Ever since making the move from a high humidity climate to a dry, low humidity climate almost nine years ago, water has been one of my best friends. I drink it all the time. I have to drink a lot of water. Otherwise dehydration sets in and that seems to throw off my whole day, let alone cause a myriad of other issues. Check out my blog post about the negative effects of dehydration on the body here. (opens in a new tab)
I understand it’s sometimes challenging to drink enough water each day. After all, many of you not only have to deal with the normal busyness of a work week but also have young ones at home to take care of, too. In between driving to and from work and school, a busy day at work, making dinner, running errands, and busing kids around to practices and games, who has time to think about drinking water? Or maybe water just tastes straight up bland to you.
Some may say I drink too much water, and that is an arguable point. However, since we are all bioindividuals, our bodies all need different amounts of water, depending on our height, weight, location, physical activity level, etc. So I am a big proponent of listening to what your body is telling you. If you’re like me, then you need a lot of water each day to feel at your optimal level of health. Other friends I know need much less water than me each day to feel alive and well. One tried and true test is the urine test. If your urine is colorless or light yellow, you are well-hydrated. If your urine is dark yellow or amber in color, you are likely dehydrated. The key is to stay aware of your body’s hydration needs and you’ll be feeling energized and alive each day!
I came up with a list of ideas of getting more water into your system to make sure you feel your best each day that I have tried and turned into habit. Read the tips below and try them out to make sure you are staying hydrated – with whatever amount of water that may be 🙂
- JAZZ UP PLAIN WATER – Add in fresh fruit concoctions to make water taste better. – If you are someone who thinks water is too boring and that’s why you don’t drink more of it, go ahead and jazz it up (in a healthy way)! One of my favorites is adding fresh slices of cucumber, mint, and lime. Another mix I love is fresh strawberries and lemon. Add in any fruits, vegetables, or herbs that you enjoy and your water will suddenly feel like a tasty treat instead of a boring glass of clear liquid.
- KEEP YOUR WATER CLOSE – Carry a bottle of water with you throughout your day. To be less wasteful, get a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day.
- DRINK ON A SCHEDULE – Get into the habit of drinking water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and when you go to bed. Or you can drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour. You might even set an alarm on your phone to remind you when to drink water throughout the day. Also, drink water before, during, and after a workout to feel your best.
- WHEN HUNGRY DRINK WATER – When hunger hits, trying drinking water instead. Thirst is often confused with hunger (I know from firsthand experience). If you are actually hungry, water won’t satisfy your hunger, so wait a few minutes after drinking water and re-evaluate. Drinking water may also help with weight loss, as researchers say drinking water helps you feel full, which could lead to less intake of food.
- REMEMBER WATER BEFORE BED – Drink more water the night before if you workout in the morning (good advice for kids playing sports, too!) – It will help you feel more energized and your body will respond better to physical activity. Drink water a few hours before bed and upon waking up. After not having drank anything for eight or more hours, you need that fuel for your day!
- EAT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES – Remember some foods contain water to help get your hydration count up for the day! Fruits and vegetables contain water, especially watermelon, tomatoes, and lettuce. Soup broths also add to your daily intake of water.
- DRINK FRESH JUICE – Fresh squeezed juices can be a great addition to your daily routine. Fruit juices with one ingredient (think orange juice made simply of fresh-squeezed oranges) can provide a healthy, natural way to get water (and sweetness!) with no added sugar. In addition, vegetables juices, milk, and herbal teas add to the amount of water you drink each day.
Remember, all liquids are not created equal. Coffee, tea, juices, and soda can contribute to your daily water intake, but some of them may contain (or you may add) lots of sugar, which by nature makes them not as healthy as water. Additionally, it’s always best to limit your caffeine intake each day. While there are benefits of caffeine, it may cause some people to urinate more frequently, or feel anxious or jittery.
Sports drinks can be helpful if you are planning on exercising at very high levels for over an hour since they contain carbohydrates and electrolytes to increase your energy. This helps you absorb water. Check the labels, though, because many sports drinks contain high levels of sugar and salt.