There was a time when I definitely didn’t drink enough water. In fact I didn’t drink enough fluids full stop. At the time I was vaguely aware that I should try to drink more but didn’t pay it much attention. Then when I began to take control of my health I gave the amount of fluids I drank in a day some serious thought. And when I realised how much I was drinking, or should I say how much I wasn’t drinking, I actually wondered how I was still alive.
It wasn’t that I never got thirsty, it was just that I didn’t prioritise or think about it too much. I drank just enough to keep my body functioning but it wasn’t high on my to-do list.
However, now that I know how important adequate fluid intake is for my health I make much more effort. I thought I would share with you some easy ways to try and drink more water.
Why is water necessary for good health?
Our bodies are constantly losing fluid. We lose fluid when we urinate, when we breathe, it evaporates off our skin, and this fluid loss should be replaced to keep ourselves at optimal health.
Water is vital for so many of our body’s functions including digestion and the transportation of nutrients. Our bodies are composed of about 60% water.
Dehydration is a serious condition, but mild dehydration can have an effect on the body too. It makes our skin look tired and dry, it can age us and cause wrinkles and spots can form.
Our kidneys need water to help them do the job of flushing toxins from the body. Water can also help to keep our bowels healthy and prevent constipation.
How much water should I drink?
I have seen varying advice. The guidelines are about getting enough fluids which doesn’t have to be water (all fluids count). However, not all fluids are created equal and water is a healthy option. The guidelines did say 1.6 litres a day for women and 2 litres for men, although I have seen recommendations which state higher amounts. We are all different though and so have different requirements, for instance if you do a lot of exercise you may need more fluids. I aim for 2 litres a day.
Simple ways to drink more water
I aim to drink 2 litres of water every day. The easiest way I have found is measuring this out in the morning and then aiming to finish it by the time I go to bed.
Build it into your routine. Drink at regular times, perhaps around mealtimes or mid-morning, so that it becomes habit.
Always have a bottle handy. Put it in your bag, take it to work or the gym; it will be easier to drink water if it is always at hand.
Replace some of your other drinks with water. If you drink sugary drinks then it is certainly a good idea to start replacing it a little with water. Or if you drink several cups of tea during a day then you could start replacing one of those with a glass of water. This will build-up your intake.
Make your water more interesting by adding fruit chunks or herbs. I actually have a book titled ‘Fruit Infused Water’ by Patrick Smith and it has 80 different recipes. I like the ‘Cucumber Kiwi Water’ in the detox section. Simply add 2 kiwis, 1/4 cucumber,1/2 lime and a sprig of mint to 1 litre of water. Leave overnight and then filter out the water.
Drink water at ‘optimal’ times. There are said to be certain times when it is best to drink water because it will have an even more beneficial effect on our health. Drink a glass when you wake (before you eat breakfast) and also a glass before a meal to help with digestion and a glass before bed. I haven’t looked into the science behind drinking at these times but if it gets you drinking more water then that’s a good thing.
When you go out for a meal order a jug of water for the table. If you go to a bar alternate your alcoholic drinks with water (this can also help your hangover too!).
Set yourself reminders eg. an alarm or post-it notes until you get in the habit.
Get an app. There are apps for everything and there is even one that helps you to increase your water intake; it’s called Waterlogged.
Set yourself triggers. Triggers work similar to reminders. Drink water every time the phone rings or every time there is an ad break on the TV. This will help you increase your water intake and also start to get you into the habit.
Do you drink enough water? If not do you think any of these ideas would help you to drink more? Or do you have any ideas of your own that could help? Leave me a comment below. If you want me to send future posts to your inbox pop me your email. Thanks for reading 🙂
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