
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Hmm, intrigued by the sport drink. In general, I love Vega and use their powders daily (I like Berry the most but Vanilla Chai is second), but I hate Stevia, so I’m guessing I wouldn’t like it. I’m loyal to Vega’s Apple Berry recovery drink, but right now I’m actually playing around with UCan for pre-long run.
I’m off the charts on water, but I bet lots of Dallas runners are. In the summer, I’m usually at more than 2 ounces per pound of body weight, about quadruple what’s “normal”. Someone convinced me once it was abnormal to be over 300 ounces per day, so I actually had to track it and do this urine collection (yuck) for my dr to confirm I wasn’t diabetic or something. Nope, just a thirsty girl! My boss jokes that if disaster strikes, I’ll be among the first to die if I can’t get water within a few hours max, whereas he’ll be a camel, surviving for days without any, haha.
Interesting that you hate stevia! The Vega Berry has stevia in it, too, right? I’ve never tried the Apple Berry, and I’m dying to try Ucan since I’ve heard so much about it! 2 ounces per pound is crazy (in a great way!). I often feel like you – if I’m stuck without water for a while, I may die :).
You’re right that hydration is important. I definitely need more water than most people. When I was a teenager, my parents actually took me to the doctor because I drank so much water that they thought something was wrong with me. Nope…I just need more! I don’t track it, but I know there are several apps that do it.
Wow, that’s a great story, Cassie! How funny that your parents thought you were drinking too much! Although, the flip side of that is that if there is a dramatic change in thirst, it DOES merit a doctor’s visit – when my sister was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, one of her symptoms was excessive thirst. Glad you’re healthy and happy 🙂
Water and coconut water is my beverage of choice but I really love water- I tried the vega drinks last summer and didn’t like them at all. The taste was just too much for me which made me sad because I love all vega products!
I’m with you, Laura – LOVE all other Vega products!
i tried the vega sport energizer a few months ago! i loved the green tea extract. A little chalky but worth it for those benefits.
I didn’t find it chalky, just way too sweet for me. But after trying it several more times, I am starting to like it more!
OH man, I think the people in my office think I’m a horse or something- the amount of water I drink- I didn’t think it was that much but the number of times I use the restroom may indicate otherwise!
I once tried a sugar free mix but it was sweetened with sucralose so it made me more thirsty!
Haha, I think you and I are normal with our restroom trips … everyone else are the strange ones :).
Staying hydrated is SO important! I drink water all day long. If I don’t have a water bottle with me I feel like I am missing a body part. I don’t keep track of how much I drink because I am pretty much drinking water all day non-stop:)
I’m with you, Lisa. At this point, I don’t track because I know I’m getting enough. But for those who are just starting the habit, I think tracking is a great idea!
I drink water all day every day – I have a Bubba Keg that goes everywhere I go (I like to keep things classy!). I know several people that don’t drink water at all during the day – I don’t know how they function!!! Although there was a time about 20 years ago when I drank Diet Coke all day long and little if any water – yikes!!! (and I ran even way back then!)
The name Bubba Keg makes me chuckle :). I used to be a frequent diet soda drinker (and rare water drinker) like you … and I also can’t imagine how I functioned. Our bodies learn to get by, but I guarantee everything is not running as smoothly as it does when you’re hydrated!
I have felt the same way about the pre-workout by Vega. I liked it for what was in it, but the taste left something to be desired for me.
Hydration is so important and I have gotten better at it over time. Just recently I got so bad that my husband could see it by looking at my face. It wasn’t that I purposely didn’t hydrate I just got so busy I FORGOT! Not excuses…but it is so important and makes a HUGE difference in your athletic performance!
Totally agree, Sara! Very interesting that Wes could see it in your face – so perceptive!
I still have to write down and check off each glass/bottle of water or else I just don’t drink enough.
You would think I could learn, but even after 2 years……….what I “think” I drink is always more than the actual. Water has made a huge change in my life – from my weight, to my skin, to feeling like my body just works better. I’m a definite believer.
BTW, I’m currently in Colorado for 3 weeks, and I get headaches and sluggish very quickly if I don’t drink enough water.
Oops – obviously, I meant I “think” I drink more, but I actually drink LESS. Sorry.
YOU have made tons of progress, water has just helped out. Keep it up – even if it takes tracking, it’s worth it for all those positive changes you mention!
Hydration is SO important! And I think the key is to integrate it as part of your life. It is like activity – if you run, or bike or whatever as a singular event daily but don’t make movement and health a part of your life, you will see some benefit but still have effects of the sedentary lifestyle.
With hydration my key is to always have it available. My current desk location makes this a challenge, as I am the length of the plant from the neareat filtered water source. I always have a water cup at home, and a large cup with lid (good ole tupperware!) at work.
So again, you almost need a ‘mindset of hydration’.
I have not tried the Vega stuff, but I am reminded at how much latitude the word ‘natural’ has – it is non-specific and totally unregulated. Not doubting Vega, but when I eat an apple, I think ‘natural’ – when I see a powder of uniform shape, size and color that has obviously been run through an extract, dehydrate and grind process … ‘natural’ isn’t my first thought. Same for things that are not fully soluble in nature suddenly easily dissolving in water or smoothies … hmmm … y’know? 😉
Ah yes, another good point. I guess you’re right that natural is an overstatement if you take it in the true sense of the word. I ALWAYS believe that getting nutrition from whole, unprocessed food is the best case (like you!), but for most of us, it’s just not possible to avoid anything processed at all. Plus, for athletes, products like this can be a “crutch” or extra support. And when we do choose processed ingredients, something like Vega is way, way better than some other options out there, with lots of artificial colors and preservatives!
Well said, I think that even mostly-natural things are going to be better than the ‘chemical soup’ of so many fat-free products, and the mass-produced stuff you can buy at ‘big box’ stores 🙂
I love water and I drink it all day! I usually don’t drink anything else unless I have almond milk.
Good for you, Becky! Keep drinking!
I’ve never seen that water tracker before-interesting! I was not a fan of the consistency of the Vega drinks-a little too chalky for me.
Interesting! I didn’t notice chalkiness, just a slightly off taste.