Challenge: Drink a Gallon of Water a Day or Urine Trouble

Piss-poor pun?  😉

Drinking a gallon (3.79 L) of water is a recommended practice for active people – ½ a gallon a day is the general recommendation.  Some bodybuilders recommend more, but the key detail is your level of activity.  And it can be very personal…  Not drinking enough means suffering dehydration – from sweating, diuretics (coffee, anything with caffeine, alcohol), medication, diabetes, vomiting or diarrhea.  Symptoms include sore/dry mouth, loss of appetite, nausea.  The other side of the coin is water intoxication, which can be fatal.

So I tried increasing my water intake… Drinking 16 oz (think Starbucks Grande) an hour, for 8 hours, was my goal.  It helped that I found a Field Guide to Understanding the Many Possible Colours of your Urine.  In the interest of science, I looked.  In review, I can’t drink a gallon within 8 hours at work.  Starting at 8 AM, I hit a saturation point around 1 – 2 PM depending on the day.  I had a serious bathroom break need, and drinking another 16 oz would put me at the same point within an hour.  I’d read others not recommending chugging the water, because it’d increase the likelihood of a bathroom break but that wasn’t my experience – but I also paced refills on the hour, rather than race to make the goal as quickly as possible.

Additional reading: How Urine Can Be Used to Make Gunpowder (and Other Interesting Pee Facts)