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August 9, 2010

Too Little and Too Much of a Good Thing

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Crystal Light.

The most dehydrated I've ever been was in August of 2000. I was twenty-one years old, in Europe for the first time, taking a ten-day tour of Italy after my month-long study abroad with my boyfriend in Neuchatel, Switzerland. En route to Italy, we overnighted at a hostel nestled in the shadow of the Matterhorn, and it was there that we ran into a scrappy backpacker who had a drink with us, passed along a few crumpled photocopies about a place called Cinque Terre, and then disappeared into the fog of the night. We'd never heard of the place (this was before Rick Steves pimped it to the public-television masses) but it looked amazing, so it was an easy decicion to skip Pisa and Siena and spend our last two days in Italy on the coast instead. Cinque Terre--a string of five small-to-tiny villages tucked up to the chin by the sapphire sheet of the Mediterranean--were probably the most spectacular picture-postcard places I'd ever seen. They were also a welcome excuse to slow down, sit, recline, and relax after a whirlwind tour of Venice, Florence, and Rome. On our second day there, we set out from one of the towns intending to hike along the cliffside trail to the next town--not too far--but then when we got to the next town, it was so beautiful, we decided to keep going...and keep going, and keep going, and then before we knew it we were on an endless trail perched between villages and it was HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT, and even though we took some time out to rest our sun-soaked bones on a rock spit turned boat ramp before testing out our bouyancy in the super salty sea a bit, that turned out to be our worst idea because when we got out and air dried our bodies (no towels), we found ourselves entirely encrusted with salt, and we had NO WATER. We had been hiking for hours and it was HOT. (Our spot was right behind the pink towel at the far left.) Because we were behind the curve of the coast, we didn't know how close (or far) we were to the next town, and as we walked and walked and sweated and sweated, I swear I could feel the second-skin of salt leaching out of my body whatever miniscule drops of water were left in my system. I pictured myself as a dessicated corpse and didn't like what I saw. So we persevered. And complained mightily. And (spoiler!) didn't die. (The sun nearly whitewashed my hair to transparent that day, though.) So that was the most dehydrated I've ever been. The most hydrated I've ever been? December 14, 2008, when I was in labor with my son. I showed up to the hospital so dehydrated it took four people and seven increasingly apologetic stabs to get an IV in me, and then I spent the next twenty hours (twenty hours!) (in addition to the six I'd labored at home!) hooked up to bag after bag after bag of saline, so that by the time the baby was out and Simon was sticking cameras in my face, I looked like a blonde, pink Jabba the Hutt (albeit clutching the cutest swaddling worm you ever did see). And then while I was incapacitated by the post-birth haze of euphoria, he proceeded to email the very worst of those photos to everyone in his address book. Now, I realized--and so did everyone else--that I had just given birth. Like just. My hair was a mess, I hadn't slept in a long time, I had produced LIFE. I get that. But I was also bloated and squishy and eeeuuuuuggge and just...ugh. You can't Photoshop that stuff out is what I'm saying; it wasn't how I pictured Wombat's birth announcement. (And no, you cannot see those pictures.) So, water is like a lot of things: you can definitely have too little or too much of it, and the best place to be is right in the middle--hydrated but not full to bursting like a water balloon. Usually I accomplish the balance by keeping water with me throughout the day, either as a cup of ice water next to the computer or a full water bottle and a few packs of Crystal Light thrown into my purse when I go out. I mean, I like water as much as the next guy, but I prefer it in moderation, thank you very much. I'm not after creating any more memories of being on either end of its bad side. How about you? What's your water style? Do you have a water routine that helps you stay hydrated throughout the day? Do you remember ever being particularly over- or under-watered? ***

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80 Comments

Oh man, you're making me feel guilty. I NEED to stay hydrated--this I know--and then somehow it's bedtime, and I've only managed to consume three glasses of water all day long. Will remedy this!

I am terrible at drinking water. It usually happens that at 9 p.m. I realize I haven't had nearly enough throughout the day and guzzle a few glasses. This of course leads to multiple wake ups during the night which is just plain annoying.

Funny thing, but I was also in Cinque Terre in August 2000 and came about it quite the same way. Loved it enough that I've been back multiple times, although it is definitely over touristed compared to way back when.

I am a terrible water drinker. I never drink enough and I also was PUMPED so full of fluid with both babies that I thought the tops of my feet were going to burst open.

