You could also call this article 7 ways to kick your soda habit to the curb.
When reading fitness blogs or following health gurus on social media does it ever drive you a little crazy that the one answer to almost everything is drink more water? It might seem silly, but staying properly hydrated has been one of the hardest habits for me to develop, and I’m still working on it. You’re probablywondering why on earth would this be hard? And the simple answer is I rarely ever feel thirsty. If I didn’t pay attention (and this is how I was a few years ago), I would drink about 1 glass of water in the morning after brushing my teeth, and then forget to drink anything else for the rest of the day. Wait, I take that back. A few years ago I would have also drank a diet soda around 4pm to kick my energy into gear. Obviously this was not enough water!
I remember when I was in high school and my parents signed up my brother and me to do a 50 mile backpacking trip together. The adult leaders would hound us all day long “drink more water”, “hey, let’s take a water break”, “how much water have you drank today”. It was also their answer to everything. Feeling sunburned? Drink more water. Have a headache? Drink more water. You just went to the bathroom? Drink more water. Feeling tired? Drink more water. You get the idea. It was annoying, but now knowing what I know…they were right.
So, why is it important to stay hydrated? For starters, water helps your body regulate it’s temperature, remove waste, keep your joints bendy, and water transports nutrients to give your cells and organs what they need. Without water you can feel fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness and feel hungry when you really aren’t. Our immune system relies on water, and sometimes drinking enough water is the only way you can get rid of and/or prevent certain viral infections (I’m looking at you UTI!).
There are several differing opinions when it comes to how much water you need. It also depends on how active you are throughout the day, the temperature, and how much you’re sweating. Most resources recommend a minimum of 8 (8oz) glasses of water, which puts you at 64oz daily. Some resources say take ½ your body weight in pounds and you should drink that many ounces. For example, if you weigh 140 lbs, 1/2 of that is 70, so you should drink 70 oz. Some professionals say no need to measure as long as you have one clear urination per day. I’ve heard some fitness experts say they drink a gallon a day, which I find nearly impossible to do. Personally I aim for 100 oz, but typically hit 80 oz and I feel pretty good doing that. But, like I said, it’s almost a daily battle with myself trying to get all that in. And here are few things I’ve found that help…
- Drink a glass of water before bed at night and have one waiting on the night stand to drink first thing in the morning. This takes care of roughly 16oz. It keeps me hydrated through the night and I don’t wake up with bags under my eyes. This also signals my metabolism to wake up in the morning, and gets me hydrated for my morning workout. I also drink my pre-workout (mixed with water) before I hit the gym, and there’s another 8oz.
- I take a water bottle with me to the gym and drink 20 oz throughout my workout routine. This seems like enough to keep me hydrated, but not too much. I don’t want to feel things sloshing around while doing burpees and box jumps. It also gives me something to do while taking a 30 second breather between sets. I feel so awkward just standing there otherwise. (Aren’t there already enough awkward things about the gym anyway?)
- I drink tasty, delicious bottled herbal teas like Erva Yerba Mate that are mostly water. I tried Erva about a month ago and absolutely loved it. Afterward I contacted the company to see if we could collaborate on a sponsored post about staying hydrated and they said they’d love to. (That’s how I keep the lights on around here.) Yes, I count this as part of my daily water intake. I normally sip on one when I’m running around doing errands. And extra bonus, yerba mate contains herbal compounds like theobromine that give you a little bump in energy. This compound is also naturally occurring in chocolate. Some research shows that similar to drinking green tea, yerba mate can lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular heath, have anti-inflammatory benefits and more. The rosemary hibiscus flavor is my favorite, and lavender sage comes in at a close second. Looking for something to replace your afternoon Diet Coke? This is a perfect swap.
- Another thing I’ve seen all over the interwebs is health influencers drink is apple cider vinegar (acv). David Wolfe reports that drinking 1 TBSP of per day can:
Help with heartburn and acid reflux
Promote healthy cholesterol
Aid in healthy weight loss
Improves nutrient absorption
and more. I don’t know if all of that is true, but I do know this little drink helps me stay hydrated and mixes things up a bit from just drinking plain water all day. I mix 20 oz water, 1 TBSP acv, 3-5 drops stevia and fresh lemon and lime juice to taste. It’s like a sour lemonade and pretty tasty. If stevia isn’t your thing try it with honey. *Do not drink straight acv, it can damage your teeth and digestive tissue, it’s concentrated stuff! Mix it with a glass of water, and drink no more than 1 Tbsp.
- As silly as this sounds, I actually keep track of how many ounces I drink throughout the day, or I will not drink enough. I use a gallon jug to do this so I don’t have to mentally keep track of anything. I fill it to the 100 oz mark at the beginning of the day, then I pour from the jug as I’m getting all my drinks. I added times of day to the jug so I can remember to drink throughout the day and not be left with 50 oz to drink right before bed. It’s silly, I know. But it works. To find the right places to put the marks I simply used a 20 oz water bottle. I filled it up, then poured the water into this jug and made a mark. I repeated this for a total 0f 5 times to reach 100 oz.
- Build drinks into your routine. For me, I try to read every day. I started brewing a cup of herbal tea to have while I read and it actually makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable and relaxing. Do you watch tv at night? Sit down with some tea, a flavored sparkling water on ice, or just a plain old glass of water.
- Make drinking water delicious. I created this herbal chai latte recipe, and it totally counts for part of your water intake. Even if I’m not feeling thirsty I still want a cup of this! Find the recipe HERE.
So, that’s it! That’s how I try to stay hydrated. What about you? Do you struggle drinking enough water? Share your tips and story in the comments below!