Let’s Go Drinking!!

This post was kindly written by Max Shippee of CrossFit 1440. Find out more about Max here. Thanks, Max!

“How much water should I drink?”Paleo Water Test

“How often do you pee, and what color is it?”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously.”

It’s a bit interesting to me how concerned we are with what we’re putting into our bodies, and never take much notice about how it comes out. Not that we have to go collecting samples or anything, but just having an idea of how your system is functioning, at both ends, can help you make better decisions when fine tuning your nutrition, fitness, and life in general.

Most of your body is water.

You already know that water is good for you. You know having enough makes your kidneys and liver happy, as well as helping shuttle nutrients around the body.

You’ve cut out soda, skipped the sports drinks, and do your best to drink that one cup of coffee black. Well done. You’re getting yourself reacquainted with the good stuff nature intended. But should you have a goal for water consumption? I mean, how much should you be drinking?

Get to it, how much?

The answer is really quite simple, but a little different for everyone. You should pee clear (or close to it) 5 times a day. Two of those five should be after your workout, to be sure you’ve rehydrated. It’s really that simple. Of course, you’ll probably pee more than this, but if you’re getting your 5CP’s (clear pees) in a day, chances are you’re plenty hydrated.

Telling a person that they should drink something like 8 glasses or 64 ounces can be misleading. Depending on things like our daily activity, stress, and even sleep, we may need more or less than that. We also get a good deal of water from the food we eat. Veggies like cucumbers, carrots, and celery have quite a bit of moisture (try juicing those three together – it’s tasty and you get TONS of juice). Taking all this into account and having someone else figure out that perfect quantity for your particular body can be just this side of impossible. Giving you the guideline to do it yourself? Now you’re empowered! Through pee! Amazing, I know.

Start your day hydrated.

I teach a class at the gym at 5:15am, so every morning a bit before 5am, I’m having two big glasses (about 24-30oz total) of water. That’s before breakfast! Then I grab the keys and head out the door. This does two things for me. First off, I’ve spent the night essentially fasting and detoxing during sleep, and this surge of water helps to mobilize and flush out the toxins left over from the night, without starting the digestive engine. Second, it helps me to put breakfast off for a bit, remaining healthily in the fasted state for another hour or two. (More on fasted states in an upcoming post. We know there have been some great questions about this topic). By the time I have breakfast (usually around 10am), I’ve probably got at least 2CP’s in already. My attitude is generally better, and my head is clear.

So, give it a shot. Grab a glass or two in the morning with or without breakfast, first thing. Then pay attention to how your body is working through your extra water throughout the day. You may find that this little conscious addition to your nutrition brings an elevation to your condition!

I look forward to reading the comments on THIS one. ;)

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8 Comments

  1. Note: If you are going to print the Urine Color Chart you will want to laminate it as well.

  2. Love the post! I have for many years monitored the color of my pee, feeling like a weirdo, but knowing it’s the best indicator of whether I am hydrated enough. Some people don’t get why I make so many trips to the bathroom – calling my bladder weak and useless – but nothing perks up my mood or clears my head like a tall glass of good ol H2O!

  3. Great Post, thanks! I also have monitored the color and frequency. I recently changed vitamins/supplements and started taking enzymes and glutamine all recommendations from my Dr to help wtih IBS (irritable bowel syn) So, although I am drinking a ton of water, always have, about 30 mins after taking the supplements, the color is bright yellow. I will drink more water and the next time I go, it’s better. I am hoping this normal? Don’t know what else I could do…

    • Great to hear people are paying attention!

      Jess-you sound like a hydration machine!
      Barbie99- Multivitamins often turn your pee all kinds of crazy colors. I was taking one for a while that made it look like I was peeing Lime Gatorade! It has to do with the extra (water soluble) vitmins that your body doesn’t need filtering out through your pee. No biggie.

      I have found, though, that by having a whole/complete food multivitamin, my pee doesn’t change color. My theory (just my theory, mind you) is that the phytonutrients present in the whole foods help to metabolize the vitamins & minerals more effectively, so they don’t end up down the drain. Maybe see if you can find a whole food vitamin with similar vitamin & mineral breakdown & experiment? (some of the whole food/green vitamins will also contain enzymes!)

  4. Redacted

    I’ve noticed that when i take a multi-vitamin irregularly and attempt to up my water intake is when my pee turns all sorts of funky colors. However, after taking it regularly for a couple of weeks, everything has finally balanced itself out. Even if it does turn your pee a weird color, you should still be having CP’s by the end of the day if you are getting enough water.

    Has anyone read about the benefits of putting fresh squeezed lemon juice into that AM glass of water?

  5. When I go to bed I have a large water bottle full right next to me. Due to some needed medications I tend to get a very dry mouth, so I find myself waking up all night long for a drink of water. By the time I get up in the morning I find that many times I have drank the entire bottle. The first thing I drink after that is a cup of good coffee. About an hour after waking it is “caveman smoothie” time. The entire day is having water with me all the time and I drink plenty. I am so far very sucessful on the Paleo Plan and both my husband and myself are very happy with it. We started Jan 2nd and maybe have a free meal once a week (sometimes we don’t because we are enjoying our food so much).

  6. Redacted – Re: Lemon Juice – my understanding is the lemon helps your body maintain an alkaline balance, not a bad idea, and probably a good one ;)

    Patricia – you sound like one hydrated cave-woman!

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