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We all know drinking water is good for us and we should drink more of it. So why is it so hard?
I grew up in Georgia, so our “water” was sweet tea. By sweet tea I mean 2 cups of sugar per gallon SWEET tea! I never remember drinking water as a kid. No one ever told me it was important or that I should. Maybe that’s why I had tons of cavities as a kid…hmmm.
I only starting drinking water on a regular basis in the last decade or so. For reference I will be 33 in the next few weeks.
So when I started trying to incorporate this habit into my daily routine IT WAS HARD!
Today I will share with you 7 proven ways that helped me to be successful in drinking more water on a daily basis!
Why is water good for you?
Your body is 60% water. We NEED water to survive. It helps to flush out toxins from our system, helps nutrients that we eat absorb, maintains our electrolytes, maintains our body temperature, improves circulation and aides metabolism.
Your brain alone is 73% water. It needs water to think, concentrate, focus and stay alert.
Drinking more water helps flush your body of harmful toxins that accumulate from waste. It decreases the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s and increased hydration helps us sweat more to get rid of toxins that way as well.
Fueling your body for success. You would never expect your car to run properly if you didn’t maintain oil changes so why would you think your body is any different. If you are not properly hydrated, this can put stress on your joints and muscles making it difficult to work out and maintain endurance. Sometimes even cause joint pain from decreased lubrication.
Some personal benefits I have actually experienced since drinking more water are:
- Increased energy/decreased feeling of sluggishness.
Sometimes I really suck at drinking water and now that I am in the habit of drinking it I REALLY FEEL IT! If I am dehydrated I am tired and dragging. The crazy thing is, after I start drinking it again, about a liter in I really CAN FEEL the difference!
- My skin looks healthier/less breakouts/improved complexion.
After consistently drinking water I noticed my skin started to breakout less, looked more plump and full, less tired and decreased my under eye circles!
- Reduced snacking. Increased feeling of fullness.
This was big after I finished nursing my son and started to try to lose some of my baby weight. I was used to snacking and basically eating for breastfeeding (all the time, I was ravenous) so when I had to cut back it was hard but this helped me feel fuller and have less cravings.
- Reduction of water weight/swelling.
I have noticed this since being pregnant this time around. If I don’t drink enough, my swelling is so much worse!
- Aides weight loss.
Again, this was huge after my last pregnancy. As mentioned above increased water consumption helps our metabolism. So when I was trying to actively lose weight, I noticed better results when I stayed hydrated.
- Improved regularity/less constipation.
No explanation necessary. By being a little more regular this helped me to feel less bloated all the time and reigned in my postpartum belly.
- Increased mental clarity/improved mood.
I notice when I am properly hydrated I feel more happy, less sluggish and tired. I am ready to meet my day rather than waiting for it to be over.
Signs of Dehydration.
Some signs you may need to increase your water intake are:
- Urine is dark yellow or brown.
- Muscles cramp easily.
- Frequent headaches.
- Feeling tired, confused or sluggish.
- Dry skin.
- Skin that when pulled up does not bounce back easily.
By the way, HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU REALLY NEED TO DRINK?
Its been previously suggested that 8- 8oz glasses of water a day is sufficient. That equals about 2 liters. That’s probably the bare minimum. If you live in a hot climate (like me), work out, or are pregnant or breastfeeding the requirements increase to about 2.5-3 liters of water a day.
If you are consuming tea, coffee are any other drink with caffeine you also need to increase water consumption because caffeine is a natural diuretic and will increase water loss.
Some of our daily water intake can come from foods such as fruit, vegetables, meats and dairy. Fruits that are greater than 90% water are cantaloupe, grapefruit and strawberries. Most vegetables are greater than 90% water. Meats are not as high as fruits and vegetables but do contain water. Light meat chicken is around 69% water and extra lean ground beef is 63%. Eggs have about 75% water. Dairy foods such as low fat yogurt have around 69% water.
So How Do I Drink More Water?
- My number one tip!! This might sound weird but this is how I keep myself accountable when it comes to water. I set a daily intake goal. For me that is 2 liters. I make myself drink that before I will allow myself to have ANY OTHER beverage to drink. However I LOVE (I’m obsessed) with my afternoon cup of coffee. So I know if I want that cup of coffee I better drink my water. For you this could be a glass or cup of tea or whatever you choose, but get that water in before hand so you can reward yourself with a treat! Than after I have passed that first goal I can usually get in another couple of glasses of water before bed but I at least KNOW I have hit my minimum.
- Start Early. I usually have my morning coffee and go right into drinking my water. If it gets late, and by that I mean like 9-10am I’m behind. I don’t want to feel like I am drowning trying to drink water so I like to space it out rather than chug it all down.
- Use a BIG cup/jug that’s pretty! Sounds stupid but if I am drinking water out of a cute cup I’m more likely to get it in. Also I like my cups to be BIG, and I cannot lie! I do not like to refill glasses throughout the day. Usually the cup/jug I choose has measurements on it so I can see exactly how much I am drinking like this one
- Use a straw! I like to drink out of a straw or use something like a Camelbak with a spout that is easy to take big gulps from. Like I said, I do not like to chug BUT when I do take sips of water I like to drink a fairly reasonable amount to get that water in!
- Set an alarm every hour. Just to get you in the habit of actually drinking it. You probably won’t have to continue this one forever but sometimes it is hard to remember to do it when you are not in that habit. They say it takes 21 days to really instill a new habit so make it a goal to set that timer every hour from 8am – whenever until you hit that goal for 21 days!
- Drink one glass of water before meals. If you only ate 3 meals a day and drank 1 glass before each meal that would be 3/4 of a liter!
- Add fruit!! This one is so fun and pretty! I LOVE adding fruit to my water. The great part is this can be anything you want! Lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries, blueberries…even a little fresh mint! The options are limitless! This is an easy and healthy way to sweeten water when your not used to drinking alot of it.
This post took me about an hour and a half to write out and I am already one liter in! See its not that hard! If this reformed sweet tea guzzler can do it so can you! I hope this post helps you to start drinking water if you don’t. If you do drink water but are having a hard time drinking more or really just hate doing it, I hope this will help make it a little easier! Hang in there, it gets better! Do you have any tips on staying hydrated? I would love to hear about them! Comment below!