I am pretty sure that I have been consistently dehydrated since I was 10 years old. I have never liked drinking water and I am not sure if I ever will. I remember as a young gymnast filling up my one gallon jug water bottle religiously before every practice and then dumping it all out when I got home. I hardly ever drank more then a couple of sips. I do not ever remember being thirsty despite never drinking wanter. I just remember the more water I drank the more I had to pee which seemed like a rather large inconvenience to me so I just chose not to drink water.
I have followed along this path of abstaining from water ever since I can remember. In fact the few times I ventured out to drink more water I was welcomed by more thirst. This seemed absolutely ludicrous to me. This was probably my body rejoicing in joy at finally being given something it had craved for years. I would have merrily gone on my way abstaining from water as much as possible until two daily life events collided: Nursing and CrossFit. I have never been so dehydrated in my life since I began a career in nursing especially in the job I work now which requires rotating shifts. This picture below pretty much explains why I am dehydrated 24-7:
I used to be a morning person but having to switch my work schedule around from mornings, evenings to nights and then back has confused my body so much I am not sure what “time of the day” person I am any more. I never used to drink coffee ever….unless you count a white chocolate mocha with a generous helping of whip cream from Starbucks….pretty sure that doesn’t qualify as coffee. Anyways, when I began night shift I was afraid that I would fall asleep on the job so I would drink as many cups as possible before the shift to the point where my hands were physically shaking. I didn’t even like the taste at first. I would fill about half the cup with cream or milk and like a pound of sugar to make it tolerable. Now a days I drink coffee with coconut milk and no sugar. Each day I drink at least two cups prior to any shift I work. I have always had aspirations to drink water at work but it never happens because it is always so crazy. Somedays I am lucky to get a lunch break. On the abnormally crazy days my arrival home is followed with a large glass of wine. A couple of work days in a row and it is easy to see how and why I might be living in a dehydrated state.
Insult to injury is my new fitness regimen of CrossFit. I work out on average 4 times a week sweating more then I have ever sweat in the past. All of these things combined have led me to feel cotton mouthed during several workout over this last couple of months. You would have thought that feeling like I was in the middle of a Sahara desert for half the week would have motivated me to drink water, but you would be wrong.
The thing that has gotten me to drink more water is my competitive spirit!! I learned in the book “Becoming a Supple Leopard” that “being dehydrated by even by 2% can cause a decrease in VO2 output of 5% to 10%.” What!! I am not doing as well as I could just because I am not drinking enough water!! For me to be only 2% dehydrated would be a miracle. It is funny how most of my life I have told myself “I should” drink more water but when I realized how much it was affecting my performance it became “I must.”
I am a goal setting nerd and I figured that the only way to get myself to drink more water was to set a goal. Of course there are applications now a days for everything so I downloaded the “Waterlogged” application. It is a free application that allows you to set your “water goals” for the day and then track your progress throughout the day. The goal is to fill up the water bottle for the day. I find it strangely satisfying and motivating to record my water for the day in order to fill the water bottle on the application. This is definitely an example of how setting measurable milestone will help you in reaching your overall goals.
And with that I think I will go have a glass of water……………..