I know what you are thinking, “OMG another article on why I should drink water…… BUT I hope this one brings up somethings that you did not think about. How much water did you drink is one of the first things I ask my clients before we start each session. Honestly I never use to drink enough and I can really understand the struggle that it sometimes presents. BUT I will tell you once I got a little creative and starting carrying a bottle with me I learned to crave it. I noticed so many health changes, some almost immediately. Yes I know one of the biggest drawbacks to drinking water is the frequent trips to the restroom and that does suck- I get it. Once I started (TMI Alert) thinking about every time I was going tinkle I was actually detoxing my body and ridding it of unwanted stuff it got a little more doable. Remember the whole what color is your pee test too. If it is bright neon green drink up NOW. Your body does adjust to the water intake so the whole potty thing gets better trust me.
Some of my clients swear they drink enough water then I have them do this fun little test. You try it now. Pinch the skin on the back of your hand. Does your skin spring back into shape, like a gymnast sticking a landing? Or does it take its sweet time spreading out and settling? If your answer is the second one, you’re in need of some H2O.
I know you have heard a lot of this but I hope some of it is new to you and useful to you as well. If you want to lose weight, you need to drink water. If you exercise, you need to drink water. If you want healthy skin, you need to drink water. Your body is comprised of 70% water (and your brain is 90% water!). Your blood and every cell in your body are made almost entirely from water. If you want to be alert, have organs that function properly, and get the most out of your workouts, you need to drink enough water.
We get it right? Drinking enough water to stay hydrated every day can be a daunting task. Here are some tips that will help. In the spirit of this post how about pouring yourself a glass of water right now to sip as you read? Go ahead, I’ll wait. 🙂
Do you Know how much you should drink?
Knowing is half the battle, right? We recommend drinking half your body weight, in ounces of water, every day. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, divide that by 2. Your magic number would be 90. That’s 90 ounces of water every day, a little more than 2.5 liters.
Your number might be different, its ok.
Everyone has different hydration needs, based on weight, exercise intensity, kidney function, climate, and a bunch of other stuff. If you live in Death Valley, for example, you’ll want to add a few more glasses of water. Pay attention to how your body feels when it is properly hydrated and use that as a cue.
Now that you know how much you need, it’s time to keep track of how much you are actually getting. Measure how many ounces your glass or bottle holds and figure out many times you’ll need to refill it during the day. This is where the competitiveness comes in for me. It is kinda like those pedometers to me, I won’t stop till I hit my goal.There are dozens of free apps that keep track of your water consumption and reward you when you reach your goal. Find one that you like and turn hydration into a game. Here are a few for you to check out. Water your Body , Water Logged, Tap it (this one is kind of cool, it shows you where you can refill your water bottle for free), Carbodroid.
Rise and shine!
Drink a glass—or two!—as soon as you wake up. You haven’t had any fluids for 8 hours, so this could be the most dehydrated you will be all day. Plus, it’s a great way to jump-start your metabolism. Try leaving a tall glass of water on your nightstand and drink it before you get out of bed. One of the best ways to flush your system of those toxins is to down a large glass of water first thing in the am . Yes this is to be done before you indulge in that AM cup of java or tea.
Try adding lemon to your water- (I only buy organic lemons for my water since it goes directly into my water AND I scrub them all good) Here are a few reasons why I think adding lemon to your water makes sense.
- Boosts your immune system
- Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
- Balances pH
- Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.
- Helps with weight loss
- Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.
- Aids digestion
- The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.
- Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic
- Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
- Clears skin
- The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.
- Hydrates the lymph system
- Refreshing lemon water
This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) it can’t perform all of it’s proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, and the list goes on. Your adrenals happen to be two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!
Make drinking water a habit. Do the timer trick above for 21 days and, congratulations, you will have formed a habit.Make more water
Make sure you fill up your water bottle before you walk your dog, check your email, or when you leave for work. Drink a glass of water before you brush your teeth or wash your face. Then, drink another glass when you are done. I know it seems crazy and like a lot but trust me you will notice the difference. When you think about it what a great and easy way to add some health and vitality to your life. No pill, no Dr. appointment, no shot needed, just crisp, clean refreshing water.
Choose your vessel
I think drinking out of a glass is more appealing than swilling from a paper or Styrofoam cup. And, it’s gentler to the environment. Choose a beautiful glass or pitcher that you’ll want to use frequently. Feeling fancy? How about a goblet? Nowadays you can pick up fancy glass water bottles from Target or another retail store really easy. Do not use those plastic bottles. This is a whole other blog post but for now just don’t do it 🙂 This is my water bottle right now and I love it. I got it at Target for $12. I have about 3 I use.
Exercise requires more water
Being dehydrated can slow you down and zap your energy, making your cardio or weight lifting workout feel brutal. Your muscles need fluids to function fluidly, so be sure to hydrate before, during, and after exercise. There is a reason when you are at the gym or working out at home the trainers are always barking at you to drink your water.
Replace other beverages with water
How many ounces of soda, juice, coffee, or beer do you imbibe on a daily basis? Come on, be honest. If you regularly drink a Venti latte and an orange soda, swap them for water. That’s 32 ounces right there, not to mention the hundreds of calories eliminating those drinks will save you. You all know I love my wine, lately I have been replacing one glass of wine with one glass of water. How’s that for balance 🙂
Drink when you are hungry
If you feel a snack attack coming on, drink a glass of water, then wait 15 minutes. Dehydration pangs are often misread by the body as hunger. A glass of water will replenish your body and help you feel satiated. If you are still hungry 15 minutes later, reach for a piece of fruit or a handful of raw nuts. This trick works for me 80% of the time. I ask my clients to do this and they love it. I am never telling them not to eat if they are truly hungry but it is a good idea to challenge yourself and find out if you “really” are hungry or could you just need more water.
Eat your water
You can add even more hydration by eating water-packed fruits like melons, cucumbers, berries, and celery. These are some of the best things to add when you are making homemade juice. They are packed with water and add a great volume to your juice.
Not thrilled with the tasteless taste of water? Think it tastes like licking windows? You can give your water zing by adding a wedge of lemon, crushed mint leaves, sliced cucumbers, or strawberries. I have a relative, cough cough SANDY. that hates the taste of water. During her last visit I put the water in a fancy pitcher and added strawberries and pineapples. She was hooked. The only thing about this is you don’t want to leave the fruit in their more than a day as it can take on a strange taste after awhile. I am not a fan of the crystal light kind of things that you add to your water. Those have unnecessary chemicals and other things you do not need. Go for the “real” stuff.
Give yourself a little variety
Not all of your H2O has to be room temperature, or loaded with ice. Mix it up. Serve warm water with lemon or brew a cup of herbal tea.
Invite your friends or office mates to participate in a water challenge with you. Set a goal of how much water each person will drink per day, then keep score. The people who skip the most glasses of water have to buy lunch. Invite me to this lunch too 🙂
When in doubt, drink water
Many common complaints, including headache and constipation, can be alleviated by downing a tall glass of water. Studies show that water can play a vital role in preventing more dire conditions as well, including several types of cancer. In one study, drinking more water reduced the risk of colon cancer by 45% in women and 32% in men.
SO did you learn anything new?
Some of this article was adapted from Kirsten Morningstar