It is time for our February 2014 Challenge – The Drink More Water Challenge!
OUR GOAL FOR February: We will commit to drinking more water on a daily basis. Our goal is to drink 64 ounces of water per day (over the course of the day). 64 ounces is the same as the old fashioned rule of eight 8 oz glasses of water a day. If you are doing a lot of sweating and exercising and you are already drinking 64 oz per day you can go for working up to drinking a gallon (128 oz) a day by the end of the month if you choose to.
If you feel that you are already drinking a lot of water, join us in our quest to not drink our calories (below).
- Drinking more water can help boost your metabolism for weight loss.
- Drink water to stay hydrated. Dehydration is dangerous for your health and saps your energy levels.
- Your brain, tissues and organs rely on water to stay in good health. Your muscles need water to stay toned.
- Drinking more water can actually help relieve water retention. It allows he body to stop trying to store water to combat dehydration.
How much water should I drink per day if I’m just starting out?
If you have always had an issue with drinking enough water or are drinking less than 24 oz per day, I suggest you start with 24 oz of water and work your way up to 64 oz. This challenge is NOT about going overboard. Just adding 24 oz more water a day can make a difference.
A good rule is to take your body weight, cut it in half and then drink that number of oz as the minimum amount of water you need. So if you are 200 pounds, you may want to shoot for 100 ounces of water a day as a goal for the end of the month. Of course there are cases were you should drink more than the minimum of 64 oz, especially if you are workout hard, breast feeding, living in a warm climate, etc. You also want to figure in water from foods you eat and from healthy beverages.
I don’t suggest that you drink more than a full gallon of water per day (128 oz) unless you are already doing so, are an athlete or someone who is training hard and sweating a lot and you know what you’re doing. A gallon can be too much for some people’s systems to handle. I’m really talking to people who are NOT drinking water regularly in this case. Not everyone can go from say, 30 oz a day to a whole gallon. Everyone is different and your goals have to be realistic. Of course, I see people in the gym walking around with gallon jugs all the time and I’ve drank around gallon a day before, especially in the summer while doing intense workouts in the heat. There is nothing wrong with drinking a gallon a day, but when you aren’t even drinking 64 oz a day right now, it’s ok to start out with a smaller goal.
Also, drinking too much water, too quickly, can swell brain cells and cause head pressure (more on this below). You will need to spread out your water drinking over the course of the day.
We will also commit to stop drinking sugary drinks and drinks with artificial sweetener. That means no soda, no store bought juice, no sweet tea, no crystal light, etc. You can infuse your water with real fruit for flavor instead (cut up fruit and put it in the water bottle to steep like tea). If you are going to drink any sweeteners, they should be natural and you should only drink them in moderation/small amounts (honey, stevia, agave nectar, etc). You can also have freshly made juice, milk, unsweetened nut milk (almond, soy) and homemade smoothies. You can also stay away from alcohol because of the extra sugar, extra carbs and how it affects the body (liver and kidneys).
- Create a water drinking schedule.
- Drink the most pure water you have access to. Filtered water, spring water, distilled, etc.
- Add fruit or herbs/spices (mint, lavender, cinnamon, ginger) to your water if you have a need for flavor.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach your daily goal. Do your best each day and you will see progress over the course of the month.
- Buy a BPA free water bottle.
- Buy a water bottle with ounce markings on it so that you know how much you are drinking.
- Mark how much water you want to drink by a certain time on your bottle or gallon to keep track of your water drinking. A Sharpie is a great way to do this but you can get creative with stickers and other decorations.
Bonus Challenge: Join our February DietBet™ for more incentive to lose weight! – Compete with BWLW members in a 4-week weight loss challenge to lose 4% of your starting weight. Everyone who wins splits the pot. Click here for the invite and get all the details!
Feb 7th is the Start Date, Initial Weigh-In: Feb 05 – 06 PST
Water Intoxication – Can you drink TOO much water?
I know that some of you may be concerned about drinking too much water. Here is some info to help you understand that water intoxication is possible but you would have to drink a LOT of water (far more than 64 oz over the course of a day).
“When you drink enough water to where the salts in your blood are severely diluted, you can experience a number of health concerns. The first symptoms may include headache, fatigue and feelings of nausea. As the levels of water in your body increase, you may vomit, urinate frequently and feel disoriented and confused — a condition known as water intoxication… One of the reasons why it is possible to drink too much water is because your kidneys can only filter so much fluid at a time. If your kidneys are healthy, you can filter about 800 to 1,000 mL or 0.21 to 0.26 gallons of water, meaning you can drink about this much every hour and have your kidneys function normally… When considering how much water healthy kidneys can filter in a day, you can filter about 15 L — almost 60 glasses — of water each day,” – Read the full article from Livestrong.com
The point is that your kidneys can filter a LOT of water on a daily basis, but you still have to space out your water drinking and drink a reasonable amount that works for you.
Medical Note: If there is any reason why you should not increase your water intake due to kidney issues, an ailment or a chronic illness, do not participate in this challenge. When in doubt, speak with your doctor.