It is likely that you could be dehydrated right now and might not even realize it. Dehydration occurs when the body is losing more water than it is taking in and your body loses water and salts/minerals essential for normal body function. Your typical daily actives like walking cause the body to excrete water and can lead to dehydration.
Side effects of dehydration may include:
- brain fog
- muscle fatigue
- muscle cramping
Benefits of Staying Hydrated
There are many benefits to staying hydrated. Most people feel better when they are properly hydrated. Here are a few key benefits:
- Improved performance – If you’re dehydrated by as little as 2% of your body weight it will impact your exercise performance. Your lean muscle is about 80% water so it requires proper hydration to function well.
- Feel better when you travel – The average airplane has low humidity levels which can dehydrate you. On most airplanes the humidity is usually less than 20% (vs. at your home or apartment it is typically above 30%).
- Drinking Water actually burns calories – You burn approximately 1 calorie for every fluid ounce of water you absorb. And if the water is cold (see below) you can burn a LOT more calories!
- Reduce Wrinkles/Signs of Aging – Your skin is made up of cells and without proper hydration, more likely to appear wrinkled. Proper hydration can help you look and feel younger.
So how do you make yourself drink more water?
Drinking enough water is something most of us don’t do and it might seem difficult, but in reality it’s an easy habit to get started. In this post, I will offer some tips on how to drink more water.
There are a few easy ways for you to get the habit started. With proper hydration you will feel better overall so it’s a great habit that will help you feel better daily. There are easy small steps you can take to get into the habit of drinking more water. Okay, let’s get started.
Habit – Add Water to Your Routine
Making drinking a glass of water easy to remember by attaching it to another part of your routine. Linking daily micro habits or regular habits is an important part of daily self care that I have written about in many other posts.
One easy place to begin is by drinking a glass of water in the morning. Some women put this next to their bed. Or fill a glass at night and put it in the fridge (which removes the step of needing to pour it) and keeps it cold.
Also, if you take a water bottle to work you can use that as a reminder to stay hydrated too.
Make the habit of adding water to your routine easy by looking for strategies that you can incorporate into your daily routine and lifestyle.
Habit – Use Automated Reminders
Sometimes we get busy and forget simple micro habits like drinking water in the chaos of every day life. This is especially true when just starting with a new habit. Don’t feel bad though, just realize it’s part of the process of forming new habits.
One key tactic to start a new habit and commit to it is to set yourself reminders at regular intervals throughout the day. Then you don’t have to “remember” to do the habit, you just need to take action when your reminder reminds me. It outsources a lot of having to think about things to your phone or computer and makes life much easier. Your reminder becomes the trigger to take a break and drink a glass of water. Easy, peasy!
There are two easy ways to do this – you can set an alarm. But my preferred way is to use reminders. If you have an iPhone you can use Siri to create a recurring free reminder. I know that most of the readers are using iPhones so this tip is free and easy and here’s how to do it. (And if any Android readers have a suggestion for how to do this on Android, please let us know in the comments).
Say this: “Hey Siri, set up a daily recurring reminder at ___(whatever time you want) to drink more water.” Go ahead and do it right now and take action!
Habit – Reward Yourself
Rewards are great motivators. Set yourself small goals for adding water to your routine and give yourself a word of encouragement every time you drink some water. It could as simple as saying to yourself “I’m making progress on building my habit of drinking more water every day!”
Make Sure Your Water is Pure
The best and easiest way to make your water cleaner, purer and great tasting – is to use a quality water filter to remove impurities.
Make Your Water Intake more Diverse and Interesting
If you don’t care for the taste of water, try to add some flavoring to make it more interesting to your tastebuds. You can add fruit to your water. Some women love to add cucumber since it reminds them of a “spa day.”
If you are just drinking plain (still) water, then try drinking carbonated water.
Dehydration saps your body of electrolytes – the essential minerals that include calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, chloride and phosphate. Drinking water by itself is a great start. But with a girls night out, or a spin class, or a business trip, we need to think about replenishing these essential minerals and this is where electrolytes come into play.
Try a “Hydration Multiplier”
If you’re the type of person that always has trouble with water consumption, then you might want to take a closer look at hydration multipliers since they say that you will be able to have more hydration with less water intake.
How do you get more hydrated with less water intake? I had the same question so I did some research. It turns out that in the 1970’s the World Health Organization (WHO) made a breakthrough in the treatment of extreme dehydration with something they called “oral rehydration therapy.”
Use Technology to Help with the Drinking More Water Habit
Some people really love their gadgets. If you’re one of them, go hi-tech with your water intake. Use a smartphone app to remind you to take a water break and to record your intake. There are even water bottles that come with their own app to do the tracking automatically.
In summary, improving your daily hydration and drinking more water is a very easy habit to fix if you follow the steps above. Take a small step right now and grab a glass of cold water!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about drinking more water and proper hydration
How much water to you need?
You have probably heard stories and anecdotes and advice that you should always drink 8-10 cups a day. The issue is that there is not any good science on this topic to be honest. We all have different bodies and different needs. Also, hydration depends on your activity level, your age, your gender, your digestion, your weight, your kidney function, the temperature and humidity, and so on.
The one rule of thumb that is easy to follow is that every has different needs. If you pay attention to how your body feels when it is properly hydrated, that will help you remember what it feels like for you. If you are exercising or in a hotter climate, it is probably a good suggestion to remember to drink more water than usual. And also, remember we are not offering medical advice here. So ultimately you should consult with a dietician or a medical professional.
We hope this post has helped you. Please share your success story with the Namaste Nourished community below.