How much water do you drink in a day? If you think you’re drinking enough water chances are you’re not, as most people don’t.
The recommended daily intake of water is eight eight-ounce cups minimum (that’s two liters). And, for those of you living in the hot, dry desert climate of Israel, you should be drinking even more than that.
Exercise, illness, environment, pregnancy and breast feeding are all factors that can influence individual water needs. If you find yourself sweating from exercise, make sure to down at least a cup and a half more fluid in addition to the recommended eight cups. Also, the Institute of Medicine recommends ten cups daily for pregnant women and thirteen cups daily for breast feeding women.
You may be wondering what exactly water will do for your body that you should care to ingest so much of it daily. Why is hydration so important?
Well, for starters, your body is made up of sixty-percent water. You lose water during your life activities such as sweating, urination and even breathing, so it’s important to monitor your intake so you won’t end up with a water deficit (aka dehydration). During demanding situations like the ones noted above, your body uses more water than usual, so you have to drink even more than the recommended eight cups to replenish accordingly.
Your body needs water to make the minerals and nutrients you get from food into an accessible form for your body. Drinking enough water is just as important as keeping to a healthy diet, as you can only reap the benefits of eating healthfully if your body is able to access the nutrients you’re consuming.
Water helps with digestion, reducing constipation, and also decreases the risk of kidney stones. It helps hydrate your skin and has been shown to reduce acne.
Studies have also proven water intake to affect both physical and mental performance in areas such as energy levels and, fascinatingly enough, even mood.
Plus, drinking water also helps with weight loss! Besides the obvious health benefits drinking water in place of sugary beverages can provide, research has found that those who drink a glass of water right before mealtime end up consuming fewer calories. Additionally, as I mentioned before, drinking water during mealtimes can also help you digest your food after you’re finished eating.
Who would think that something so basic could have such a great impact on your health? And this is only an abridged list of the wonders water can do for your body…
Now that you’re familiar with why drinking enough water is important, I’d like to move on to how this can be accomplished practically.
How to Make Water More Drinkable
Tip #1: Bring Water With You Everywhere
You’re probably wondering how this could help your water intake, as it’s likely your office has a water cooler, and in the off chance it doesn’t you know that you could always count on tap. But the reality is that we are lazy. We don’t like to go out of our way to do things, even if that means walking five extra steps to a water cooler.
That’s why having a water bottle with you at all times is so important.
Besides for being environmentally friendly, a reusable plastic bottle will encourage you to drink throughout the day (especially if it has a straw that’s fun and easy to drink from!) and it will save you the money you would have spent on a disposable bottle.
Bonus points if you get one in a cool color 🙂
Tip #2: Flavor It Up
Often times people say that they find water bland. That’s definitely understandable, as water scores zero in practically everything.
Zero grams of sugar
Zero grams of sodium
Zero grams of fat…etc.
But who says zero has to be a bad thing? In the case of water, zero is an opportunity for creativity! Think of the tastes and flavors water can take on only because of its blandness. To make water more drinkable, try adding any of the suggestions below to your next glass! Feel free to try out your own combinations as well!
- Lemon wedges and nana leaves
- Sliced green apple
- Pineapple cubes
- Sliced cucumber
- Fresh basil leaves
- Grapefruit wedges
- Orange slices
- Honeydew cubes
Tip #3: Remind Yourself To Drink
It’s hard to remember to stay hydrated with a busy schedule and all. If you’re in the middle of trying to get something accomplished, it’s unlikely for a water break to be a priority.
Luckily, technology today can help with this. For some people, setting daily phone reminders to drink may be helpful. Decide on times that work with your specific schedule and set the alerts accordingly. Some useful apps that can help you track your water intake are Waterlogged (for the iPhone) and Water Time (for the android). If phone alerts aren’t your thing, try to fit hydration into your daily routine by setting specific points throughout the day to drink. For example, deciding to drink a few cups during bathroom breaks or downing several glasses during your lunch break could help you reach the recommended intake.
You all know the saying – “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you want to hydrate yourself properly, then it’s just a matter of time before you find a method that works with your schedule.
Now raise your glass (of water 😉 ) to a healthier you!
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Visit Dena’s blog, The Artsy Palate, for healthy recipes and advice on how to stay healthy while in seminary and beyond!
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“How to Drink More Water Every Day.” WikiHow. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 July 2016. <http://www.wikihow.com/Drink-More-Water-Every-Day>.
McIntosh, James. “Urology / Nephrology Water – Air Quality / Agriculture Nutrition / Diet Why Is Drinking Water Important?” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 12 Mar. 2015. Web. 04 July 2016. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814.php>.
“Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day?” Mayoclinic.org. Mayo Clinic, 5 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 July 2016. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256?pg=2>