hydration, or lack thereof

Hydration, what do you know about it? I’ve learned something clear about my body and how hydration impacts it, and most notably while skiing this past weekend I realized it wasn’t my lack of caffeine or sugar from my morning sweet tea that I love which caused my late afternoon headaches, it was dehydration!

Over the course of my training for Kilimanjaro, I increased my liquid intake to at least 2 liters per day. I would say I’ve done a really good job of this. I have 20 oz of water during breakfast as well as 12-16 oz of sweet tea. I generally have at least 1 L of water during work and while working out I visit the water fountain frequently. While skiing, I might have managed 32 oz of liquid before hitting the slopes, 20 oz of that was Mt. Dew. Now I have no issue with a small bit of soda here and there, but I didn’t have any water again until lunch at 2PM after skiing for 4 hours. I managed 20-24 oz then headed back out for more skiing.

Was I replacing what I was using? Not a chance! I had a whopper of a dehydration headache, but plenty of water and 2 pints of beer during dinner knocked it right out, at least “just enough”. The next day while traveling, I did not do a good job on catching up on the liquid I had missed the day before and had a headache again by the time I got home. I drank a liter of water and two 12 oz beers and started to get things flowing again. Finally on Monday I drank close to my normal amount of fluids, but I still feel like I’m catching up.

Moral of the story? The Mayo Clinic suggests an average male should have 3 liters of fluids per day. Of course it would be a good idea if most of that is water. I’m not quite at 3 liters, but I’m getting there! Some tea and beer can’t hurt too much, and I’ll have soda here and there, but when you hear some people drink a 12 pack of diet Dr. Pepper every day, you just have to wonder what is happening to their body. Yikes!

Stay hydrated!