Do you ever wonder if you’re getting enough water, or more specifically, how to drink more water? You’re not alone! We all know the importance of drinking plenty of water on a daily basis, yet most of us go through the day dehydrated.
I carry a refillable water bottle around everywhere I go. Literally. Everywhere! I’m constantly running to the washroom to pee, and re-filling my bottle any time I see a fountain while I’m on the go. I’m sure you’re thinking these sound like extreme annoyances, and you’d be right, they definitely are! But I’ve learned that I’d much rather deal with constant bathroom trips and looking for water fountains, than having to deal with extreme bloat and headaches, because that’s what happens to me when I don’t drink enough! And usually by the time I’ve realized I didn’t drink enough, the above mentioned side effects are in full force and drinking my weight in water wouldn’t even help. I usually don’t feel better until the next day.
Drinking plenty of water on a daily basis has become a habit of mine. Something that just comes second nature. If I’m leaving the house, I never forget my water bottle. Getting my 9-year-old son to drink enough water, on the other hand, is a whole other story. I realize it will probably take another 10 years or so, at least, until he gets to the point where he actually wants to drink water. So until then, I will be that nagging mom always shoving a bottle of water in his face.
By now, you’re probably hoping I’d just get to the point and tell you how to drink more water (or you’ve already skipped this part and skimmed through it all. That’s ok, I don’t judge), be patient! I’ll get there! First, I think you need to know the importance of drinking enough water, because knowing plays a huge roll in actually doing! Like I said, most of us know we should be drinking more, but we still don’t. Maybe if you understand all the wonders that water can do, you might make more of an effort to drink the liquid stuff.
Benefits of Drinking Water
Gives You Energy
Do you ever find that when you are dehydrated, you don’t have the energy to do anything? Me too! I’m sure if I Googled “why does water give me energy?”, there would be tons of scientific evidence, but the best evidence for me is experience. When I drink water, I feel more energized! Therefore, water gives you energy! Enough said.
Keeps You Full
Oftentimes I feel hungry even though I know I shouldn’t be because I just ate. Or maybe it’s been a few hours, so I plan on having something to eat, but first I have a glass of water. Well all of a sudden I don’t feel hungry anymore. Could it have just been thirst? You betcha! Drinking plenty of water helps you feel full! Perfect when you’re trying to lose weight and need to be in a calorie deficit.
Not drinking enough water can cause headaches. As I’ve stated above, getting a nasty headache is the first side effect I get when I don’t drink enough. Some studies I’ve read also showed that people who are prone to getting headaches oftentimes reduce or eliminate their headaches just by increasing their daily water intake.
Second side effect I get when I don’t drink enough water, but equally as uncomfortable. I get extreme bloat! I know it sounds weird – you would think that drinking tons of water would make you feel bloated, but it actually does the opposite!
Keeps You Regular
Drinking water keeps you regular, if you know what I mean? The technical term would be peristalsis – the movement of food and waste through your bowels, which brings me back to the previous point, preventing bloating!
Prevents Cramps and Sprains
By lubricating joints and muscle tissue, you can prevent cramps and sprains when you drink plenty of water! It only makes sense, since our bodies are made up of 60% water. I have been getting foot cramps for as long as I can remember. I remember the very first time I got one, I think I was 7 or 8 years old. It was the worst pain of my life (at the time), and I had no idea what was happening or how to get rid of it! And I still get them when two things happen: 1. When I don’t stretch properly after a workout. 2. When I don’t drink enough water.
We Lose Water When We Sweat
I know how much you sweat when exercising depends on a number of things, including genetics. My genetics just seem to be favorable for lots and lots of sweat. I think my parents even had to get me checked when I was a baby for the amount that I sweat. Gross, I know. So just think of how much water I’m losing in the process. You might not be like me. Maybe you only sweat a little bit, like my husband. But you’re still losing water, and our bodies need water to function properly (and to heal those muscle fibres you just broke down by exercising), so we need to make sure we hydrate before, during, and after our workout.
How to Drink More Water
If you’re not like me, and don’t like drinking water, you can make it more palatable by adding some flavour to your water. The best way to do this, especially if you’re trying to lose weight, is with sugar free options. Cucumbers, mint, fruit, etc. If you must use a liquid flavouring, try to find one with no added sugar, but remember from this post that sugar can hide in very sneaky ways. I don’t know if it’s even possible to find a liquid flavouring without ANY added sugar. If you found one, please let me know!!
