Updated: Aug 17, 2019
I am writing this blog today because I know how important it is to drink more water, but I also suck at it lately. I need to remind myself of all the benefits and to set up some good routines. Last year I was in a job with set times and routines were easy to keep track of. Now my schedule is a little more unpredictable, so I need to work harder at setting myself up for drinking enough water. I guess I'm not alone. Am I right?! So I hope these tips help you too.
DRINK MORE WATER - YOUR BODY IS THIRSTING FOR IT!
There are so many ways water helps our body to work properly, It moistens the eyes, nose and mouth (saliva production). I heard just last week someone telling me that their mother had an eye condition for a long time that went away when they gave up drinking coke and started to only drink water. They didn't realise that the condition was a result of the eyes being dehydrated. Water helps our bodies maintain its body temperature and lubricate our joints. It aids digestion as the juices we require need a balance of water. All the way through our system it is so vital that we have enough water so that we can avoid constipation. You have heard me say it a million times - fibre is good for Gut Health, but it also helps avoid constipation. Water and fibre will help keep you healthy all the way through, if you know what I mean.
ENERGY AND CLARITY
Now this is a big one - without adequate water, your cells cannot produce energy (ATP) efficiently and you will feel fatigued. You won't be able to think clearly. Without enough water, your muscles cells literally shrivel slightly and this will also affects performance and cause fatigue. So staying hydrated during exercise is especially important.
Inside every cell in your body, we need enough water for the DNA strands to unfurl for replication. If this process is incomplete due to dehydration, it can cause errors. These errors mean that your body in not as good at healing or fighting disease as it should be. Water protects our organs and tissues all over the body. We need it to maintain blood pressure. We have all heard it said that we are made up of up to 70% water. If we are drinking enough water, our kidneys can flush toxins away. This is especially important when you are sick with a cold or flu. Make sure that your pee is a nice light colour. If it is dark and golden and smelly, it is often a sign that you are dehydrated.
While drinking copious amounts of water will not take your wrinkles away, not drinking enough can add to your wrinkles. Being well hydrated helps your skin glow in many ways. It will help keep your skin clear of pimples and will also reduce the unwanted puffiness around your eyes.
Now this last point might be the most surprising of all. Drinking a lot of water can help you loose weight even if you don't change anything else in your lifestyle. One researcher (1) calculated that because water increases your energy expenditure by raising your sympathetic nervous system, that you could loose 2.3 kg a year by drinking 5.5 cups of water a day!
MAKE A PLAN
All of this is good news about how water can help us. So let's come up with some helpful tips and tricks for increasing your water intake. The key is to make your plan a S.M.A.R.T. plan (thank you to George T. Doran) -
1. Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go. Ditch the plastic and grab a wonderful stainless steel reusable bottle. Check out my Lipstick Hippy store for a great water bottle from Seed & Sprout which is not too big or heavy - just the right size for keeping you hydrated as you move about your day.
2. Keep a glass next to your bed. This is to remind you to drink as soon as you wake up or if you are thirsty through the night.
3. Have several huge drinks at key times through the day. This is a great time to look at my blog on Habit Stacking. Choose other routines you are already doing and tie this new habit to it. Eg. We all seem to have 'brushing our teeth' as a locked-in habit. Now, why not tie 'having a glass of water' to the end of it.
4. Keep a cup next to water taps around your work or home. Keep one next to the bathroom sink, kitchen sink, laundry sink. In this way it can serve as a reminder and a tool for having your next drink.
5. Add lemon to your water. Lemon is also aids digestion. By adding flavour you can enjoy the process more and avoid your dependence on sugary drinks and juices. Another option is you can now buy little bags (like tea bags) from the supermarket to flavour your water with fruits and herbs.
6. Invest in a bottle that is calibrated. In this way you will be able to keep track of how much you are drinking. Decide on an amount to aim for and this will help you be S.M.A.R.T. in your goals.
7. Remind yourself that it is a great way to reduce your calorie intake. Drinking water rather than calorie-laden drinks gives you have a better chance of losing weight. Don't drink your calories, people!
8. Remind yourself that is helps control hunger. If you are interested in losing weight, it is a great way to control your appetite. The part of the brain that controls hunger and thirst are intimately linked and sometimes when we think we are hungry we are actually thirsty. By drinking water more regularly, you will not be as tempted to snack between meals.
9. Buy a water filter. There is nothing better than drinking water that is sweet and pure. By buying a water filter you are able to avoid the costly (to the hip pocket and the planet) habit of buying bottled water. You will be able to have fresh water on tap.
10. Be OK with having to pee a LOT! ha! This is one of the side effects you need to manage:) But trust me that your bladder will get used to holding more water as you keep the habit going.
I'm not going to recommend how much water you need to drink a day. We have all heard that 8 glasses a day is the best, but we do get water from our food too and everybody's needs are different; especially if you work outside or do a lot of exercise. We need to pay attention to what our own body is telling us. Drink when you are thirsty. With the tips above I hope you can start upping your water intake along with me and reap the benefits. Let me know if these hacks helped you.