That’s my motto from now on.
One of my New Years resolutions for 2009 was to force myself to drink more liquids, namely water. I’m notorious for not hydrating enough, especially during exercising and training periods. It’s no secret that Ive had terrible problems with muscle cramps and soreness and it’s a pretty good bet that at least part of this is due to under hydrating.
Believe it or not, during an average day I drink less than 16 oz of fluids, and half of that comes from my morning tea or coffee.
On a day when I’m going to the gym or doing a long walk, I’ll end up probably doubling that amount , but still, that’s not enough to replace what I sweat out.
During the Rome marathon for example, I only downed 16 oz of liquids total for the entire 7 hour walk. I had pretty severe leg cramps during the last 10 miles and when I finished the race I weight 6 lbs less than when I started. It’s no wonder I had cramping problems.
In contrast, six months earlier at the Portland marathon, I drank 3 times that amount during the race, as well as in the two days preceding the race and I had no legs cramps or nausea at all.
One of the reasons it’s so hard for me to drink a lot, is because it makes me feel bloated. When you have severe lung disease, anything you put in your gut puts stress on your diaphragm, making you feel full. Even when I eat, I never have large portions at one time. I snack on things all day long that don’t fill me up. Unfortunately , most of that stuff is junk food loaded with sugar.
Well, Ive had enough of these debilitating cramps and have decided to do a little experiment to see if I can modify my behavior and get in the habit of drinking more water. Since I have to drink water to swallow the tons of pills I take everyday, I thought one of the ways I could get more fluids into my body is to associate drinking with taking my medications. I take my pill medications on a 4 times per day schedule, so what Ive started to do is chase my meds with a full 8 oz of water each time ( instead of one small sip). As I get used to doing that, I will gradually increase that amount to 12 oz each time. That would more than quadruple my daily fluid intake. They say you should drink 8 full glasses a day, but I will be happy as pie with 5 or 6.
Tomorrow I’m supposed to do a 13 mile training walk, it will be interesting to see if this new hydration plan has a positive effect.