I know some people who can down water no problem all day long. But, if you’re like me, I have to really think about it and stay aware otherwise I just drink coffee and wine and kombucha all day long. Delicious, yes, but not quite the same as drinking water.
This is the kicker: water is GOOD for you! YES! It’s so good! I like to compare water to oil, and our bodies to engines. An engine will have problems if it doesn’t get oil service regularly, just as our bodies will have problems if we don’t hydrate properly.
How much water should we drink? Various sources will tell you various things. My sister-in-law (a holistic health counselor) recommended to me that if you take your body weight and divide it by 2 that gives you the number of ounces minimum you should be drinking. From being in the fitness industry I’ve found that a gallon/135oz is fairly standard for most people who are heavily active.
For me personally I aim for 135oz a day. The method I used to build up to that intake was:
Week 1: 70-80oz
Week 2: 80-100oz
Week 3: 100-135oz
If that progression doesn’t work, a good place to start is the method of “body weight divided by 2,” especially if you have low to moderate physical activity during the day.
You always want to make sure whatever goal you are setting is attainable and doesn’t cause you undue mental stress. Remember, these habits only work if you can maintain them consistently.
This is what you are thinking… “Yeah yeah, water is good for us, blah blah, I know, I know. But it’s hard to keep it up.” This is where I come in:
I’ve got 4 tips (that worked for me) to help stay hydrated throughout the day.
#1: Track It
Track your water intake! There are several FREE apps you can use to help you do this. Currently, I use MyFitnessPal since that is where I also track my food and exercise. If you want to track only your water there are two others I’ve used, WaterMinder and Waterlogged.
Helpful hints for tracking: Track you water for 2-3 days without any specific goals. Note what time of day you drink the most and the least. After a little bit of time, implement some strategies to increase your water intake such as setting a glass of water on your night stand to drink first thing in the morning.
#2: Add Some Sparkle
Water is so yummy! Said no one ever. Refreshing yes, but yummy not so much. I discovered sparkling water when I decided to give up my 2pm diet soda kick during 6th period (a whole different story for another day). I first bought La Croix in the CranRaspberry flavor. I’ll be honest it took me a few days but after that I was hooked! It was yummy, bubbly, and just enough flavor to mask the supposed need for my 2pm caffeine boost.
Most grocery stores also have a store brand of water; I’ve never found a bad tasting brand of sparkling water.
What I do: I grab 2 cans out of my fridge when packing my lunch during the day and bam! 24oz of yummy sparkling water that I can use toward my daily water intake. It helps break up the monotony of plain water and is a tad healthier than the ‘calorie free’ water additives out there.
#3: Times Up!
How many of you have said this: “I just forget to drink water, I get so busy during the day?”
This is the simplest thing. Set a timer. I had a doctor once who had a timer go off each hour, on the hour, during the workday. When that timer went off he’d stop whatever he’s doing and chug a bottle of water.
Now, chugging may not be your style but setting a timer to remind you to drink 8-10oz of water every hour for 8 hours will get you drinking more than you otherwise might. This tip is especially good for people who are very busy and on-the-go all day long.
#4: Raise Your Glass
I hate drinking from normal water bottles. I also hate drinking out of the gallon jugs. There’s something about it that makes me feel so pressured – I can see the water line going down or NOT going down depending on how much water I’m drinking.
Personally, I like straws better also. No, I’m not worried about wrinkles from drinking out of a straw – that’s what dermal fillers are for, right? But in all seriousness sometimes having the RIGHT water bottle or cup means you’ll drink more water!
What I did: I bought a 20oz opaque water cup. It’s dark blue and has a straw. This is perfect for me because I can’t see how much water is in it when I’m drinking and I will walk around with it and sip on it wherever I am. Every time I finish it, I log my 20oz of water and refill it.
When I don’t have my cup I don’t drink as much water, as silly as it sounds. It’s like a toddler with their favorite sippy cup or binky. But it works for me, and that’s all that matters!
What do YOU do that helps you stay hydrated? Drop a comment below and let’s share the wealth so we can all be the happiest and healthiest we can be!