Most of us have been told to drink more water, and most of us should. But I know every time I set a goal of hydrating myself more (usually around the first of January) Sadly though, I only last a day. I mean well but the frequent urination is bothersome. I have a job that ties me to a phone line and frowns on excessive bathroom breaks. So I always end up feeling like a water balloon and before I know it I am back to being dehydrated.
So, how do you work this? There must be a way to stay hydrated and not feel like a hydrant. I mean everyone always says you need to drink a lot of water (I’ve been told one ounce for every pound.) But I don’t know about that. If you weigh 300 pounds, for example, that would be 300 ounces or roughly 2.3 gallons. If you did drink that much, I am sure you would lose weight though. If nothing else because you would be too busy drinking and peeing to eat anything. So there must be a cap on what’s too much, right? And that can’t be good on your kidneys processing all that H2O. And why do I feel almost drunk and somewhat nauseous when I drink so much liquid?
I knew when January came around I would try to make weight loss a goal for the new year (like I do every time we complete a circle) and I knew drinking water would be a big part of the plan. But I didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes I make every year. So this year, I researched and came up with some answers that work for me.
I am not a medical professional but I have discussed the topic at length with my G.P. These ideas may work for you. Actual miles may vary So if you have questions consult with a doctor.
Part 1 You’ve been hoarding
If you are chronically under-hydrated (and according to the AMA about 70% of Americans are), then you’re body has made adjustments to try to save water. While philosophers and theologians may say we are so much more than our bodies, someone in the medical field might just say we are an amalgamation of cells. (roughly 37 trillion) Almost all of them get mighty thirsty. It takes time to get them all provided for, And we lose water every second through breathing and perspiration. We lose over a quart from sweating something we do all the time not just when we are working out. When we lose more water than we take in, our blood becomes more concentrated, this signals to the kidneys to slow functioning making urination less frequent. Since hydration is essential in proper bowel movement, the G.I also slows down, and your intestinal tract becomes sluggish.
So shouldn’t pounding down a couple quarts of water get everything “soaked up”? Why am I seemingly peeing as much as I am drinking? Several reasons. For one, depending on how long you have been underhydrated your body has stored up toxins that need to be flushed out. It is not uncommon for your first few turns at the toilet to produce some reasonably yellow urine. (In an adequately hydrated person it is usually straw colored) The more colored urine is due to your body finally getting a temporary excess of water. And job one is getting your chemistry in synch. The second reason is that due to the sluggish bowel you most likely have your colon impacting on your bladder. This pressing against your bladder sends your brain a signal to urinate. If you continue to hydrate yourself, the bowels will also become properly hydrated again, and you may find you have a larger frequency of number two as well as urination. This is all normal. Your body is just getting rid of what it was hoarding.
Why do I feel nauseated or even almost drunk when I drink to much water. Too much water too fast can flush your electrolytes. If your sodium or Potassium is out of whack, it can create a kind of “drunk sensation.” it’s not a good thing and can be dangerous if you get that feeling: lay off the water for an hour or so to be safe.
Part 2 The Good News
The crazy bathroom thing will eventually pass (no pun intended) and return to normal. But how much is normal? Well according to the Mayo Clinic about six to seven times a day. If you feel you are adequately hydrated and still keep peeing a lot check with your doctor frequent urination that does not have a cause could be a sign of severe illness like diabetes. But if you haven’t been drinking a lot of water and when you do you are making frequent restroom visits, the extra water is most likely the reason.
How long you will have to suffer through the overactive bladder period varies,(several Drs said 3-5 days) but here are a few things to remember as you go through this phase. You might actually gain a couple pounds at first, because your body things this extra water bounty is too good to be true and stores some extra, eventually it flushes out. The upside is you may eat less just by being hydrated as your body no longer tries to get moisture from food. (sometimes we think we are hungry, but we are actually just thirsty, hence the old idea of drinking water before eating.)
It’s a stringent process to work through but so worth it, these are some things that helped me.
Too much coffee or tea can stimulate urination, it isn’t just the liquid that is doing it.
Try eating more fiber
Increased Fiber will help flush out your colon and will decrease the pressing on your bladder.
Exercise and work the Kiegle Muscles
This will help strengthen your pelvic area. Also, work on core exercises and be mindful of posture, slumping to far forward presses against your bladder, especially if you have a prominent belly.
Remember your kidneys are only human
A healthy pair of Kidneys can process around 16 ounces of water an hour If you exceed that amount the organs often just pass it through. Try to shoot for less water per session and drink throughout the day. A lot of people drink water out of huge jugs. Perhaps get a large coffee cup and drink that instead. Make a mental note of the time and have another cupper an hour later if you pace yourself out you will end up drinking about a gallon over eight hours. And you will most likely see your toilet excursions diminish.
It is SO worth getting past this annoyance because of the benefits you receive from proper hydration. Better skin, mental clarity, healthy weight loss, a lot more energy. So stick with it. Remember this too shall pass.
What are your experiences when you increased your water intake? How long did it take you to adjust back? Please let’s discuss. Please feel free to comment. I’d love the feedback.