Third blog post already... WOW I'm on a roll. I'm back this time with moooore healthy tips and today they focus on: drinking water!
Balance your body fluids
There are lots of reasons to drink more water! For one, it helps balance your body fluids, which affects, like, every part of your body. According to WebMD, it helps "digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature." That's a lot! And all you have to do is keep on drinking (source).
Drink before exercising
Drinking water is also super important for when you're exercising. If you're dehydrated, it messes with your muscle contraction and makes your muscles twitch! (source). I don't normally have a problem with this because I'm more of an evening exerciser, but one time there was a free barre class happening on a weekend morning. That day we also happened to not have lemons, so I didn't have lemon water, just my matcha latte, and for SOME REASON I just didn't drink water... My legs were QUAKING. It was actually kind of embarrassing. Because I wasn't even in that much pain, and I could definitely hold the poses for more time, but I had to come out of them just because there was so much trembling >_< Let's just say I learned my lesson!
Water helps you be productive
Hydration is also super important to how productive/happy you are. Studies have shown that fluid loss can put you in a bad mood and worsen your memory and concentration (source). So if you're doing a lot of work, it's so critical that you bring your water bottle with you, because it just might make you get your work done faster!
My personal migraine solution
I personally see it as so important to drink water because of a health issue that my dad and I have both had. I think I'll do a blog post at some point focusing on just that, but we used to get a lot of ocular migraines. Through a lot of experimentation we learned that sugar brought them on and the best way for us to beat them once we did get them was to drink lots of water. This was such a revelation for us, because previously we would just go to bed, try to sleep it off, and suffer. Now we realize why this was always the wrong thing to do!
So there you go, the benefits of drinking water are undeniable, but now... how do you drink more water? It can be one of the easiest things to do for your health, but sometimes one of the hardest, which is why I've put together this list of 5 easy tips that I've found helpful to remind myself to drink water! Hope you enjoy :)
1. Keep track in your planner or phone
The way I keep track is I draw 5 blank water drops at the bottom of each daily column in my planner, and I fill one in each time I finish a bottle of water. This will keep. You. Accountable. When I don’t keep track I honestly have nooo idea how much water I’ve had! 2 cups? 3 gallons? Or were fruit and veggies my only source of water today? I just have no idea! Even if you have a better memory than I do (and you probably do), there’s always the satisfaction of coloring in that little drop and feeling accomplished ;)
If you're more of an electronic tracking kinda girl/guy, I have tried and really liked the Productive app for tracking habits.
2. Keep your water bottle nearby at all times - no excuses!
The biggest obstacle to my water drinking is honestly simply not having my water bottle nearby. Sometimes I sit down at my desk to work and remember to have sip of water then realize- I DON’T HAVE IT!! And then I just keep working… Don’t do this! Get your butt off your chair and those feet moving to go retrieve your bottle from wherever it may be. Go to the ends of the earth if you need to, because having your water bottle sitting right there in front of you will make it 1,000x times easier to keep drinking. Studies have shown that not having water makes you 100% more likely to not drink water ;) And also, “Out of sight, of mind” can be interpreted as “In sight, in mind”.
3. Flavor your water
If you feel like the taste of water is just not exciting enough, the possibilities are literally endless for infused water combos you can make. You can pop these in in the morning or leave them in water overnight for even stronger flavor! Find below two of my favorites: (strawberry mint + lemon ginger).
I like to first add in my fruits/herbs and then pour in the water, because as the water swishes everything around it will release the flavors more quickly... Such scientific wording, huh?
4. Address your strong and weak points
This relates to #2 up there. Do you always find yourself forgetting to bring up your water bottle to your room when you go to do homework after school? I do. That’s why I try to pay special attention to that to make sure that I can overcome that little bump in my hydration routine. My strong point? Definitely school. The regularity of the classes and bells means I’ve got my water refilling and bathroom breaks down to a schedule, haha! It’s motivating to drink more water when you know exactly when your opportunity to fill my bottle back up will be.
I also journal every night and if you do this too you might want to mention this in your journal! Journaling can help you cement any ideas/intentions you have by making you think clearly about them in order to formulate them into words. Write about when you've noticed you forget to drink water and the one thing you’re going to do to fix that.
5. Drink a bottle of water before breakfast
This is a nice little mini-goal to get your day started on a great note. It’ll motivate you to keep drinking more because - hey look! It’s only 8AM and you’ve already had a full bottle of water? Imagine how much you could drink throughout the day if you keep this up!
Drinking water before breakfast is also a great idea because your body is dehydrated in the morning (you haven’t had any water for 7-9 hours!). Getting the hydration you need will get all of your body’s processes functioning more smoothly, and it’ll help your digestion and metabolism.
You can also try doing something that I do - drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning. I haven't yet written about the benefits of that, but in that case your mini-goal would be to finish that mug of warm lemon water before you have breakfast!
How much water should you drink per day?
There are lots of rules for how much you should drink. There’s the classic “8 8-ounce glasses per day”. There’s also the your weight / 2 = water in oz equation. I think those are all good starting points, but always remember to listen to your body when it comes to, well, anything. Just because an equation tells you a number doesn't mean that's the right number for YOU. There are many, many factors that affect how much water you need, like weather, activity level, etc.
Don’t allow yourself to get thirsty and don’t chug water either to try to make up for some deficit. Keep your body sufficiently and regularly hydrated, and listen to how it responds.
What water bottle do I use?
If anyone is curious, I personally use a Camelbak bottle that contains .6 liters, which is approximately 20oz, and I aim to drink 5 of those a day, so that’s 100oz!
Try to not to use those single-use water bottles, it's so wasteful! I currently have a plastic reusable one but switching to a metal one is one of the green habits that I want to incorporate at some point.
Now it's time for youuuuu to tell us about your water habits. Hehe, you didn't think I was going to do all the work, did you?
How much water do you aim to drink per day? (I legitimately just wrote "drink to aim"...) When is the hardest time of day for you to remember to do it?