For my very first wellness Wednesday, we’re going back to the basics: water.
My biology teacher in college lovingly referred to us as “a sack of salt water.” If we are mostly made of water, then it makes sense for it to be so crucial to our health and well being. Before I get into the benefits of hydration (aside from survival, duh), let’s talk about what a lack of water does to the body:
- Fatigue or inability to concentrate
- Dry mouth, dry skin… basically everything is dry. Oh, and wrinkles.
- Weight gain due to water retention (your body tries to hang on to the water it does have)
- Increased hunger, sugar cravings, and decreased metabolism (bad combo)
- Poor kidney function
Doesn’t sound so fun, right? Then why do so many of us struggle to get our daily water intake? A lot of the time, we are just so busy that we sort of forget to drink water until the effects of dehydration start to kick in. Then we chug a gallon and are in the bathroom for the next 2 hours, peeing it all out – not so efficient.
The trick to mastering hydration is to have a system or a plan, and to make it taste good for all you water haters out there. Here are some quick tips:
How much do I need to drink?
Aim for at least 64 ounces; or divide your weight in half, and drink that many ounces.
Get a bottle that will keep you on track.
I LOVE this water bottle! Such a good idea, too; allows you to pace yourself throughout your day so you’re not skipping to the bathroom every 5 minutes. You can purchase this bottle here on Etsy. Another option is to keep a gallon in your fridge and fill it each morning and make it your goal to drink the entire thing by the end of the day.
Make it taste good!
So many people hate the taste of water – but I promise the more you drink it, the more you will get used to it. The BEST way to flavor your water is with fruits and veggies: lemon, lime, strawberries, cucumbers, canteloupe, watermelon… anything you like! My personal new favorite is strawberry and canteloupe.
Another option would be a low-calorie packet, such as crystal light – but beware, these are often full of unhealthy chemicals and not the best sweeteners (I’m talking to you, aspartame). A better option is True Lemon (has a lot of different flavors, as well). Here’s the ingredient list: Ingredients: Crystallized Lemon [Citric Acid*, Lemon Oil, Lemon Juice, Ascorbic Acid], Cane Sugar*, Stevia Leaf Extract, Natural Flavor and Turmeric (For Color). *Non-GMO
Start your morning with a big ol’ glass of H2O
When you wake up in the morning, you’re essentially waking up dehydrated. You haven’t had any fluids for about 8 hours, and when you give yourself coffee before anything else, you’re probably going to make things worse for yourself.
The moment you wake up, aim for a good 8-16 ounces of water before you have anything else. Often, you feel so tired and in need of coffee because you’re dehydrated – so getting in some extra fluids in the a.m. can help you kick the coffee habit, too. Once you’re drinking a good 16 ounces in the morning, try and bump it up to 24 or 32 ounces; you’re giving your body the reset it needs, AND you’ve gotten a lot of your water intake done for the day! But you may also notice that the more you drink water, the more your body craves it – and this is a GOOD thing! You’ll also notice that as you continue to drink more water, after a week or so, your body will adjust and your bathroom trips will be less frequent 🙂
Are you hungry or are you thirsty?
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but a lot of times when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually thirsty. So before you reach for the snack cabinet, reach for a glass of water and wait 5-10 minutes. Still hungry? Then try and eat something! (and bonus! You got yet another cup in for the day)
That’s all for now! Questions? Reach out! I love talking to you all 🙂
Until next time!