Full transparency, staying hydrated is one of my biggest struggles. My body does not recognize thirst cues and I often forget to drink water throughout the day. Not drinking enough water can have huge negative impacts on your health. Here are a few tips on how to drink more water!
Let’s start with the reasons why you should hydrate:
Drinking Water Helps Maintain Body Function. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, saliva production, transportation of nutrients, and body temperature control.
Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, water:
- Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements
- Keeps your temperature regulated
- Lubricates joints
- Protects sensitive tissues
Drinking More Water May Help Relieve Digestion Issues. Constipation is a common problem, characterized by infrequent bowel movements. Drinking more fluids can help promote regularity.
Hydration Impacts Energy Levels and Brain Function. Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair brain function and cause fatigue.
Water Helps Prevent Hangover Symptoms. Alcohol is a diuretic, leading to possible dehydration. Although dehydration is not the main cause of hangovers, it can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headache, and dry mouth.
Drinking More Water Can Help Aid in Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight. This is due to the fact that water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate.
Dehydration Symptoms include dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness and muscle cramps which could be easily confused with other medical conditions or medication interactions.
A good goal to start with would be the 8 glasses a day, but if you are curious about how to calculate your fluid needs…
You can follow these steps:
- Take your weight (in pounds) and divide that by 2.2.
- Multiply that number depending on your age: If you’re younger than 30, multiply by 40. If you’re between 30-55, multiply by 35. If you’re older than 55, multiply by 30.
- Divide that sum by 28.3.
- Your total is how many ounces of water you should drink each day. Divide that number by 8 to see your result in cups.
Top 10 Tips For Increasing Your Water Intake:
1.) Try adding a splash of fruit juice to water, or pieces of fruit to flavor it.
2.) Hydrate all day long, have a water bottle on hand or a glass of water at bedside or by the couch.
3.) Drink a glass before meals. I drink water before my coffee to make it a routine habit (and maybe to bribe myself a bit).
4.) Change it up, there are tons of unsweetened beverages. Chamomile tea is one of my favorite herbal calorie-free beverages.
Other calorie/caffeine free beverages include:
- Decaf Teas: Decaf Green Tea, Decaf Herbal Mint, Decaf Chai
- Hint Water
- La Croix or other calorie free carbonated waters
- Decaf Coffee
- Other hydrating nutrient dense beverages: Bone Broth, Milks, Coconut Water, Protein Shakes, Athletic Greens
5.) Fruits and vegetables with higher water content count too.
7.) Set an alarm to remind you to drink fluids.
8.) Make sure you are hydrated before and after any type of activity.
9.) Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption.
10.) Invest in a water bottle that’s easy to carry or take with you or is a size that motivates you to accomplish a certain amount.
Listen to your body.
Make sure you are staying hydrated to improve physical and mental health, perk up your mood and prevent illness. Identify what you might be struggling with when it comes to your hydration needs and start making changes.