Why is Water Important?
Water is the foundation of virtually every process in your body. That means that if you aren’t hydrated, every other healthful activity you are doing won’t be as effective. For instance:
- Vitamins won’t be absorbed as effectively
- Exercise, chiropractic and massage won’t be as impactful
- Anti-aging lotions or treatments won’t work as well
Signs of Dehydration
Even mild dehydration can impact your mood, energy and ability to think clearly. In fact, the first sign of dehydration isn’t thirst so oftentimes we can ignore these signals. These signals include:
- Trouble concentration
- Weight gain/bloat
- Drop in mood
- Dry skin and brittle nails
How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?
The question then becomes how much water should you be drinking? Although everyone is different, the rule of thumb is half of your weight in ounces per day. Here is how you would calculate that if you were 160 lbs.:
160 lbs ÷ 2 = 80
80 ÷ 8 ounces in a glass = 10 glasses per day
If this seems like a whole lot more than you are currently drinking, please don’t add it all in at once! Your body needs time to adapt or else you will be spending the majority of the day in the bathroom. Instead, add in an extra glass a day each week. For example, if you are currently drinking 4 glasses per day, increase it to 5 glasses per day for the next week. Once you have gotten used to that, add in an additional glass until you reach your goal.
Tricks to Sneak in More Water
But what if you always have the best intentions but get too distracted to drink all your water? Or if you just really don’t like the taste at all? Here are a few ways to sneak in water throughout the day.
Drink in Bed
Put a glass of water next to your bed before you go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, finish that glass before your feet hit the ground. 8 ounces is less than you think and you have started your day on a hydrated note before you even brush your teeth.
Drink during the Transitions
Although carrying a water bottle around can be a good way to remind you to drink your water, sometimes you can get so used to it that it becomes more of an accessory than a reminder. Instead, remember to drink during the transitions. For instance, have a glass of water before leaving the house in the morning, or don’t leave for lunch before you finish your first water bottle.
Add Some Flavor to Your Water
Even for people who love water, it can become quote boring. Jazz up your water with some fruit. Try this easy and delicious recipe:
Watermelon Mint Cooler:
- 2 cups of watermelon, cubed
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- ~32 ounces of white tea or fresh water
Combine all the ingredients and chill overnight. Enjoy!
Eat Your Water
Fruits and vegetables are ~90% water. So for every cup of raw fruits and vegetables you eat, you are getting almost that much water. Cooking removes much of this water so if your main goal is hydration it is best to blend them, eat them raw or lightly steam the fruits and vegetables.
All of the Above
I find that a combination of all of the above is what tends to work best. Here’s what my day typically looks like:
- 8 ounces of water when I first wake up
- A blended fruit and vegetable smoothie mid-morning
- A bottle of sparkling water with lunch
- A water bottle in the afternoon that I make sure to drink before I leave work for the day
- Another bottle of sparkling water with dinner
Although I’m not super rigid with this plan (no, I’m not as Type A as you may think!) building this habit keeps me accountable throughout the day. It also offers enough variety that I’m never forcing a lot of water down or playing catch-up before bed. Instead I’m actually enjoying staying hydrated!
What are your favorite tricks for drinking more water? Let me know in the comments below!
Article was written by Tara Coleman and first appeared on www.totalgymdirect.com.