How to Fit More Water into Your Day
It is widely known that water is important to the healthy functioning of our bodies. But just how much do we need? And how do we fit all of that in each and every day? With the tips below, you will find that getting in your recommended daily water intake is easier than you think!
First, let’s discuss why water is so important. Plain and simple, water hydrates you. But what does this actually mean for you? When you are hydrated, all of your systems are functioning properly. Your organs are working at their optimal level, your temperature is regulated, your body fluids are all in balance. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, without enough water, the opposite becomes your reality. You may find you are tired or sluggish, you have headaches, your joints and muscles ache. Drinking enough water can help keep you in balance and alleviate some of these symptoms. Water consumption can also aid in weight management. When we are are fully hydrated, we do not feel as hungry and have less tendencies to overeat. (Please note, if you drink water and these issues persist, there could be something else going on. Always see your doctor if you are concerned about a health issue).
Now that we know WHY we should drink water, how much do we need? There are many schools of thought out there - from the old adage “drink 8 glasses a day” to “drink half of your body weight in ounces”. These are all good starting points and easy to remember. New recommendations suggest the average intake is 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups for women. This can vary from person to person though. If you are more active, live in a warmer climate, or are pregnant or breast-feeding, you may need more. Age, weight and diet also play a role. If you drink a lot of caffeine or alcohol, be sure to replenish with water, as those liquids tend to dehydrate you. After you evaluate your overall lifestyle, you can adjust your goal accordingly.
But that does seem like an awful lot of liquid to consume each day. How can you make it easier?
1. Get a cup. Now that you know how many ounces you need, get a cup and note the size. I use a 30 ounce cup each day. Figure out how many cups you need to drink each day to reach your goal. The bigger the cup, the fewer you need to drink to reach your daily water intake. I find this both easier to keep track of and easier to mentally achieve. If you are in different locations throughout your day, get two cups, or use a water bottle. Just be sure you know how big it is.
2. Set a schedule. My schedule looks something like this…I bring one full cup up to bed with me. I take some sips before bed, and during the night if I wake up. I finish this cup in the morning before breakfast. After breakfast, I refill and sip through the morning. But I do not have lunch until the 2nd cup is done. After lunch I refill and sip though the afternoon. If I don’t finish it, it’s ok. I just fill it up again at night and start the cycle over again. Oh, be sure to wash it in between refills!
3. Add flavor to your water. Sometimes, water can be bland and unappealing. Lemon or other fruits add a fresh taste to your water that can help wash it down.
4. Get your water from other sources besides, well, water. Many fruits and vegetables have high water content, as well as other drinks. Milk, decaffeinated teas, salads, soups, melons, grapefruit, strawberries, peaches…the list is endless and all can count towards your water content.
When you put all of this together, getting in those 90+ ounces isn’t all that intimidating. With practice and repetition, your water consumption will become a habit - a habit that has exponential benefits to your health, weight management and overall wellness!
Best of luck on your hydration journey!