Drink more water!
You’ve heard that phrase countless times. We know that we ought to drink more water and yet we don’t. Why?
Claire: "As a recent college grad, I see my peers drinking more soda than water. We're forming lifetime habits." pic.twitter.com/zFVnZmOhgC
— Ninjas for Health (@ninjasforhealth) July 20, 2016
Have you also found yourself preferring sugary beverages over water which helps us stay hydrated? In this post, you’ll learn how you can start drinking more water and you can begin today.
The myth of “You should drink eight glasses of water a day”
One health myth that fails to be forgotten is that you should drink eight glasses of water a day. Research has shown that this is indeed a myth. It is so prevalent that some doctors even continue to share this recommendation with their patients.
Is this causing more harm than good? Not necessarily.
Here are two truths to be aware of.
Truth #1: Water is essential for the cells in your body to function normally so dehydration should be avoided.
Truth #2: Drinking water is not your only source of hydration. Your body can get water from other fluids such as tea and coffee and foods such as vegetables and fruits.
Your body is remarkable and will let you know when you need more hydration as you’ll feel thirsty. An easy way to monitor if you are hydrated is to check the color of your urine when you go to the restroom. It should be a very light yellow color.
Make drinking water a daily activity so it becomes effortless
Ready to hear about the magical technique to start drinking more water each day?
It turns out that there isn’t one and it is more straightforward that you may believe.
The way that I started drinking more water throughout the day was to simply have water available with me. Think about some of the activities from yesterday — you woke up, had a morning routine (e.g. have breakfast and get ready for work), went to work, ate lunch, came home, made dinner, enjoyed time with family, got ready for bed, and went to sleep.
Does your daily routine include most of the activities mentioned above?
Could you start drinking more water by having water available during various times of your day? I bet you could and the best part is you won’t have to worry about lugging around 1-gallon jugs of water.
Today is your day to get started.
Step 1 – Purchase a few water bottles from a nearby store
Head to a store close by and pick up a few bottles of water. 3 – 5 bottles of water is a good starting point.
Step 2 – Introduce water into your daily activities
Now that you have your water handy, you’ll want to start introducing them so they are visible and easily accessible throughout your day.
You can start with your refrigerator. Open your refrigerator and place the water bottles at eye level. This is important because they will be one of the first things that you see when you open your refrigerator. Then take one or two and head to the next room of your home where you spend a lot of time. Lets say that you find yourself spending quality time in your living room. Place a water bottle on your coffee table or a side table and feel free to use a coaster so your furniture isn’t damaged by the moisture. Next, head to another room in your residence where you spend time such as your bedroom. Again, place a water bottle near your bed such as on a side table or at the foot of your bed and that is it for stashing water around your house. This is ideal for drinking first thing in the morning as you’ll naturally be dehydrated from sleeping.
Now set a reminder on your phone for the next morning to grab a bottle of water from the refrigerator on your way out the door to work.
If you are a coffee or tea person then definitely enjoy your beverage of choice that morning. When you arrive at work, then keep the water bottle near you. Remember we want it to be visible and easily accessible. If you work in an office, then an ideal spot may be on your desk. If you have a job where you are mobile and on the go, then you can be creative. Again remember visible and easily accessible.
Throughout the day, you’ll find yourself sipping on the water without having to really “try” and you can top off your water bottle as needed. Plus, as a added benefit, you’ll use the restroom more frequently which is helpful if you work in an office environment where you are seated for most of the day.
When you head home, then you won’t need to go out of your water to drink water.
Step 3 – Try this routine for two weeks
Remember the water bottles that you strategically placed around your home such as eye level in your refrigerator and in other areas such as your living room and bedroom? You may find yourself drinking more water just because they are there.
Be sure to also keep a bottle of water with you while you are at work.
Will this actually work for me?
Can having water visible and easily accessible really help you drink more water? It can because it reduces the amount of motivation needed to actually drink water.
In one study of a mess-hall, soldiers drank almost two times as much water (81 percent more) when water pitchers were put on each dining table than when there were put on a side table.
Source: Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
In the study above, the soldiers could easily reach and pick up the pitchers and pour some water or ask a fellow soldier to pass the pitcher down the dining table. This required less effort than getting up and walking over to a side table to refill a cup with water and then returning to the dining table to eat their meals.
I find drinking water difficult because…
Can you relate with any of the following?
- Water bottles are not great for the environment. That is a fair argument. Remember that you are trying to making drinking water effortless so it becomes part of your daily activities. One way to do that is to make water visible and easily accessible throughout your day. Another thing to remember is that you can refill a plastic water bottle and they are recyclable. Try using water bottles for just two weeks to develop a habit.
- I’m not a fan of water because it is bland. Try picking up a few different brands of water when you are first getting started. You may find that you prefer the taste of one brand of water over another. There are also products that let you flavor your water.
- My tap water has a funny taste and odor. A water filter can definitely help here. The PUR 18 Cup Dispenser works quite well, is rated highly on Amazon, and has a spacing-saving profile so it does not take up much room in your refrigerator.
Do you need to stop drinking other beverages while trying to drink more water? Of course not. You can continue to enjoy your coffee, tea, soda, beer, and other beverages. I found that staying hydrated has helped me feel more energized and you may too!