Take the 21 Day Hydration Challenge!Aug 01, 2023
When I ask my acupuncture patients about their hydration habits, nine out of ten people say “I don’t drink enough water” with a tone of guilt.
Your body is 70% water, and every cell in your body needs water. So yes, your body will function better if you are well-hydrated.
And just to be clear, there is a difference between medically dehydrated, which is an acute condition, and sub-optimal hydration, which is usually not “obvious” but can lead to a multitude of chronic symptoms. In this discussion, I am addressing the latter.
How do you know if you are not in the optimal range of hydration? It can seem kind of vague, so let’s make this more concrete.
First, use this equation to calculate
your approximate wellness needs for daily hydration:
Start with a daily water “formula” based on your weight: drink half your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 140 lbs, then your daily goal would be 70 ounces of water a day. If you weigh 220 lbs, your goal is 110 ounces. (Reminder: there are 8 ounces per cup.) Adjust the total up if you sweat a lot (ie very athletic, work/live in a hot environment, etc).
Now, put this to the test: commit to 21 days of optimal hydration. Most people who do this experience positive changes in their health, often quite dramatic. What you might notice depends of course on what you are living with now, but some examples include: fewer and less intense headaches, decreased allergies or skin conditions, less muscle pain, and better sleep.
Here are a few tips for making it easier to increase your water intake:
Track your intake by filling your water bottle and always drinking from it (even if you pour the water into a glass), and track the number of refills need to meet your daily quota. You have to track your intake accurately for the 21-day challenge to be of use.
Add flavor to your water: cucumber slices, lemon slices, or fresh mint.
Mix it up between regular water and bubbly water.
Link drinking a glass of water to an already established habit: likely you brush your teeth twice a day. Drink 8 ounces of water after each brush. If you spend a lot of time on your computer, likely you set a timer to remind yourself to get up and stretch (and if you don’t, please do!!). Drink water during each stretch break. I let my dogs out into the backyard at least 6 times a day - I just had the inspiration to link letting them out with drinking water!
OK - do your math, figure out your daily intake needs, and commit. Today is August 1st; take the 21-Day Hydration Challenge starting now and you won’t have to work hard to remember what day you are on!
Do you like apps?
We’re trying out a very simple one to help you take the 21 Day challenge. Point your camera app on the QR code above and tap the pop up banner. App will open in your phone’s Chrome or Safari browser - no download needed.