5 Tips to Increase Your Water Intake
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A couple of years ago when I realized how sick I was, I also realized how dehydrated I was. Not only did I have gallstones, high cholesterol and other uncomfortable digestion issues, but I was really dehydrated. In fact, when I had my blood taken during that time, they had a terrible time getting a vein. Then once they did, the blood came out incredibly slow. It was evident my body was taking a toll because of my poor care of it. Immediately I set out to drink more water. So today for “Tips Tuesday” I want to share with you tips to increase your water intake.
The answer may seem simple, “Drink more water.” However, seldom do we have the time or energy to really think about how much water we’re drinking. In fact, I thought if I was thirsty, I would drink and that would keep me from being dehydrated. Not so. Thirst really isn’t a way to gauge your body’s level of water intake. I can’t say I was ever a fan of just water. In fact, I had to be in a particular kind of mood to drink just straight water. I learned I had to recalibrate my new normal quite a bit for several reasons.
Being dehydrated is serious business. I had what I considered minor symptoms. My skin was always incredibly dry and static electricity was always a daily occurrence. I thought it was the weather. However, had I been adequately hydrated, the degree to which I experienced those things would’ve been far less. I would also go through bouts of light-headedness as well as headaches. They weren’t debilitating, just irritating. But beyond those things, being dehydrated could cause low blood pressure, increased heart rate, rapid breathing and fever; none of which are easy on your body. These things can move into life-threatening complications like kidney failure and seizures. Luckily, I hadn’t moved into that realm yet.
As with the risks, there are benefits to being properly hydrated. First, you’ll have far healthier skin. Not only will it be better moisturized, but it will also look healthier and younger. You’ll also be able to control your appetite better and weight loss will be easier to come by. You’ll see an increase of energy and your digestion will improve. Along with all of that, you’ll feel an increase of energy.
So with all that information, how do you deal with increasing your water intake if you don’t necessarily like drinking water all the time? I’ve got some ideas! You see, I wasn’t such a fan of drinking just plain water, either. But I finally was able to increase my water intake with a few tried and true methods.
1.) Drink water when eating out.
Not only do special drinks and sodas cost you when eating out, you’re not getting your value for the money you pay. A bottle of soda may cost you a dollar at the store. At a restaurant, it may cost you a couple of dollars more. Then, I realized I never really drank all of my drinks at restaurants anyway. So, I decided to always order a water and drink it as I normally would drink anything else. You cut the cost of your bill at the end of the night and get some much-needed fluids.
2.) Carry a water container.
I also started to carry a Contigo water bottle with me everywhere. I got a stainless steel one so that the water would stay cold. I tried to drink 2 of these a day which equaled about 48 ounces total. That wasn’t including the water I drank when eating out or other ways I got my fluids. I would try to drink one by the end of the work day and then one in the evening when I was at home. This worked out well because it challenged me without having to put much thought behind it.
3.) Flavor your water.
One of my favorite ways to flavor my water was a little lemon juice or cucumber slices. It made the water taste wonderful to me and made it easier to drink more throughout the day. Not only that, but the lemon and cucumber also helped with my digestive tract which helped me kill two birds with one stone. Another way to flavor your water is with Mio. I love the fruit punch, but try not to flavor all my water this way. Variety is key and that is just one of the many tools in my arsenal.
4.) Stop drinking soda and juice.
This may be hard for a lot of people, but hang in there with me. These aren’t great was of getting your fluids. In some ways, drinking these makes it harder to stay hydrated because of the sugar, sodium and caffeine. But eliminating drinks like these will increase your need for water instead making it easier to drink more of what is good for you.
5.) Carbonated water.
You may still miss that soda when you give it up. If that’s the case, consider trying La Croix flavored carbonated water. These go towards your daily water intake and have a slight flavor but don’t add sugar or other unnecessary ingredients. My favorite is La Croix la cola or La Croix Coconut. Make sure you’re off the sugary drinks or diet drinks before you try this or you might be disappointed. Being off of actual sodas for a week or two will change your taste buds and help make these alternatives a bit more enjoyable.
Bonus tips from the hubs:
While sharing my tips with D, he wanted to add a couple more for your benefit. So these next two are from my genius husband.
7.) Eat more fruit.
Because of fruit’s water content, it makes getting your fluid that much easier. Plus, fruit is incredibly tasty anyway, so it won’t really feel all that challenging.
8.) Play the Bachelor drinking game…with water.
In other words, make it fun. D suggests taking a shot of water every time someone on the Bachelor says “for the right reasons.” You may end up waterlogged by the end of the show, but I guarantee you won’t be dehydrated.
What about you? Do you drink enough water? Do any of these ideas seem appealing to you to help you increase your water intake? What are some suggestions of your own?