How much water do you drink daily? I ask every client that exact question and the answers range from “a lot” to “none”, and everything in between. Some clients forget, don’t have time or simply don’t like the taste of water.
Water plays an important role in the body and how it functions. It is an important aspect of all cellular processes, regulates the temperature of the body (think sweat), helps with metabolism, aids in detoxification, keeps the the joints lubricated, and transports nutrients from our foods (especially water-soluble vitamins) just to name a few.
HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU DRINK?
At a minimum, aim for half your weight in ounces of water daily. For example, a 120 pound person should aim for 60 fluid ounces of water daily. Expect this number to be increased if you workout and sweat daily, if you eat a lot of fibrous foods, or if you are sick. Ideally, your urine should be a pale yellow color (think straw colored); if it’s dark yellow that is a great indicator you should be drinking more water!
Below are some creative tips and tricks to keep you reaching for water throughout the day.
1. Hourly Alarm — Use your phone to set an alarm to remind you every hour to drink water. Days are busy and filled with to-do’s but sometimes all you need is a little reminder. The alarm can have a simple title such as “It’s your hourly reminder to drink water.”
2. Make It Convenient — If it feels like a chore to drink (or pour) water, it’s less likely to happen. Have several glass jars or water bottles ready to go. Keep them in the fridge so when you are in a rush to get out the door you can just grab and go.
3. Eat Your Water — Don’t forget that some veggies and fruits contain high amounts of water. When eating meals try to incorporate more “hydrating foods.” Some of the most hydrating foods are cucumbers, broccoli, celery, tomatoes, radishes, spinach, cauliflower, strawberries, green peppers, watermelon, grapefruit, and cantaloupe. It is important to note that when cooking food, it loses a lot of the water content so try eating it raw.
4. Add Some Fun — Water gets boring, especially if that’s all you are drinking. Add some fruit (strawberries, lemon, cucumber) or herbs (mint, rosemary) to add a little zip to your water. To make it even more interesting, use a soda stream for a little carbonation.
5. Use a Refillable Water Bottle — Use a bright and colorful refillable water bottle. There are lots of styles and designs of water bottles so pick one that reflects your personality so that you’ll want to have it around you. Having water within an arms reach will encourage you to drink throughout the day.
6. Put It On Your Schedule — Plan to make drinking a glass of water the first thing you do when you wake up. It’s common to drink coffee or black tea first thing upon waking up but both coffee and tea are dehydrating. Fill a cup up with water the evening before and set it next to your coffee or tea pot as a reminder to hydrate before reaching for the caffeine.
7. Afternoon Tea — It’s easy to reach for that afternoon snack... You ate lunch but you still have three hours before dinner. Instead of snacking (or while snacking, if you are a frequent eater or grazer) try having a cup of herbal afternoon tea (caffeine-free). It’s easy to add a teabag to a cup of hot water. Plus, it will help to break up the day and may stave off hunger.
8. Use an App — There are apps out there that remind you to drink water throughout the day AND track how much water you’ve had to drink. A win-win! A few free, quality apps that I am aware of are: Drink Water Reminder N Tracker, Daily Water Tracker Reminder, and My Water Balance. Those are just a few, as there are sure to be other quality apps you may be able to find with a simple search.
9. Buy a Quality Filtration System — There is nothing worse than drinking water that has a metallic taste or smells like chlorine. Using a quality filter will remove many contaminates, such as pesticides and chlorine residuals. Look into investing in a Berkey filter or reverse osmosis system.
10. Make Time Markers — Set goals. For example, by 10am you want to have consumed 2 bottles of water, by 2pm you want to have consumed 4 bottles of water, etc. Setting a goal can keep you on track for the day, reminding you of how much water you’ve consumed and how much water you have left to consume.
So ask yourself, “How do I stay hydrated throughout the day?” and use this information to achieve your goal. If you have an idea of something to add to the list that may help others, please add it to the comments below!
In Health & Happiness,
Dr. Erin Stefanacci