Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Would You Like To See My Tally (Marks)? A Story of Runner Hydration

Once I decided that I wanted to stay pretty active during this pregnancy and that running would in some part play a role in that, I immediately realized that hydration was one of the three key elements I would need to monitor for both my safety and the baby's (see the blog post with all 3 items here).  Hydration is important to any runner anyway, but with the stress of resources "for two" on a pregnant woman, and then add exercise on top of it, the focus becomes crucial.  And I know I wasn't feeling hydrated since I had become pregnant - my facialist noticed how dry my lips were and I was chronically thirsty (not a good sign).

Hydrate, hydrate, I done yet?
I'm analytical, so this big general concept of hydration means nothing without some parameters.  It's so easy to think we are getting enough fluids in the day.  So how much is enough?  Most of us have heard that 8 8-oz. glasses of water a day are fine (so 64 ozs), but that's for a regular person, not one "drinking for two".  I found a great article from the American Pregnancy Association about hydration facts and suggestions of how to stay hydrated.  They suggest 8-12 8-oz glasses a day (so 64-96 ozs), but with the caveat that more than that is suggested if the weather is warm or if you are exercising.  My sports chiropractor who has taken tremendous care of my physical health for the last 4 years told me last week that he normally suggests a 1/2 oz per pound of body weight to the standard person, but for pregnant, exercising girl in the hot Texas summer, he thought for me that almost 1 oz per pound of body weight would be advisable and do me good.

So at 157 ozs (@ 1 oz per pound), that's a LOT of water.  So for the last week, each day I've consumed between about 130 and 150 ozs of water.  At first it felt like "self-waterboarding torture" but it's funny how it's feeling more natural now.  But there's one big tip I have for how I've been getting it done.

My Big Tip for Hydration
Enter my world of a Solo plastic cup and a Sharpie permanent marker.  Everything revolves around these red cups now.  It's my non-stop reminder during the day to drink.  I put a tally mark each time I fill the 16 oz cup to the top.  Those tally marks stare at me all day, and they tell me if I'm behind or ahead based on the time of day.

So far, it's working well.  What are your tips in this heat to stay well hydrated?

1 comment:

  1. Hey this is a really good idea! I've been struggling with staying hydrated myself. I've been mixing it up with some 16oz cups of Club Soda and adding Emergencee to one or two of my 16 oz waters. And making lemonade by squeezing 1/2 a lemon and adding 1 tsp of maple syrup to a couple of my 16 oz cups. But right now it feels like a full-time job! But even this morning at 7 am, it was so hot and I sweated so much. Need that liquid! ST