Monday, November 1, 2010

Drink Water!

When I was in college, I volunteered for 5 years as a junior high youth group leader at my church in Davis, CA.

I ran a small group girls' Bible study (with Bethany!), taught lessons at youth group, sang with the band, and chaperoned retreats, camps, and mission trips to Mexico (OK, I only did the Mexico thing once because I got so sick that I thought I might die. Another story for another day...).

Bethany & Megan, circa 2006. The beginning of beautiful friendship!

 Being a youth leader was one of the greatest and most formative experiences of my college career.

It helped me discover that not only do I like working with kids, but I'm actually good at it.

If I hadn't become a teacher, I would have become a youth pastor.

I actually applied to credential school and seminary at the same time because I couldn't decide which I wanted to do! I got into credential school first, so that's what I went with! :)

Every winter, we would take the junior highers to Snow Camp for a long weekend. It was always the highlight of the year.

We would drive up on Friday and spend all day Saturday playing in the snow. On Sunday, we would drive down the road to Dodge Ridge and ski/snowboard for the day. We would sleep in on Monday, have a pancake brunch, and then drive back home in the afternoon. It was 3 1/2 glorious days of laughing, games, talking about Jesus, and loving on kids.

It was also an important lesson in hydration (you didn't see that one coming, did you??). Every single year, we would have a kid get dehydrated and sick. It was always a major bummer. Whenever we saw a kid with an empty water bottle, we would make them go fill it. In addition to all the normal "stay safe"-type rules, our motto for every trip was "DRINK WATER!"

Despite my deeply-ingrained knowledge of how important hydration is, I still have a tendency to forget. Just this past weekend, I ended up with a raging headache because I had not been hydrating properly. In fact, when I poured myself a glass of water (to wash down my two Excedrin), I couldn't remember the last sip of water I had taken. Bad Megan.

In case you need reminding too, here are a few hydration tips:
  • Start the day with a cup of hot water with a good squeeze of fresh lemon. This will give your digestive system a boost.
  • Drink a glass of water before and during each meal. I have almost completely eliminated all beverages from my daily diet except for water (and a cup of coffee in the morning!)
  • Have a glass of cold water when you start to feel hungry. People often confuse mild feelings of thirst with mild hunger.
  • When you are dehydrated your attention and concentration can decrease by 13% and short term memory by 7%. Drinking enough water helps to improve your concentration.
  • According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, women should consume 91 ounces of water a day, and men need 125 ounces. 
    • That's more than the recommended 6-8 cups, but remember that approximately 45 to 50 percent of daily water intake comes from drinking fluids, about 35 percent from eating food, and the rest from metabolism.
  • Drink water even when you don't feel thirsty; by the time you feel thirsty your body has lost between 2 and 5 cups of water!

I use this super cute stainless steel water bottle that I got at Museum of Science in Boston.

I fill it up in the morning and keep it on my desk at work. I try to drink enough water that by lunch I have to fill it up again and then one more time before I leave for home. I am better about drinking enough water during the week when I have a schedule than I am on the weekends. 

Some of my friends at work have been sporting this fancy bottle from Bobble.

I am intrigued, if not in part just because it looks so cool. It has an activated carbon filter that removes organic contaminants from tap water. The filter needs to be replaced after 2 months (or 40 gallons).

I used a Brita filter when I lived in Davis (the tap water there is notoriously gross), but since moving back to the Bay Area have not bothered. I don't give a lot of thought to how pure my tap water is, but I sometimes wonder if I should. The taste does not bother me like the taste of Davis water did, but how am I supposed to know exactly what I'm drinking?

Regardless, please make sure you are getting enough water (filtered or otherwise)! It's important for your health!

Do you use a home water filter or a Bobble?