Did you know that most of us spend our days dehydrated? Well, we do, with up to 75% of Americans suffering from mild chronic dehydration! Water is vital to so many of your bodily functions, and before you complain about indigestion, headaches, achy joints, or even a cough you should ask yourself if you’re hydrated. The human body is 60-70% water. Just think of all the things that can go wrong with your intricate systems if you aren’t replenishing that supply.
But it’s important to understand how proper hydration actually works. You don’t need to chug 100 ounces a day or carry around a gallon of water in order to be properly hydrated. Instead, focus on these three things 1. Drink water. 2. Eat Water. 3 Move water. This means drinking water consistently throughout the day, eating food rich in water such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoiding being sedentary, as that prevents the water you’re consuming from being properly dispersed through all of your tissue.
If you often go through the day without consuming any water, it can be a hard habit to start. Some of my favorite tips for gently increasing your water intake are below. Hope it helps!
Start small. Don’t try consuming 80 ounces of water per day if you are starting from zero. Instead, have a goal of finishing your cup and refilling it. Naturally, over time you will likely increase your consumption each day and you’ll figure out what your own unique hydration needs are.
Create a visual cue. We often don’t drink water simply because it isn’t accessible. Get a designated water cup (this is the one I use and love!) and keep it with you throughout the day. Take it in the car during your commute. Keep it at your desk while you work. Take it to meetings. Keep it nearby while watching TV. Put it next to the bed at night. The cup will create a visual cue that helps your brain become more sensitive to your natural thirst indicators.
Use a cup with an oversized straw. I don’t have any scientific evidence for why this works — it just does! I think it’s mostly ease of use, but it has the added benefit of preventing wrinkles around your mouth. Again, I’ll reference this magical water cup ($10!) that I’ve used for years.
Know the signs of dehydration. Say it with me “The first signs of dehydration are brain fog and sleepiness!” That’s right. Once you have a headache or feel pangs of thirst, you are already dehydrated and suffering the negative effects of mild dehydration. Learn to recognize when you are feeling moody, slow, or fatigued and have a drink of water!
Set a “morning goal”. Try setting a goal to consume 12, 24, or even 30 ounces of water before having a favorite drink like coffee or a smoothie. I love starting my days with 12-16 ounces of Morning Water.
Infuse it with Fruit and Herbs. Water doesn’t have to be boring. I love my infusing pitcher and infusing water bottle for this. Try some new combos like mint + watermelon or strawberry + basil.
Eat your water. You don’t have to drown yourself in plain water. Instead, try a smoothie, a green juice, or even a salad! General rule for increasing hydration: try to add more plants to your meals.
Incorporate hydration into your daily goals. All of the planners and notepads I’ve designed (available in my shop) have hydration trackers built right into them. Hydration is a key factor in your daily productivity, so it makes sense to priortize water consumption right along with the rest of your to-dos, events, and projects. Having it visible keeps me on track throughout the day.
Party with water. Going out drinking? Hosting a party? Challenge yourself to have 1 glass of water for each alcoholic beverage you consume. This is a great way to stay hydrated while you socialize and to get in your daily ounces (while also curbing any hangover).
Brew some high-quality iced tea. When made from high-quality ingredients, tea can pack a lot of health benefits and a lot of flavor! And don’t be shy — it’s perfectly fine to sweeten it with honey, pure maple syrup, or even sugar. You can also add herbs like mint or rosemary, citrus, or sliced fruit.