Water is critical to each and every body process. From the transportation of nutrients throughout the body, to regulating body temperature, digesting food, and more.
When you are drinking enough water, you will feel the positive effects. Your thought process will be faster, you will be more focused, and be able to concentrate more. You will feel more alert, awake, and refreshed, with more energy than before.
Water is essential for flushing toxins from the body. If the kidneys do not have enough water to function properly, toxins will build up in the blood and make an individual extremely ill.
Drinking water also helps to flush excess glucose from the blood, and helps your body keep blood sugar lower and more stable. This makes drinking water absolutely essential for diabetics.
Water is used by the digestive system to process food into fuel. If you are not drinking enough water, your gut will let you know. Tummy rumbling, swelling, constipation, all are signs that you need to drink more water.
The body’s immune system starts in the gut. Drinking water helps the body fight infection, and will heal the body more quickly when feeling under the weather.
Now that we’ve reviewed the necessity of drinking water, how much should we aim to drink in a day? A generous goal is to drink half of your body weight in water each day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, make a goal to drink 80 ounces of water every day.
We all know we should be drinking more water, but how many of us actually focus on how to do so? Try these 10 tips for tricking yourself into drinking more water:
- Bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Be sure to choose a bottle that is re-usable and BPA-free. Stainless steel bottles keep water cold for hours and come in a ton of fun patterns and colors. You will be amazed how much more water you drink on a daily basis simply because you have it with you! In line at the store, in a traffic jam in the car, sitting at your desk, etc.
- Try adding lime, cucumber, or mint to your water. Mixing up flavors can prevent you from getting bored, and will keep you going back for more. There are water bottles available with a built-in “infusion compartment” where you can place fruit and herbs to prevent the pulp or seeds from getting into your water.
- Give your water a little fizz! By carbonating your water, you can tantalize your tongue with little bubbles, and make “plain water” more interesting.
- Get help from technology. From “smart bottles” that track the amount of water you drink, to smartphone apps that remind you when it’s time for more water, technology truly is incredible and can conveniently help increase your water intake.
- Link a glass of water to one of your daily activities. For example, if you have a 20 minute commute to work, drink one serving of water on your way in and one on your way home. This way, you’re easily reminded, and you can keep yourself accountable.
- Drink a glass of water before every meal. Not only will it increase your water intake, it will aid in digestion, and will help you feel full.
- Is your tap water mediocre at best? Invest in a water filter. It can be in bottle form, or in a jug or pitcher you keep in your refrigerator. The second option is nice because you have cold, clean water available at all times.
- When enjoying an adult beverage, try alternating one glass of water to one alcoholic drink. Not only will this help keep your body hydrated, it will help prevent a hangover, (not to mention help avoid embarrassing photos on social media.)
- Drink a glass of water before and after exercising. Even if exercising means taking the dog for a walk. If you walk the dog three times a day – that’s six glasses of water right there!
- Don’t forget you can also get water from the foods you eat. Cucumber, celery, radishes, tomatoes, watermelon, and spinach are all made up of more than 90% water!
Water truly is life. By making sure we stay hydrated, we are improving our health in countless ways. Find the strategies that work best for you. Stay hydrated and stay healthy!