20 Tips For Drinking More Water: Part 1 of 2
Do you drink enough water? Let’s face it, sipping water can feel like a chore – especially during cold seasons, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a lot of ways to sneak water into your daily routine and this article will help you do just that.
This is part one of a two part series: 20 Tips For Drinking More Water
Importance of water
Our bodies are 50% to 75% water and this water plays a vital role in our nutrition and well-being. It is essential to our survival. All tissues in the body need water to function properly – as water:
- Aids in regulating appetite
- Averts water retention
- Eliminates wastes and toxins from the body
- Helps with digestion
- Increases metabolism
- Maintains your ideal body weight
- Provides the body with energy
- Wards off disease
Symptoms of dehydration
Mild dehydration (defined as an approximately 1.5 % loss in normal water volume in the body) can have significant side effects.
Poor hydration can cause:
- Concentration issues
- Digestive issues
- Excessive thirst
- Irregular heart rate
- Joint and muscle pain
- Low blood pressure
- Mood changes
- Rapid breathing
- Skin problems
- Weight gain
Avoid dehydration. Don’t rely on thirst
Thirst is often used as an indicator for when a person needs to drink, but the thirst sensation doesn’t really appear until the body is 1-2% dehydrated. By then dehydration is already setting in and starting to impact how the mind and body perform. For this reason, it is essential that we stay hydrated throughout the day, before our thirst sensation kicks in.
How much water should you drink each day?
For normal hydration, determine your body weight in pounds, divide it by two and drink that many ounces of water each day. If this sounds overwhelming, start slowly and increase your water intake by small increments each day.
The 10 tips below will help you choose water from high quality sources and will provide you with ideas on how to drink more water each day so that your body will receive the proper hydration it needs.
If you follow this advice and integrate these tips into your daily routine, you will soon be on your way to enhanced health, energy and vitality levels!
1. Check for dehydration: know the signs
- Pinch the back of your hand. When you release the pinch, the skin should have elasticity and snap back into place. If it is slow in doing this, you are probably dehydrated. Go drink a glass of water right now.
- Check the color of your urine. The more transparent it is, the more hydrated you are. Your urine should look clear/very pale yellow or pale yellow.
- Review the symptoms of hydration listed above. If you are experiencing any, you may be dehydrated.
2. Avoid toxins. Use a whole house water-filtration system
Just as it is important to drink the right amount of water each day, it is equally important to make sure you are drinking high quality water free of harmful chemicals and toxins.
Alarmingly, 90% of the world’s wastewater is discharged untreated into local rivers. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified over 700 pollutants that occur on a regular basis in our drinking water, both from municipal sources and water taken directly from wells and springs.
- To ensure you are drinking non-toxic water, use a whole-house filtration system. Filter systems help with the water’s taste and minimize your exposure to chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, and other waterborne toxins.
- If you are unable to install a house system, an under the sink version like the Aquasana Under Counter Water Filtration System is another good option.
- Make sure your shower has a filtration system as well because if it is on your skin, you are drinking it. Remember, the skin is the body’s largest organ.
3. Glass is better than plastic
- If you store your water at home, keep it in a cool, dark area and if possible, in glass. Be skeptical about buying water in a plastic bottle, as these containers may leak chemicals into your water.
4. The higher the quality of the source, the better
- If you do decide to drink water from a bottle, only purchase from high quality artesian/spring sources. Some of the top brands include: Evian, Fiji, Vittel, Volvic and Trinity.
5. Buy glass or stainless steel
- Carry a water bottle throughout the day and refill as needed. This makes drinking water convenient, and keeps the water cool.
- The ideal bottle to use is one that is glass or stainless steel. Lifefactory makes a great 22-ounce glass water bottle and my favorite brand for stainless steel water bottles is Klean Kanteen.
- Most bottles will tell you how much water they hold. Use this number to keep track of how much water you drink each day.
- Buy an extra water bottle for the office or for your desk, as this is a great way to make sure that water is always near you.
- If you cycle, hike, go for walks or runs, bring water with you. An option when working out is to carry a BPA and PVC free hydration pack from Osprey or Camelbak. This way you can carry water with you and it will be easy to access no matter where you are.
6. Don’t like the taste? Try infused water
Do you find it difficult to drink water because of the taste, or lack-of? It is easier to drink more water when it tastes delicious.
- Amp up the flavor by infusing it with organic herbs, spices, fruit and vegetables. Infused water will make your taste buds happy, provide you with valuable nutrients, and aid in digestion.
- Here is one of my favorite infused water recipes: Cucumber, Mint and Lemon Infused Water.
- Infuse water in a pitcher or mason jar and place it in the fridge or on the counter. When the water level gets low, just fill the container with plain water.
- Buy a glass or ceramic beverage dispenser with a spigot for your home or office and place it on a counter. Infuse water with your favorite herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables in the morning and have access to yummy water all day long.
7. Plain water too boring?
If you are tired of drinking plain water, try sparkling water.
- Infuse sparkling water with a splash of organic cranberry juice and lime. This is a great substitution for alcohol at social functions.
8. Make it a game
Make this dietary challenge a game.
- Challenge yourself to drink more water than the day before. For example, if you drank 40 ounces of water yesterday, see if you can top that number today. Strive for 50 ounces the next day. In the scheme of things, that is only 10 more ounces than the previous day and the goal will feel more tangible.
9. Room temperature is better
Consume water at room temperature.
- Avoid very cold water, as it will sit in your stomach until it reaches body temperature. Water at room temperature is a lot easier to drink in large amounts than cold, refrigerated or ice water. It is also more easily digested and assimilated into the body.
10. Make drinking water part your routine
Spread your water intake throughout the day and do not drink your recommended allowance in one sitting.
- An important daily habit to adopt is to drink at least one glass of water (preferably room/warm temperature) upon waking every morning. For added benefit, squeeze fresh, organic lemon juice into the water.
- Continue drinking throughout the day. Have a glass of water before each meal, in between meals and before, during and after exercise.
Select a few of these tips and put them into action today. If you take small steps each day toward a healthy direction, you will slowly become accustomed to new habits and a consistent routine. Before you know it, drinking your recommended daily water will become second nature.
Part 2 of 2
Part 2 of this series can be accessed by clicking the link below:
In part 2, I provide you with 10 more ideas on how you can boost your daily water consumption.
What are your thoughts?
- What do you think about the tips included in this article? Are they helpful?
- Do you struggle with drinking water throughout the day? If yes, why is drinking water difficult for you?
- What methods have helped you to drink more?
- Do you know any tips or tricks that may help others who are struggling to reach their minimum water requirements?
When she is not slaying fat and building muscle, Jennifer can be found trekking barefoot, traveling, cooking and refining her photography skills. She also enjoys reading and writing about food culture, history and the science of human movement.