“I don’t like the taste of water.”
“I just don’t have the time to drink all that water.”
“If I drink more water, I’ll keep having to go to the bathroom.”
These are the most common excuses I hear when it comes to drinking water. The fact is, however, that no matter how many excuses you give, you cannot deny the importance of water for your body and your overall health.
Most of us are lucky enough to have easy access to clean drinking water. That in itself is something to be so grateful for and something to definitely take advantage of. With the ease of access, staying well hydrated is actually one of the simplest steps (in terms of actual physical effort) to take towards better health. That being said, developing the habit still takes time, effort, and practice. So, below are some tips to help make hydrating a bit easier for you.
The first thing I find helpful is to understand why water is important for you in the first place. The emphasis on drinking water is not some fitness trend. The significance and benefits are real.
Benefits of drinking water:
– promotes cellular health
– regulates our body temperature
– keeps our joints lubricated
– helps balance our electrolyte levels
– maximizes your physical performance
– supports energy levels and brain function
These are just a few of the many benefits that drinking water has on your mental and physical health. Hopefully knowing a few of these points will give you a bit more motivation to stay hydrated.
Now that you know why it is important to stay hydrated, here are some practical tips on how to get more water into your daily routine:
- Set a goal. How much water do you want to drink each day? There are a number of hydration calculators out there that can provide a good place to start. A great rule of thumb is to drink water whenever you feel a bit of thirst or hunger. Once you set your daily hydration target, you have something to aim for.
- Measure out your water. After calculating your water goal, measure it out. You can mark a large water bottle, you can put aside the exact number of filled water bottles that you want to finish each day (this is the strategy I use), or you can keep a tally on your phone or a notebook. This step takes noting your hydration goal to the next step by actually creating a visual reminder. When you see 4 water bottles in front of you and you know that you want to finish them that day, then it is much easier to keep track of your progress.
- Carry water with you at all times. There are thousands of different reusable water bottles on the market nowadays. They make it so easy to keep your water with you wherever you go. Take advantage of this.
- Drink water before you eat or drink anything else. This is the main practice that helped me develop and sustain my hydration habit. Before I eat or drink anything, I take at least one big gulp of water.
- Start drinking water early. If you’re just getting started with increasing your hydration, one of the ‘side effects’ is going to be going to the bathroom more often. This can definitely be a pain, during the day and especially in the evening. However, if you start drinking water earlier in the day, you have more opportunities to spread your intake throughout the day. In particular, this is helpful in reducing the need to drink loads of water just before going to sleep. So, start drinking water early and try to start tapering off from around 5 p.m. Setting a specific time for when you want to hit your goal by can also help you stay focused on getting more water in earlier in the day.
- Set reminders on your phone to go off throughout the day. Despite best intentions and all the preparation – goal set, water measured out, bottle in front of you … somehow we can just get carried away with our day and forget to drink our water. Setting alarms on your phone is a great way to remind you to keep drinking water. When the alarm goes off, don’t snooze it! Drink right away.
- Stick with the practice. As with any habit, if you really want it to become engrained in your lifestyle, you have to stick with the practice. Don’t allow a few missed days of meeting your hydration target derail you. Keep trying. Keep drinking water. This is a lifelong habit that nobody can live without. So, keep encouraging yourself and working on drinking your water. With time, you and your body will get used to it.
Hydration is one of the cornerstone habits of the Whole Life Challenge. To learn more about the challenge and join my team, the Worldwide Warriors, follow this link or click on the image below.