Oh, man. I labored for about 24 hours and then had a c-section, and no one told me that they pump you so full of fluids that, after you have the baby, you will STILL WEIGH THE SAME. And in the hospital, there was a scale at the end of the hall that I made myself walk to, since I was supposed to get up and walk frequently, and I thought, gee, it'll be nice to see that I've lost at least 7 lbs, 2 oz., right? Ha. And yeah, I realized it was all the fluids, but it did not feel nice to see the same exact number I'd been seeing every damn day since, oh, FOREVER. Then I proceeded to sweat all those fluids out at night over the next month. Drenched, I tell you - I kept several changes of PJs at the foot of my bed and changed a couple times a night.

Gross, yeah? But babies are teh awesome!

I know I probably stay in a constant state of dehydration. It's so hard to get water in me. Thankfully, I love Crystal Light and since I discovered the green tea peach mango flavor, I can't stop drinking it! It's the only flavor I never get tired of.

I have water with me all the time and drink it on a near-constant basis. I'm super-prone to UTIs and the best way for me to stave 'em off is to keep hydrated. Plus, I live in a desert, so I just make it a habit to always have water with me. I drink 3-4 liters a day between work, the gym, and evenings at home.

Also, I was in Cinque Terre in 2000, too, but I was there in July!

I'm definitely bad about drinking water, and it shows in my skin. I wonder if having Crystal Light around would help. Thank you for sharing this info. :)

I drink a ton of water - except for this past week. My water filter thingamabob is on loan to someone else and I'm too picky to drink straight tap water. So I've been coming home and pounding water.

It's not working so well. I get really cranky when I'm parched. Plus I have a hard time regulating my body temp when I'm dehydrated and I work in an A/C less office and it's been in the upper 80s for a week or two. 95 excepted tomorrow - boo! Thanks for the reminder to fill my nalgene at home tonight.

thanks for sharing your stories, hot and dehydrated sounds painful, but Cinque Terre looks beautiful. i sip on water nonstop, my friends think i'm diabetic, i checked with the doctor and i'm not (yet?).


I always love water maybe because of the green tea drinking habit that my family has. I drink a ton daily. Stay fully hydrated makes me feel energetic.

I drink water constantly and my husband mocks me for it. He never drinks water which I find bizarre and ridiculous.

I'm pretty good about drinking water during the day but am terrible about it at night. Thinking I'll have to start carrying around some sort of straw having cup with me to guard it against curious animals :)

I like really really ice cold water!

I am great about staying hydrated at work (nothing says "5 minute break!" like a trip to the water cooler) but when I'm at home I can go hours and hours and only realize that perhaps I should drink something when I notice my pee is practically orange.

I drink at least one 8-ounce bottle of water with my lunch, and try to fill it up and drink it throughout the afternoon. Plus more with dinner, especially if there is wine involved. The rule is one cup of water for every alcoholic drink!

I'm so horrible about drinking water. I have to have it ice cold, which makes it really hard. I do pretty well when I'm at work, but other than that...never.

I feel like a suck up to the sponsor-Gods, but I swear the only way I stay hydrated at all is with Crystal Light. I have a cabinet FULL of the little packets, and the big ones that make an entire pitcher. I make a pitcher (either with one of my recently acquired big packets, or 6 little ones, ghetto-style), and then drink the entire thing within an hour or so.

Then I drink nothing but diet soda for days on end.

Crystal Light has just become my drink of choice these past 2 weeks! I had bariatric surgery and Crystal Light makes delicious drinks that I'm actually allowed to have :)

I never really drink enough water during the work week. Maybe a pack of those crystal light singles would change my habit? I have some at home and it definitely increases my water intake at home.

I carry a big water bottle with me all the time and try to fill it up multiple times during the day. I think it comes from years of climbing and hiking, I've just gotten used to always drinking water. I can tell when I'm starting to dehydrate and try and chug some more water or gatorade.

I usually carry around a water bottle with me everywhere I go. I don't have a fancy stainless steel bottle I just re-use plastic bottles I already have.

Vietnam 2004: the great dehydration, in which I discovered by reading Tim O'Brien that tourists and soldiers alike need both salt and water to become hydrated again (hence, saline IV, not water IV, seems obvious now but man did it suck).

I drink bottled water throughout the day. I don't remember ever being "over-watered".

Vitamin water, although not "as healthy" as water water, is what I add to my required and more of a pain then it is to clean out toilets daily intake.

It gets boring drinking water everyday, even when the kids suggest different colored straws. So I change it up with a lime, lemon, and then bring out the Vitamin Water. I'm sure it's not as healthy as I tell my 3lb brain, but it's definitely better off inside of me than my former 3x a day coke intake.

I have two tall reusable water bottles that I fill at night. One goes in the fridge, the other in the freezer. They both go to work with me. When one's finished the other is still icy cold. I keep crystal light on the go packets in my desk drawer at work for when I want a little flavor - cheaper than hitting the soda machine!

