Reasons I Should Stop Sucking at Hydrating

If you haven’t learned this about me by now, I tend to confess all the not-so-bright things I do on the internet. (Like, for example, the time I opened my Dyson dust chamber thing—it’s called the “clear bin” all over my kitchen table. Except I discovered recently that my friend, who has a PhD, did the same thing. So… Solidarity.)
For my latest confession:

Hi, my name is Kerri, and I suck at hydrating.

I’ve tried to work on this, for years. It’s just, I lose interest. (You guys can refer me back to my own goal setting post anytime now.) Even recently when one of my volunteers at Goalball introduced me to Plant Nanny—you water your virtual plant whenever you drink a glass of water—it even reminds you. Those reminders show up ON MY PEBBLE. And buzz at me. And guess what? My cactus died.
Guys. My CACTUS. DIED.
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I wasn’t even unrealistic either. I told the app I wanted to drink 21 ounces of water—that’s like three cups.
Three cups is not a lot. I take a pill in the morning, another at noon, and another two before I go to bed—I even have a habit to tie it to, not to mention the inhalers I take that could jog my memory when I rinse my mouth out.
I have good tasting water in my fridge (or, better tasting. Water is still boring, and I cannot get behind the adding lemons/strawberries/etc to it, okay? That seems like a lot of effort for something I am not interested in anyways).
Plus, it’s a cactus.Those guys are supposed to live forever without water, and now it is deadies.

Note to Self (and to YOU): Hydration Matters BECAUSE…

  • Okay, just read the first bit of this science-y study:
    “Research shows that dehydration may induce bronchospasm even before exercise and make exercise-induced asthma worse.”1
    I know it says may, but this was back in 1999. While we’ve learned that we can hydrate in other ways than drinking pure water—like that our bodies get water from fruits and veggies and juices and other liquids—but come on, 2016 self—1999 knew this!
  • Some way our bodies lose water are pretty obvious—take sweating and using the bathroom. Guess what else though? We lose water when we breathe. The moisture in our airways is helpful to keep us breathing easier—consider how it’s often more difficult to breathe in really cold, dry air—there’s less water hanging around there. The drier our airways are, the more hypersensitive we may be to asthma triggers we’re inhaling. More water in our bodies—in moderation—means our lungs are less dried out and less irritated—which can improve asthma control.
  • The eight eight-ounce glasses of water “rule”, is bogus.2 That means there’s no standard to live up to. (Hooray!)
    Drink when you’re mildly thirsty, but before you feel like your mouth is full of cotton. So… It’s easier than maybe you’ve been led to believe otherwise—break that rule, and go by thirst and the colour of your urine instead. (Here’s a chart on that. Seriously, the United States Army published it, go check it out.)
  • It keeps your body working better. Our muscles can move easier, our joints are better lubricated, our food can more easily move through the digestive system, our blood can flow more easily with more water on board, and our brains need water as part of the fine balance required to keep us sharp3

So, maybe by writing about why hydration is important, especially if you have asthma—and hey, I have asthma!—I’ll have identified a better reason to actually maybe try drinking water—like, look, I know my body needs water, just sometimes I don’t care. I’ve tried for a long time to get by on the fact that I’d like to trick myself into thinking I drink enough other stuff to get by but come on—yes, I drink a fair bit of milk, juice a few times a week, and like… Iced tea and decaf coffee-based Starbucks beverages? Yeah, I could be doing better there—even if a few extra bathroom trips are inconvenient (hey, at least I’ll get some more steps in?).

Is hydration something you need to tackle too? Or are you already a superstar? Give me your tips on how you plan to get there in the comments—because clearly I need them!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.
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