Why Hydration is Important: 5 Ways to Remember to Drink More Water
Water is essential for many reasons. It detoxifies the body, aids digestion, carries oxygen to your cells, regulates body temperature, and protects your tissues and organs. You lose water every day through your breath, sweat, and urine, so it’s essential to replenish your fluid supply. But how much water do you need?
Water Intake Recommendations
Water needs vary from person to person. The amount needed depends on many factors, including exercise, the environment, and overall health.
Pregnant or breast-feeding women require more water to stay hydrated. The Mayo Clinic recommends pregnant women drink about 2.4 liters of fluid (roughly 10 cups) daily, and breast-feeding women consume 3.1 liters (13 cups).
High temperatures and exercise increase sweat production. As a general rule, for every pound of sweat lost, you’ll need to replenish with another pint of water. Not sweating during a workout can be a warning sign that you’re dehydrated.
Helpful Tips to Get You Drinking More Water
Water isn’t your only option for getting enough fluids. NASEMs recommendations include fluid acquired through drinking water as well as eating certain foods. Vegetables and fruits, such as spinach and watermelon, are a good source of water. You can also reach the recommended levels through other drinks, like coffee and tea. However, drinking water is the healthiest and quickest way to stay hydrated. Remember to drink water throughout the day by following these tips:
1. Invest in a Good Water Bottle
In the same way, a new workout outfit can motivate you to get to the gym, keeping a reusable water bottle next to you throughout the day encourages you to drink more. Water bottles have the advantage of holding way more than your average eight-ounce glass, which makes drinking the recommended amount seem less of a hassle. Large bottles let you drink on-the-go and keep you from having to get up to fill a glass constantly.
Water bottles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, so picking the right bottle can be daunting. If drinking cold water is essential to you, be sure to buy an insulated water bottle. Want to make sure your water is pure? Buy a bottle that filters your water.
2. Track Your Water Intake
Tracking your water intake keeps you accountable. If you don’t want your water bottle to do it for you, several apps integrate with your smartwatch and provide personalized goals and reminders to help you stay hydrated. Consider setting an alarm to drink water if you’re especially forgetful.
3. Add Some Flavor to Your Water
If you think water is boring, add some flavor to your cup. Infuse your water with fresh fruit (oranges, lemon, or strawberries), veggie slices (cucumber or ginger), or herbs (basil, mint, or lavender) to add a little pizazz without sacrificing the health benefit of your drink.
4. Drink One Glass Before Meals
Drinking a glass of water before each meal is an easy way to increase your fluid intake and ensure you get at least three cups of water per day. Plus, drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you lose weight. Water fills your stomach before eating, tricking your brain into thinking you are full. You may also think you are hungry when you just need a glass of water.
5. Avoid the Juice Aisle
You may think it’s okay to drink juice and soda since fluid can come from a variety of sources, but these drinks contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. Resist the urge for juice or soda by eliminating it from your fridge. Avoid the juice aisle altogether while grocery shopping. Without these sugary drinks available at home, you’ll be more likely to drink water.