Water is the essence of life, and without it, there would be none.
Most of us quite simply forget that drinking enough water throughout the day is necessary to maintain an efficient, well-hydrated state. Many of us avoid consuming water to escape restroom visits during our days of long meetings. Some of us may even be too lazy to get up and get another bottle or glass of water. You can easily see why hydration with good quality, clean water is so very important. I have written two articles on water so far, so I will not rehash their content. You can visit them by clicking on the following links: One Bottle of Water Can Induce Weight Loss and Research Proven Weight Loss: Drink Water. I decided to write this article to add some spice to your hydration habits. Here are few more tips to help you increase your water intake.
Twenty-One Simple Tips or Hints To Help Increase Your Hydration:
- Water on the go. No matter what you are doing when you leave the house, carry a bottle of water with you. I take a silicone covered bottle with me to work, shopping, driving, and just about anywhere I go. I have 6 of them, and I refill them and put them in the refrigerator to chill overnight. This keeps one within reach every time I leave the house.
- Drink a bottle of water during all transition points. Consume a bottle of water when you wake up, when you arrive at work, between meetings, at bathroom breaks, when you get home in the evening, and at bedtime. You might want to skip the nighttime cup if you are a male over 40.
- Drink before each meal. I consume at least 1 cup of water before each meal to help fill the stomach. I have found that I eat less when I precede a meal with a cup or two.
- Add a little lemon or lime juice. Even better, freeze slices of peeled lemons, limes, and oranges and use them in place of ice cubes. A small amount of flavor can make it easier to drink the water especially if you have tap water that has a harsher taste.
Add electrolyte or flavor packets. Having flavor added to your water makes you far more likely to imbibe a full glass. You can get multiple flavors today through many of the products available at your local market. These packets will not only help you get more water, but you’ll be replenishing those essential electrolytes.
- Compete with your family and friends. Place a friendly wager to see who can drink more water per day. For safety sake, set an upper limit such as 8 to 10 eight-ounce cups. More is not always better and can be dangerous.
- Use a straw. When you use a drinking straw, you will consume more fluid than if you were just sipping.
- Jump start you exercise with hydration. This practice will reduce the water loss experienced from a long run. A good measure of hydration is to weigh yourself before and after exercise. Every pound lost during exercise is about 1-2 cups of water. Cool and refreshing water can also help cool you down afterward. I also drink eight more ounces of water for every 30-minutes of exercise.
- Prep your water. Prepping for the week’s meals on weekends is a very successful thing for health fanatics to do. The same obsessive behavior can help hydration by having water ready to go. I use glass bottles, but non-BPA containing plastic is fine.
- Spice it up with some mint. Fresh mint leaves can add a subtle flavor to cover the flavor of even the worst water fountain water.
- Use a water pitcher or dispenser in the refrigerator. Having a good supply of cold water at your fingertips will encourage you to increase your consumption.
- Chill your water. You will burn calories by warming it before you absorb it from your stomach. Also, cold water tastes better. I often bring a glass bottle from home which tends to hold cold better, or I will bring a cup of ice to work and refill it from the office water fountain.
Drink on the hour. Have one cup every hour on the hour while at work. As long as you work 8 hours, you will have met your daily quota when the work day is done.
- Replace your coffee or tea. Instead of that hot or warm cup of coffee or tea, enjoy a warm cup of water with lemon. It is more hydrating and less dehydrating than these caffeinated beverages.
- Delay or delete the soda consumption. If you feel you must have a cup, can, or bottle of soda, delay consuming it until you have had at least 2-4 cups of water in the day. Hopefully, you will want the soda less or reduce your intake.
- Get a little fizzy. I recommend that you purchase a SodaStream if you like carbonated water. You can become burned out on water so mix it up. The carbonation of sparkling water can make a big difference by giving you the same bubbly feel as soda, without the calories or artificial sweeteners. You can even add a little flavor to it. I usually add a little sugar-free drink mix or fruit juice.
- Take a timeout for water. Relax and enjoy that bottle of water. If your job involves sitting at a desk all day long, take a walk to another part of the building and slowly drink a bottle of water.
- Add high fluid content foods to your diet. Fruits such as melon, cantaloupe, apples, pineapple, and pears are very high in water content and have fiber to keep you regular. Most vegetables are over 90% water. Soups that are clear and broth based can also rehydrate you, and as long as they do not have noodles, they will keep your carb count down and help with weight loss.
- Substitute unsweetened black or green tea for coffee. Teas are less dehydrating than coffee and consist of water flavored with herbs or fruits. Green tea is a great weight loss tool and is known for its antioxidant power.
- Set a drink alarm on your phone. When your schedule is packed like mine, it is easy to forget to take care of yourself. A small reminder can make a big difference so, if you are not naturally inclined to reach for your water bottle, set regular alerts on your phone as a reminder.
- Use a cell phone or tablet app. I love Loseit. It has an impressive food database and tracks your water as you enter it in the log.
I am sure there are many more recommendations out there, but this is about all I could come up with on the fly. Get creative, and you will develop more ideas to improve your hydration. Send a contact form containing your suggestions to me, and maybe I will add them to the list. I drink about 90 to 120 ounces a day. The goal is to prevent dehydration from being confused with hunger and turning to the feedbag full of junk food. If you have a craving, slowly drink a bottle of water and it will dissipate. You will feel full and avoid the calories of snack foods. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to hydrate. Hydrate now and hydrate often.