Get a New Water Bottle
Have you ever bought new exercise gear and instantly felt motivated to get a workout in? Me too! Maybe that’s why I now own more workout clothes than regular clothes. Anyway, drinking water can be the same! You’re more likely to want to drink lots of water if you actually like the water bottle you’re drinking from.
I am constantly on the look out for new water bottles because I am so picky about what I drink my water from. I can’t have one that takes too long to open, so those super pretty metal ones with the tiny screw cap that everyone and their dog seems to own, I can’t use. I also can’t have the hole too small or too big. It has to be the perfect size so that if I’m super busy and need a quick drink of water, I can have a huge gulp without having to take several gulps, but also so it won’t spill all over me. Wow, saying that out loud really makes me sound high maintenance.
Anyway, go out and find a water bottle you love, and you’ll likely drink more water without even trying.
Have Several Water Bottles
If you’re the type of person who fills up a bottle of water in the morning, drinks it all no problem, but then doesn’t drink any more because you suck at walking to the water fountain to refill the damn thing, then having multiple water bottles might be your solution!
Take three or four (depending on the size) filled water bottles with you to work, so that when you finish one, you can just keep going with the next, and then the one after that. This way also helps to track your water intake because we often fill up our water bottles before they’re really empty. So when you think you drank three full bottles because you filled it up three times, you actually only drank two and a half, or maybe even just two.
Most people love drinking ice cold water, and I’ve read that it helps to lose weight because your body needs to work harder to bring the water back to your body’s temperature. Me, on the other hand, can’t stand ice cold water! Maybe it’s my sensitive teeth, but I much prefer my water at room temperature, or just a little bit chilled, like from the built-in water tap on my fridge.
If you find it hard to drink water, try playing around with the temperature of your water. Maybe you’re like me, and like warmer water.
Sparkling or Mineral Water
If you’re a soda drinker, STOP. Right now! Just kidding. Well, I’m not kidding, you shouldn’t drink soda, but that’s a whole other topic. If you love soda, try replacing your habit with sparkling or mineral water. I bought my husband a SodaStream (like this one here, this is not an affiliate link by the way, just wanted to help a sister out) for his birthday last year and he absolutely loves it! It really helps him to get his water intake up. My 20-month-old also loves it. If I’m having a hard time getting her to drink water, I make her some “water with bubbles” and she gulps it up. Me and my son, on the other hand, hate fizzy drinks, so this tip just doesn’t work for us.
Water Intake Water Bottle
You can also try using one of these cool water intake bottles, or you can make your own! Just write the times of day that you need to drink on your favourite bottle with permanent marker.
The Chug Method
I do this ALL THE TIME, and I also tell my son to do it when I’m trying to get him to drink more. When you remember to have a drink of water, don’t just have a sip, take a huge chug or two or five. That way, you’ve finished nearly a full bottle already, and if you happen to forget to drink for another few hours, you won’t be as dehydrated.
Drink Before You Eat
Get in the habit of drinking a big glass of water before you eat anything. Chances are, if you’re feeling hungry but it’s not your usual time of eating, you’re just thirsty. This not only increases your water intake, but it will stop you from eating when you don’t really need to. It should also help “boredom eating” – eating just because you’re bored.
Invest In A Filter
With the amount of water you’ll be drinking after you implement all of these awesome tips, you’re going to want to invest in a filter, so you can just drink straight from the tap. There’s nothing worse than seeing hundreds of plastic water bottles in your recycling bucket at the end of the week, and who wants to drink plain tap water? Unless you’re on your own well, lucky you!
You could even go one step further, like we did, and get a water line for your fridge and buy a fridge with water built right in!
Drink From A Straw
If you’re a straw drinker, drink your water through a straw! If it means you’ll drink more, why the heck not? You can even buy re-useable straws to cut back on waste.
Drink One For One
For every cup of coffee or for every alcoholic beverage you drink, drink a glass of water. Alcohol is a diuretic, and coffee is sometimes believed to be one; although, depending on what website you’re on, nobody seems to really know. All I know is after I drink a cup of coffee, I feel the need to drink a glass of water. I don’t know if it’s the taste in my mouth, or the feeling in my belly, but I instantly feel better when I drink water after coffee.
If you get in the habit of drinking water after one of these drinks, you’re instantly helping yourself to drink more water.
I hope these tips were helpful and that you will start implementing them right away! Do you have issues drinking enough water? Let me know by commenting below what strategies you use to ensure you get enough!
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