I used to find drinking water a chore – we’re going way back here. But I tell you this to let you know that I can relate when people tell me they have a hard time drinking enough water.
Some people can find it bland, others are too busy filling up on juices and pop and coffee to even realize they need to drink anything else. And many people claim they just aren’t thirsty.
There’s been some debate in the health world about whether or not everyone actually needs 8 glasses a day. And while it’s true that we are all very much individuals with individual needs, chances are, MOST people aren’t getting enough. In fact, chronic dehydration is a major contributor to problems like constipation, migraines, joint pain and circulatory problems.
So, whether you need 5, 9 or 4.5 or 8 glasses of water a day, you probably need to get more than what you’re getting now. Our bodies are made of 60-70% water so it can’t really be overstated how important water is for all of our bodily functions. Being properly hydrated will improve everything from your complexion, to digestion, elimination, joint and muscle function, brain function (75% of your brain is water!) Water will boost your immune system, and help flush out toxins. Some foods are naturally high in water and, yes, other beverages like juice and pop do have water in them, but also have a lot of other junk. So, if you’re looking to hydrate, it’s best to stick to plain old H2O.
When I first tried upping my water intake, I started a competition with my boyfriend at the time. Every time one of us had a glass of water, we’d keep score. At the end of each week there would be a winner who would get out of doing the dishes. That was a good way to kick-start a healthy habit, but there are lots of other ways you can start to drink more water every day. Here are nine:
- Drink a full glass of room temperature water as soon as you wake up. This is an easy habit to get into. All you have to do is leave a full glass of water next to your bed and drink it as soon as you wake up before you leave the bed. If you want to make it even better, add some fresh-squeezed lemon juice to help stimulate your digestion and support your liver.
- Invest in a water bottle and bring it with you everywhere you go. It may seem strange at first, but eventually, you just get used to it. In fact, you may even start to feel like something is missing when you leave home without it. I have a silicone protected glass water bottle and I LOVE it. You can also go lighter weight and do stainless steel. If you’re going plastic, get BPA free. Think of all the money you’ll save by avoiding those nasty plastic water bottles. Your wallet and the planet will thank you.
- Set a timer on your phone. Sometimes you need a friendly reminder to throw back some of the good stuff. If you’re into apps, they even have apps for that. Or, just set a reminder/alert on your phone for a few different times throughout the day between meals that will help jog your memory and your thirst reflex! Trust me, the more you drink water, the more you will want to drink it.
- Add some fun stuff! It’s great to squeeze some lemon into your water, but there are tones of great additions to help add some zing. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge and add some cucumbers and mint, oranges, cranberries or strawberries and blueberries to infuse the flavours and vitamins into the water. This makes it more nutritious and more tasty. Play with your own flavor combinations. Have fun!
- Get a good water filter and keep it on the counter. Filtering tap water is a good idea, and if you leave it in sight, chances are you’ll be reaching to fill your glass more often.
- Squeeze a glass into a pre-existing routine. So, when you brush your teeth or put your makeup on, incorporate a glass of water to the mix. Making water part of a daily routine you already practice will increase the odds of developing this new habit.
- Drink more herbal tea! I like this one a lot because it still gives you that warm hug of a feeling, and you won’t even realize you’re getting a full glass of water in there. This only goes for non-caffeinated teas because caffeine acts as a diuretic and will actually cause more water to leave your body.
- Eat your water! Like, I said a lot of foods contain water, but some are just bursting with it! Think melons, celery, cucumber, apples, oranges.
- Play with bubbles. If you’re trying to kick a soda pop habit, try pouring sparkling mineral water into a glass and adding just a touch of real fruit juice. I fool all the little ones with this “trick”, but it works wonders on adults too. You’ll love it and it goes without saying it beats a diet coke any day.