When people ask me what my best advice when it comes to health and fitness is I’d have to say – DRINK TONS OF WATER!!! Not just “enough” water – But tons of it! I’m talking #PrepLife amounts of water! (Which for non-competitors means about a gallon to a gallon and a half for a woman my size and about 2 gallons for a man Dan’s size – A DAY!)
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, certified personal trainer, or dietician – but you can’t deny the facts. Water is great for us! Just check out this awesome infographic I made:
Soo.. How much water do you really NEED in a day?
The equation normally used is:
Your weight (in pounds) Divided by 2 Equals # of ounces
A 120lb woman Divided by 2 Equals 60 ounces
(OR almost 2 liters OR slightly less than ½ a gallon)
And what am I suggesting – nearly 2-3x that amount!
Like I said, I’m not any of the above mentioned professions BUT, I am a scientist – which means I’m really good at making observations and turning those observations into conclusions.
Here are a few examples of why I believe in the power of water:
(Dan likes to call my observations and conclusions “Fake Science” but I know what I see, feel, and believe.)
Example 1: Post Fitness Atlantic Prep Sickness
After my first prep for Fitness Atlantic, I decided for my mental health I wouldn’t track anything – this included food and water. I was just overall tired of doing so much math day in and day out (it was a lot of work). I stopped weighing food. I stopped carrying around my gallon of water. I immediately got incredibly sick. Sore throat. Runny nose. Congestion. Headaches. Fever. Body aches. Sinus pressure. Every ailment in the book. And, of course, I attribute it to the fact that I stopped drinking enough water. I was never sick during prep and the first week off of prep, off my gallon plus of water a day, I get sick. What were the odds? They had to be related!! I was no longer flushing my system of all the toxins and my body was proving it to me. And when I went back to drinking my gallon of water, all my problems disappeared.
Example 2: Post Chinese Food & Weekend Binge-Fest Bloat (Second Disclaimer: This girl can EAT.)
After my second prep I went on a back to back weekend bender. The second weekend including the following:
- Dinner: Some wine, Chinese Food, & 2 bars of chocolate
- Dinner: Two hot dogs & 4 jumbo S’mores
- Saturday (Are you ready?) (Third Disclaimer: We were at a party and there were multiple buffets! I didn’t have entire plates of each food listed! I simply dabbled!):
- Lunch: A Starbuck’s sugar cookie, Shrimp cocktail, Chicken wings, Crab cakes, Clam chowder, & Pretzel bites with mustard and cheese
- Dinner: A bottle of wine (yes – the entire bottle.. and it was a magnum), Rigatoni, 3 kinds of ribs, Baked ziti, Chicken francese, Eggplant parm, Two pieces of cake, At least 10 various cookies, Italian ice, & M&Ms
- Snacks: 2 hot dogs, A sleeve of oreos, A chocolate chip cookie/cheesecake/oreo hybrid bar I baked,& 3 french macarons
Needless to say I woke up Monday morning not necessarily feeling my best. And, against my better judgement, I decided to weigh myself. OMG LIKE SERIOUSLY WHY! WHAT WAS I THINKING! I clocked in at my heaviest weight EVER. EVER!!!! Almost 7 pounds heavier than my starting weight before my first prep and 4 pounds heavier than my previously seen heaviest weight ever. I decided it couldn’t possibly be fat – no way in hell is that even possible! It’s has got to be water weight! My pants didn’t fit, my shoes didn’t fit, my face was puffy – yes, totally water weight! So I set out Monday morning with a goal to turn it all around and get back on track. And what was the pillar of my plan you ask? To drink a gallon and a half to two gallons of water in order to try to flush all the salt and what not out of my system. I was also going to try to break a baby sweat (via 20 minutes of HIIT cardio) and get a full 8 hours of sleep (I’ll talk about how I believe enough sleep is my second best advice when it comes to health and fitness in a later blog post). AND VOILA! Tuesday morning came – DOWN those 7 pounds! WAHOO!!!! .. I mean I probably still did some damage from the weekend but I had done at least enough to reverse some of that initial shock I experienced – and I’m totally OK with that.
So, in conclusion, WATER – DRINK IT UP!!!!!