Water is an important part of staying fit and a necessary component to all of our bodily functions, especially since our bodies are made up of 60% water! Most of us don’t drink an adequate amount to stay hydrated. The rule of thumb is 8 8oz glasses of water a day, but a more accurate recommendation is to drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150lbs, you should aim to drink 75oz of water a day. If you are active (we hope you are!), then you should drink even more than that. I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time drinking that much! So here are some tips to drink more water and reach your ounceage goal.
1) Create a Schedule
Make drinking water a part of your daily routine. Spacing out water consumption will make your goal seem more attainable. When you wake up in the morning, drink a glass of water, and then have another glass with your breakfast. Try to drink two glasses with every successive meal. Not only will this help you reach your target number of ounces, but it will help you feel full during meals. You can drink the remaining two glasses of water mid-morning and mid-afternoon. This schedule is only a suggestion. Find times that work with your schedule and stay consistent. Soon it will become a part of your everyday routine.
2) Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
Carrying around a reusable water bottle will allow you to drink water on the go. Not only will it make reaching your water goal easier, but it will also save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. Rather than buying drinks daily from a convenient store or buying bottled water in bulk, which results in a lot of waste material, a reusable water bottle is a one time purchase of around $10. The bottle can last years depending on how well you take care of it. Go buy yourself a nice reusable water bottle (make sure it’s bpa free) that fits your preferences. Personally, I like my Aladdin water bottle because it has a screw on lid and a double wall to prevent the bottle from sweating, but there are many different styles available.
I have never enjoyed the taste of water. Whether it’s from tap or from a bottle, it always has a strange aftertaste. To mask this, I almost always add some flavor to my water. Some of my favorite additions include, lime, lemon, or orange juice, cucumber slices, and coconut water. I like using Vita Coco’s coconut water because it’s all-natural and is filled with nutrients and electrolytes to aid in hydration. I normally mix about half water and half coconut water for a tasty drink. When I’m in the mood for a hot drink, I’ll add some honey bought from a local farmer’s market. Agave nectar would also work well. Tea is another good way to add some flavor to water. Current research suggests that the amount of caffeine consumed in a glass of tea (40-120 mg per 8oz) is not enough to cause dehydration. One can drink up to 500 mg of caffeine a day without causing dehydration.
4) Drink When Craving a Snack
Hunger is one of the first signs of dehydration. When feeling hungry, drink a glass of water and wait 20 to 30 minutes before eating something. After doing this, my hunger pain usually ceases. Even if the hunger persists, drinking a glass of water helps bring on the full feeling faster so less food is consumed.
5) Replace Usual Drinks
Whether your usual drink is tea, coffee, or soda, try replacing your go-to drink with water one time each day. Drinking a glass of water in place of a second glass of coffee or usual fountain drink is an easy way to remember to consume more water. Cutting out at least one drink a day of sugary soda, tea or coffee will also reduce your daily caloric intake. If you go to happy hour, try alternating between an alcoholic beverage and a glass of water. Not only will this cut calories, it will also dilute the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream and aid in hydration and potential hangovers.