Water is the essence of life. Humans are comprised of almost up to 60% water which means that we have to continually drink water to keep our bodies hydrated, happy, and healthy. This key nutrient is one of the most important elements for the human body, but people often struggle with consuming enough water.
How Many Ounces of Water Should You Drink?
The rule of thumb used to be eight 8-ounce glasses each day, but experts say that has changed. Depending on your activity level and your climate, you should drink a half-ounce to an ounce of water for every pound you weigh. So, if it’s the middle of the summer, you’re working out daily, and you weigh 150 pounds, your daily water intake should be anywhere from 75 to 150 ounces of water. To be safe, no matter the temperature, shoot for at least 8 cups of water each day.
The general “rule” to drink half your body weight in water each day is true and it may even help you shed pounds, too. Researchers found that drinking water may actually help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism.
If you’re feeling thirsty or even hungry, that means your body is already dehydrated, and it could be temporarily harming your metabolism. Drinking H2O throughout your day will not only keep you hydrated, especially during hot, humid summer months, but it will also keep your weight loss journey on track.
How Can I Stay Hydrated?
Below are just a few tips to make getting enough water easier to swallow.
1. Set Reminders
Creating reminders will help jog your memory to drink more water. Mark a water bottle with each hour of the day to schedule just how much water you should be drinking throughout the day. Need an audible reminder? Set an hourly alarm on your phone to remind yourself to take a sip. If you are more of a visual person, try leaving post it notes around your house and office to drink some H20 each time you see a note. You can even leave a note in your car to remind you to take a sip on your different commutes. Write it in your calendar or on your to-do list and check off your consumption! Setting constant reminders to drink more water will help you turn a chore into a routine.
2. Make it A Routine
Take gulps of H2O after you do something that is already part of your daily routine. For example when you first wake up in the morning, make it routine to drink at least 20 sips of water before you leave the bedroom to eat breakfast. Drink water after each time you wash your hands, or sip even more water after you take a flight of stairs. Drink a glass of water before a meal and another one afterward. This will help keep you hydrated and can even help with digestion. To start, pick one or two habits that you practice daily and add drinking water to them. That way you can slowly work it into your routine.
3. Choose A Water Bottle You Like
Choosing a water bottle you like can help inspire you to drink more water. With numerous different kinds of reusable water bottles on the market, you can find the bottle that motivates you the most to sip on more water. There are bigger water bottles so you do not have to refill as often, water bottles with marks on it such as time stamps to help you keep on track, and water bottles with a filter to make sure you water stays pure and clean. We love the insulated water bottles which keep your water cool for hours even when left in a hot car. There are also bottles with a place to add fresh, cut up fruit to infuse your water and even high-tech bottles that track how much water you are drinking. The bottom line is, invest in a water bottle that you will actually use and that will encourage you to drink more. With so many brands, colors, and designs, there’s a style you’ll love.
4. Carry it Everywhere
After you purchase a water bottle you like, or decorate one with stickers that inspire you, and keep it with you wherever you go. Carry it everywhere – from the gym to the car to your bedroom – and refill as necessary. Keep a bottle of water handy at home, at work and on the run. If you'll be out running errands, freeze a water bottle overnight and bring it with you the next day. It will thaw in the car and allow for cool refreshment between stops. Keeping a water bottle with you will help you stay hydrated all day long. You’ll even notice that you’ll take more sips just because you’re holding it – it becomes second nature! Can’t bring your water bottle somewhere? Be on the lookout for public water fountains and stop and take a few sips each time you see one.
5. Keep Track
Keep a tally of your water intake. Aim for 4 glasses by lunchtime and another 4 by bedtime. There are several ways you can keep track of your water intake. Simply keep a tally on a piece of paper or in a journal. Create a countdown in your journal from 8 to 1 and cross off the numbers in descending order until you get to zero. Keep track on your phone – you can make notes in the note function or download an app. There are several apps that can help you keep track of your water intake. Most of them will show empty glass that fills with water when you input your water intake. It is a fun way to visually represent your progress.
6. Drink Water Before, During & After Workouts
Water is extremely important while you’re exercising. Staying hydrated will ensure that your body remains at your optimum performance level. Drink water before, during, and after working out. Aim to drink 8 oz, every 20 minutes, especially if the temperature is hot or you’re sweating a lot. Drinking water after your workout will replenish the water you lost sweating and help break down any lactic acid built up in the muscles, reducing your soreness.
7. Create A Challenge
Are you motivated by challenges or games? Turn drinking water into a game! This will help you reach your daily goal. First, define your goal whether it is drinking a glass of water every hour or drinking 8 glasses of water a day and stick to it. Write down your goal and mark off on your calendar each day you hit your goal. Then create a prize for yourself. If you hit your goal each day for a week, give yourself a reward!
8. Go One-for-One
Make sure to continually drink water by using the one for one rule. After each alcoholic drink, drink a glass of water before getting another drink. Following the one for one rule will help you stay hydrated while drinking and will alleviate some of the post drinking pain the next morning.
9. Add Bubbles & Flavor
If plain drinking water is hard for your to consistently drink, try no calorie, unsweetened carbonated water. Sparkling water can make drinking water fun and help replace a sugary soda addiction. Try replacing soda with sparkling water, or for a sweet twist, try infusing your water with fruits and herbs. Simply fill a pitcher with water and add 1-2 cups of your favorite fruits and herbs, stir, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight for best results. Experiment with various flavor combinations, such as cucumber, strawberries, and mint, or blueberries, lemon, and basil. Or for a simple solution add a wedge of lime, lemon or orange to your water.
Try heating it up and drink hot water with a slice of lemon. There are even other beverages that contain some water that can help you stay hydrated. Coconut water, skim milk, fat-free milk, and smoothies all contain H20 in their make-up that your body will gladly accept. Drinking only these alternate beverages, however, will not be enough to keep your body hydrated and are just good to help supplement your water intake.
10. Eat Your Water
Did you know there are many other ways you can stay hydrated besides drinking water? There are several water based foods that can help contribute to your daily fluid intake. Foods such as, celery, cucumbers, and lettuce carry a lot of water that your body will use stay hydrated. If you snack daily, try switching out some of your usual snacks for pieces of fruit instead!
Adding more water intake to your daily routine will be overall beneficial to you - to your health, wellness, and even your weight loss. The habit of drinking more water will not happen overnight, but following the tips outlined above will make sure you stay hydrated. Drink more water; your body will thank you!