Everyone knows they’re supposed to drink more water every day, but how many of us actually get enough? You might see people with sodas, coffees, energy drinks, teas, and more, but what you really need to see is water… water, water everywhere.
Why Is Drinking Water Important?
Yes, you can still get fluids, obviously, from drinking liquids and even from some of your foods. But, drinking actual water is still extremely important. Since your body is made up of about 55 to 60% water, it’s quite clear that getting in your allotted amount of water is critical for normal functioning.
What does water do in your body? Take a look at just some of the functions:
- Lubricates your joints
- Keeps your skin elastic
- Helps flush toxins
- Regulates your body temperature
- Helps you lose body fat
- Helps you perform better, athletically
- Gives you more energy
- Keeps hunger at bay
- Regulates your body temperature
- Helps your brain function
- Keeps your hair shiny
- Prevents kidney stones
- Helps avoid headaches
- Keeps your electrolyte balance in check
- Keeps your bowel movements normal
- Helps boost your health
When Is Drinking Water Important?
Yes, there is the bare minimum daily allotment of 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, and you need water to keep your body functioning normally, but, there are many groups of people who need more as well as times in your life when you may need to take in more water than usual. What kinds of circumstances would require you to drink more water?
- You live in a hot climate
- You live in a dry climate
- You’re exercising a lot
- You’re sweating a lot
- You’re breastfeeding
- You’re pregnant
- You’re battling a sickness
- You’re hungry
- You’re dieting
- You’re human
How Do You Know if You’re Dehydrated?
Not drinking enough water can result in a scary condition called dehydration. Dehydration can quickly become a very dangerous state and not a place you want to be. Here are a few of the signs to watch out for:
- You feel hungry—this is often not an indicator of hunger, but instead, it’s a signal from your body that you need to drink water.
- Constipation—if you’re feeling constipated, chances are good that not only are you likely missing fiber in your diet, but you could be dehydrated. When you don’t take in enough fluids, your body is forced to pull water from wherever it can, and that includes pulling hydration from your stools.
- Lack of energy—not drinking enough water can result in you feeling lethargic.
- Headaches—your body may be trying to tell you it needs water if you feel a headache coming on.
5 Easy Ways to Drink More Water
Sometimes in order to make something happen, you need to put it on the calendar. Just as you would put an important meeting, a hair appointment, or a social gathering on your calendar, the same applies to your water drinking schedule.
An easy way to start getting more water into your schedule is to have a glass of water:
- as soon as you wake up
- before each meal
- before and after your workout
- before bed
And, those are just the minimum times. Sipping throughout the day is an even better tactic for getting in more water.
If you don’t like the taste of (or more likely lack of taste of) water, there are many things you can do to make it palatable for yourself. Don’t feel like you have to drink numerous glasses of warm tap water. There are options to drink more water.
If you want to spice it up, try slicing it up! You can add sliced fruits to a pitcher of water, or try some sliced vegetables like cucumbers or celery or even herbs like mint. You’ll often see water with berries in it, sliced strawberries, lemon or lime wedges, or sprigs of mint, rosemary, or parsley or a mixture of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Not only does this add some natural flavor to your water, but it’s beautiful to see a large pitcher of water filled with colorful slices of fruits and/or veggies.
Maybe you don’t love your water, but you love iced tea or your energy drink or, gasp, a sugary concoction or some other drink. So, what should you do to drink more water and not more of your other drinks?
Try diluting your drink. Just add a small amount of water at first, to the point where you barely notice it. Over time, you can slowly start to add more and more water until you just get a taste of your former favorite drink.
Adding water to what you already love drinking is a sneaky way to up your water intake without really noticing it!
Bring it with you. If you make it easy for yourself, you’re much more likely to make it happen. Make it convenient to sip on your water by bringing it with you everywhere you go, and you will make it much easier to consume what you need.
Or, if you’re at a desk all day, try keeping a Brita filter water pitcher at your desk so you can easily refill your glass throughout the day. You can also get a water bottle that filters the water as you drink it.
Bring your water bottle with you all the time, wherever you go, including in your car, to your workouts, in your purse… you get the picture. Bring your water with you everywhere.
Yes, of course there’s an app for that! Using an app to monitor your water intake is a smart move. You’ve probably heard that what you monitor and measure gets improved. So, using a handy app to drink more water can make it easy for you. There are many apps from which to choose, but here are a couple you can check out now:
Don’t want to use an app? Try old-school sticky notes. Start with a stack of them on one side of your computer monitor, mirror, or dashboard (depending on where you spend most of your time), and every time you finish a glass of water, move one sticky note to the other side until the sticky notes are on the other side and all your water gets in your belly.
Drinking more water is simply just another healthy habit you need to adopt. The more you practice it, the more routine it will become. Before you know it, you’ll automatically be reaching for your water many times a day. This is one of those times when mindless repetition is actually your friend.
Getting yourself to drink more water is easy. Simply incorporate some or all of the above tactics into your lifestyle, and you’ll have five stars from your drinking app in no time!