For the past several years I have eliminated soda and drank solely water. Aside from having the occasional cocktail, my predominant beverage of choice was always water, and I thought I was well hydrated for doing so. On average I was drinking about 60 to 70 ounces every day. I hailed this as a great victory and was quite proud of this accomplishment. That is until I learned that it’s actually based more on weight.
Even though I wasn’t hitting the 70 ounce mark every day I was getting pretty darn close to it. But a recent trip to the dermatologist had me scratching my head. She noticed that I had chapped lips and mentioned that this was a sign of dehydration. I thought, that can’t be true, I drink SO much water, or was I?
Upon further investigation at 140 pounds and a height of five feet six inches, it turns out I should be getting almost 100 ounces a day. Ummm, scuze me? That’s not possible. How on earth am I going to drink THAT much more? And that started my journey to hydration!
How Much Water Should You Really Be Drinking?
After my appointment at the dermatologist my head was spinning. I dove into the internet with all these facts about water and sure enough, I wasn’t drinking enough. But could I drink more? My lord, the 70 ounces a day had me peeing like a mad woman! And so the experimentation began.
My goal, drink at minimum 85-90 ounces every day for a week. The hope, that my skin wouldn’t be so dry, and I would feel less fatigued.
Day 1 – I grabbed a 16 ounce glass and filled it up at 8 am. I managed to drink 5 glasses by 8 PM, for a total of 80 ounces.
Day 2 – I grabbed a 20 ounce glass and managed to drink four glasses by 9 PM, for a total of 80 ounces.
Day 3 – I grabbed the 16 ounce glass and managed to drink 4 glasses by 9PM.
Day 4 – I grabbed the 20 ounce glass and managed to drink 5 glasses by 10PM for a total of 100 ounces GOAL!!!!
OK I won’t bore you with the last three days as I continued the same pattern. I was only able to hit 100 ounces on day four. On average I managed 80 ounces successfully. What was my biggest challenge? First and foremost, peeing every 15 minutes. This is no joke. On the first day I peed 22 times by the end of the day – and I have better things to do!
Challenge number two was staying consciously aware that I needed to drink! I would dive into a task and forty five minutes would fly by and I’d realized I hadn’t had a single sip of water. In those moments I’d panic because I would have several more glasses to go! Seems dramatic I know, but I really could do without one more task for the day!
Challenge number three, it was difficult to enjoy any other beverage. If I wanted coffee, or even a cocktail I knew it would derail my water consumption time. Each day I did manage either one cup of coffee and I did slip in a half diet coke one day, however it just made me pee more!
I should also note, I had to make it a point to hit my goal no later than 9 PM. If I continued to drink water after that time I would get up two or three times at night to pee! Gah! So frustrating!
So how much should you be drinking?
I think I found it perplexing that if I was dehydrated why I would pee so much out! At any rate, my skin did feel better, but I still had chapped lips and I was still tired. All in all it was a good experiment. However, I will no longer track it. I don’t need any more on my to-do list. And this experiment only works if you are in a place where you have the ability to pee a lot. On the days I was out of the office working with clients I would average only 48 ounces of water for fear of constant peeing. And that is stressful!
But try it out, see how you do. I will say my face looked a little more radiant and whether or not it improved anything else I will continue to drink as much as possible every day!