Did you know that most of us spend our days dehydrated? Well, we do, with up to 75% of Americans suffering from 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. When is the last time you can recall sitting down with a large glass of pure, filtered water and consuming the entire thing? The majority of us rarely do this, and that’s crazy. Men are made up of 60% water, and women are nearly 70% water! Just think of all the things that can go wrong with your intricate systems if you aren’t replenishing that supply.
For the past 5 years I’ve tried to consume a minimum of 100 ounces of water per day. Most days I consume around 150-200. After you do it for a while it becomes really effortless, and eventually you start to wonder how you ever survived during your “pre-hydration” days. I can’t even put into words what a difference this has made in my life. If you’re hoping to up your water consumption I have some tips for you:
1. Start small. If you’re new to this try to start with a goal of 60 ounces per day. Consume 60 ounces of pure water per day for 1 week, and then increase your goal by 20 ounces each week until you reach your target (which is different for everyone). Don’t count the water that you get from food or fruit juices, but you can count beverages such as tea or sparkling water. Check out my 4-day Plan for Increasing your Water Intake.
2. Set a “morning goal”. Don’t allow yourself to have your favorite morning beverage (coffee, tea, lemon water, etc) until you have reached your “morning goal”. My goal is to drink a 24 ounce tumbler of water before I make my first cup of coffee.
3. Incorporate hydration into your daily goals. Both of the organizational notepads that I’ve designed (avaialable via Etsy) have hydration trackers built right into them. Hydration is a key factor in my daily productivity, so it makes sense to track your water consumption right along with the rest of your to-dos, events and projects. Having it visible keeps me on track throughout the day.
4. Track it. It’s easy to lose count of your ounces, or think you’re consuming more than you actually do. Another simple way to track your hydration is a piece of washi tape on your tumbler or nalgene. Then just store a Sharpie near the watering tank and check off those boxes throughout the day. You can also track it on a weekly basis, as shown above. Plus—the inquiries of curious co-workers or friends asking about your check-boxes will keep you motivated!
5. Drink only water with meals. If you drink a 12 ounce glass of water with each meal you are already at 36 ounces every day, how easy is that? Skip the milk, fruit juice or soda and just fill up a glass of water. (Bonus points if you drink an 8 ounce glass before your meal, which helps you feel full faster, and another 12 ounces with your meal!)
6. Party with water. Going out drinking? Having a BBQ? Challenge yourself to have 1 large glass of water for each alcoholic beverage your consume. This is a great way to stay hydrated while you socialize and to get in your daily ounces.
7. Flavor it! Water doesn’t have to be boring, and once you adjust to drinking plain water you’ll be amazed how much flavor a little fruit adds to a pitcher of cold H20. But that transition doesn’t happen over night—-if your tastebuds are used to soda, high-calorie juices and other flavorful beverages, fruit infused water probably won’t excite you. But stick to it and eventually you’ll be downright giddy with a pitcher of watermelon + mint water. If you’re looking to add sweetness try combinations with watermelon and strawberry! Pineapple is another favorite of mine. I love my infusing pitcher and infusing water bottle for this.
8. Trick yourself. If you feel like you’re coming up a little short on ounces, try incorporating a flavored LaCroix water into your daily routine. LaCroix water is a canned bubble water that is flavored with natural essence—–they are all calorie free, sodium free and free of artificial sweeteners. For me they are like treating myself to a can of soda and I look forward to it. Pop one open after lunch, and in the evening when you’re relaxing at home, and you’ve quickly added 24 ounces to your day! (my favorite flavors are Cerise + Limon, Passionfruit, and Orange). Find a retailer near you.
9. 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. I loved this post from my friends at One Love Organics who introduced me to the lovely teas available from My Beauty Tea and shared tons of information on the health benefits of tea. I love to make a big pitcher (in this pitcher from Amazon) of the Lovely Peach Tea and drink it over ice throughout the day. Anxious to try her Mermaid, Pink and Juicy Grapefruit Blends. You should also check out My Beauty Tea’s tips for making iced tea and her recipe for an Iced Earl Grey a La Creme Latte.