The human body is made up of 70% water. Water can perform many functions including regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and maintaining blood pressure and electrolyte balance. Not only is drinking water necessary for optimal health, but staying hydrated is a great way to help expel toxins from the body.
The problem is drinking enough water is easier said than done.
Many people have heard the phrase to drink 8 cups a day (64 ounces) and even though that’s a good start, that is not exactly enough based on the research.
According to the National Academy of Medicine men should consume about 13 cups of water while women should drink 9 cups. The research from NAM includes the fluid from water as well as other drinks and foods that contain water. The exact needs of each person may vary based on activity level and climate.
Positively shift your mindset
Focus on the health benefits you can achieve once you make hydrating your body part of your daily routine. Research shows that if you write down your goals you are more likely to achieve them. Write down three reasons why you personally need to start drinking more water. For example, you may be constantly fatigued, and that constant hydration may be that re-energizing kick your body needs. Or you may be trying to lose weight so adding water may be that first step towards a healthy lifestyle.
Develop you water habit
You can choose to add more water into your routine in many different ways:
- Drink a cup or two as soon as you wake up
- Drink a cup before each meal
- Drink a cup after each bathroom break
- Drink a glass right before you sleep
We are creatures of habit.
If you can make it a regular routine to drink a glass of water, then it can become ingrained in your daily motions of life. Water is so essential that you don’t want to have to think about it in order to consume enough. If you have three meals a day you can easily get an additional 3 cups of water by starting each meal with a cup. This is also an easy technique people use to lose weight as they are more likely to feel full with less calories.
Jazz up your water with some fruit flavors
Some people find the flavor of water a bit boring and so they oftentimes may turn to unhealthy alternatives. A simple way to enhance the flavor of water is to put some fruits in a glass of water and let them sit – the longer you let them sit, the deeper the flavor. Some popular flavors are strawberry-kiwi, lemon-lime, and cucumber mint.
You can also purchase powdered flavors but it’s important to look at the label as many times these contain artificial sweeteners, high amounts of sugar, or other unwanted ingredients.
Drink using a straw
It is more efficient to drink water using a straw than using the suction from your mouth alone. Drinking using a straw creates a tight vacuum so that you are drinking only liquid without the added air.
While some may be opposed to using straws because of questionable materials used, there are more eco friendly options available. For example there are 100% plant based straws that are petrochemical free.
Trade your soda for some h2o
Sodas and energy drinks can have high amounts of added sugar. So instead of grabbing the soda, you can grab a naturally flavored water bottle. If you are trying to lose weight, limit added sugar intake to just 5% or less of calorie intake. A single 8oz cup of soda can exceed this limit so it’s better to just skip the soda completely.
Eat foods high in water
You can drink your way to get higher water levels or you can eat your way to better hydration. That salad may be giving you more water intake than you think as lettuce contains 96% water. Celery and zucchini are not far behind at both 95% water content. Cabbage was 92% water and watermelon lives up to its name by containing 91% h2o.
Use an app on your phone
Want to drink more water? There’s an app for that! Nowadays there are so many different productivity apps and many available completely for free. If you have an app on your phone logging your water drinking progress, you are more likely to be motivated, especially looking at all the fancy charts and graphics that such apps provide. There is the Daily Water Reminder for iPhone and Daily Water Tracker for Android to consider as you embark on your hydration journey.
Keep a water bottle with you all the time
Having a water bottle always within arms reach can help you reach your daily water requirements. You can always keep it next to your computer monitor at work, have it with you in your car cupholder during your hour commute back, and then keep it by your side as you are enjoying prime time television later in the evening. This way you are constantly sipping and hydrating all throughout the day and evening.
Use a tech savvy water bottle
Take your water log tracking to the next level with a smart water bottle like the Hidrate Spark that uses sensor technology to track your water intake and then syncs your hydration logs on its matching app. An interesting feature is that the bottle glows to remind you to meet your water goals.
Buy a water filter
Filtering the water may improve its taste which can make you more likely to drink more of it. Filters that attach directly to faucets may reduce levels of arsenic, lead, and waterborne bacteria in contaminated tap water. While this may seem costly, there are actually water filters for every budget. Purchasing a water filter is less expensive long term than constantly buying bottled water that may not even be better than tap water