A few weeks ago I was exchanging text messages with my good friend Jerry Cruz (who my wife sometimes refers to as my ‘other wife’ due to the frequency of our conversations). I had Jerry on Episode 8 of Slimming Down Dad and he has been doing great with his health goals.
During this text exchange I made mention that I was having a hard time tracking water intake. MyFitnessPal was an awesome app for tracking calories in and calories out but I couldn’t seem to get myself to consistently log water.
Jerry suggested that I take a look at an app called Waterlogged for iOS. He explained that it was a very simple app designed to track water intake. One big perk was that it could be setup to push water consumption over to MyFitnessPal.
As it turns out, enabling integration with other services (MyFitnessPal and Fitbit) required an upgrade (I think it was in the neighborhood of $4.99) but it was well worth it. I was worried about adding yet another app into the fold but I find that I prefer using a separate app for water logging.
One of the nicest aspects of the Waterlogged App is that it allows you to create custom containers for easy logging. No more converting a 16.9oz bottle of water into cups for MFP Logging – the app takes care of that for you and makes changing containers as easy as swiping the screen.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
In my mind, people are going to stumble onto this blog and download the Waterlogged App to give it a try. Inevitably they will then wonder ‘How much water am I supposed to be drinking?’
I wish I could give you simple answer but it isn’t that easy. Conventional wisdom tells us that we should be drinking eight 8oz glasses of water each day (64oz). Depending on your body composition, activity level, and where you live, this could be spot on or it could be far less than your body needs.
I did a little online research and found that the Mayo Clinic states that the adequate intake for men is in the neighborhood of 13 Cups (104oz) while the adequate intake for women is around 9 Cups (72oz). WebMD takes a different approach and says that you should consume 0.5 to 1.0 ounce for each pound of body weight.
As you can see, the numbers are all over the place. Does it matter though? Can I die from drinking too much water? Actually, you can and the condition is called hyponatremia. As I understand it, consuming too much water can disrupt the balance of water and sodium in the body, forcing water into the cells which causes them to swell and become damaged.
I’ve read up on the condition and, in my very unprofessional opinion, it seems like it would take some serious effort to reach the point of water poisoning. I’ve read accounts of a woman dying from drinking several liters of water, in a very short period of time, trying to win a radio contest. I’ve read another story about a man dying because he ran a marathon in intense heat and gorged on water, never replenishing his sodium levels along the way.
Not too long ago I came across a Facebook Post that made me pause. A friend shared a picture of a gallon jug filled with water. The side was marked with graduations for when portions should be consumed. This friend asked if it was dangerous to drink an entire gallon of water over the course of a day. To my amazement, several people responded to that share saying a gallon was far too much water.
Based on that incident, as well as a few others that I’ve witnessed in person, it seems as though the common perception is that drinking a gallon of water over the course of a day is going to kill you. As the numbers above outline, everyone has different hydration needs but, in my Average-Joe opinion, I think most people are worrying about nothing.
How Much Water Do You Drink?
According to the Mayo Clinic and WebMD, I should be consuming somewhere between 104 and 117.5 ounces of water each day (or as much as 235oz if we use my weight and a full ounce per pound). For the past four and a half months I have been working out five days per week.
It is also worth noting that I am a sweater. If I’m in a room that is 75 degrees I’ll be on the verge of breaking into a sweat – I don’t even have to be doing anything. When I exercise it is as if my body turns on a faucet and the sweat comes pouring out of me.
Factoring in all of that, I drink about 135 ounces of water. Some days are less than that while others are more but I try for a gallon per day. I know that some will be shocked but I’ve cut soda, juice, and iced tea from my diet. Water is basically all I drink with the exception of one or two cups of black coffee.
When your primary beverage is water, it really isn’t difficult to drink upwards of a gallon per day. Think about your morning coffee, a few sodas throughout the day, maybe a beer or two in the evening. Tally up all of those ounces and I think you’ll be surprised at just how much you drink.
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