I actually passed out out in my yard a couple of years ago! Couldn't find anything wrong with me.They think I was dehydrated,who knows. I started drinking more water and flavored kinds also.

Plain water and I are not friends; if it's not spiked with On-The-Go packets or even lemon slices, I have a hard time drinking it. Sometimes I use a straw so I can get it down FAST...the doctor insists I need to drink more water and I'm trying!!

The most under-hydrated I've even been was last year when I had my hysterectomy. The day before they had me drink this awful liquid that tastes like pure salt to "clean" me out and then I wasn't permitted to eat or drink after midnight. I ended up going to bed around 5pm because I was sick to my stomach from drinking the awful operation-drano. My surgery was scheduled for 10 am and they delayed it until almost 4 so I was almost a full 24 hours without liquids or food. The day after my surgery the veins in my arm collapsed from being dehydrated and my blood pressure dropped to almost nothing; I stood up and almost hit the floor. I spend the next day drinking more water than I ever had before in my life.

Part of my evening routine is filling up the water bottles for my kid's school so it's super easy to fill one up for myself at the same time. In the morning, I just grab it and go.
I drink a ton of water in the car at every stop light and while I'm waiting for the kids to be dismissed from whatever activity I'm picking them up from.

When I wanted to lose weight my doctor told me one of the easiest things to do was to up my water intake, but I would get (3) 8 ounce glasses in and think, “I need to be done!” I’d always had the packets, but I kept them in the boxes and they were “out of sight, out of mind”. Then, I moved them to a clear glass that was just a little shorter than they are. I leave them out on the counter and now I drink more water than ever! So do my kids…everyone has lost weight. That was 2 years and 50 pounds ago!

I am hope all day with the kiddos so I keep a glass on the counter and try to drink when I'd rather eat. Plus I drink water with my meals. Still not enough though... I need to improve.

I try to drink 4 bottles of water a day - more if it is really hot. 2 bottles are plain, and 2 are flavored. I space them out throughout the day.

I am famous for my big blue cup at work! I carry it around everywhere and am always drinking water with it!

I have a clock in my office that chimes every hour. I make sure I drink at least 8 ounces every hour.

I stay hydrated by drinking half my body weight in ounces of water per day. Now, I can't do all that with plain water. I flavor with Crystal Light...esp pink lemonadge.

From the moment I leave home in the morning to the time I go to bed at night, I try to have water with me at all times. I have a water and aple cider vinegar drink that I consume every morning on my way to work. When I arrive at work, I usually down a water bottle within the first hour of the day. After that, I drink about additional bottles of water every two-three hours.
sazzyfrazz at gmail dot com

I make sure to always keep water handy. If it's right in front of me, I'll remember to drink it. I have a large reusable water bottle that I make sure to fill and drink at least twice per day. Luckily, I've never been severely dehydrated!

I am so bad about drinking enough water. I go through spurts where i will drink several glasses a day and then I slowly taper off to where I'm barely drinking any. I need to develop a good water routine and stick with it.

I remember being dehydrated once when playing in a weekend softball tournament. It was the worst feeling I have ever felt in my life and I have always made sure to drink plenty of water since then.

I have a 44oz. insulated cup that I drink at least 3 of each day - 1 by lunch, 1 by dinner, 1 by bedtime. It helps me keep track of my water intake, and keeps my water cold!

I agree with others. It's been one of the hottest summers here and I don't have a hydration plan. I'm gonna think about it now. And will start a plan soon.

I always have a water bottle with me, and I belong to our water club at work, so I don’t have a problem staying hydrated. I haven’t tried Crystal Light, but I think I might try those packets to change things up a bit!

Ice water with lemon is my favorite.

I used to work at a plant nursery, going out into the field and watering plants and trees ironically, but there was no way that I was drinking straight out of the hose, so I use to get dehydrated before lunch all of the time.

I always keep a water bottle near me throughout the day. I feel "lost" without it!

I take a big water bottle to work every day and try to make it less boring with lemon or cucumber slices.

I have a little 1 liter water bottle that I drink and fill up probably three times through the course of the day. Then at night I drink crystal light peach tea:)

I actually have a Camelbak water bottle I LOVE, and I really only drink from that. It's 16 oz and I probably drain and fill it four times a day? Sometimes more, depending on what's going on/how hot it is outside. For some reason, for me awesome water bottle = I will drink so much water I am super duper hydrated, hurrah!

I stay hydrated by bringing a bottle of wate with my when I go for a walk. It's especilly important now since its so hot.

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