I’ve read a lot about water, and how much we’re really supposed to drink. You’d be surprised how much conflicting information is out there.
One thing for me is that I’m probably spending most days dehydrated. On the rare occasion that I’ve talked to doctors about my fluid intake they’ve been pretty shocked by how abysmally small it is. I’ve been told multiple times that I’m keeping myself horribly low on fluids.
But it’s probably the hardest habit I’ve ever tried to break. I think it will likely be one of my greatest stumbling blocks when it comes to my thru-hike. I may drink an entire 16 oz glass of some kind of liquid in a day. But that’s about it.
That’s far less than the two liters of liquid you’re supposed to consume. See, most people are starting to agree that it’s not 8 glasses of water a day, but between food, juice, and water you need about 2 liters of liquid a day. Food doesn’t really account for much, but juice counts the same way that water does. Though you shouldn’t JUST have juice, I think the best idea I read was that half of it should be water.
But my problem is two fold. First, I’m just not thirsty. A doctor told me that’s because I’ve trained my body to not be thirsty because it’s dehydrated. It’s gotten used to the status quo and I have to teach it otherwise. Easier said than done, because the other problem is that most of the time if I drink a large amount of water I get sick. My stomach feels distended and gross and I get nauseous.
I have no idea how to solve this problem properly. I’ve tried at multiple points in my life to start slowly and increase my water intake. The idea usually is to keep several 16-20 oz refillable bottles of water in the fridge and every day I have to drink one of those. It’s nowhere near what I’m supposed to get, but I try to start small. So far it’s never stuck. I just can’t get the habit to stay. I don’t have the will power.
But for my thru-hike, I have to. I feel like dehydration on the trail will be one of my most dangerous enemies after the bears.