Yes, you! That’s right… Put down the Pinot (just for a sec). Put down the soda, the sugary drinks. Chug. Some. Water. Actually, lots of it. If you are like me (and frankly, most of the people I know), drinking water isn’t exactly a delight. You find it hard to drink enough water and it’s usually not what you think of first when you are thirsty or want something nice to drink. We all know that dehydration is bad but do you really know why HYDRATION is GOOD?
Importance & Benefits of Hydration
We all know that we need to drink water, but do we truly understand why? For starters, did you know that our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water? According to University Health News Daily, water not only helps in all vital functions of the body, it also transports nutrients and waste, maintains blood volume, assists with circulation, and regulates our body temperature. WebMD lists 6 reasons to drink water:
- Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids
- Water can help control calorie intake
- Water helps energize muscles
- Water helps keep skin looking good
- Water helps your kidneys
- Water helps maintain normal bowel function
Women’s Health Magazine goes as far as to say, “Water may very well be the most underrated nutrient—especially when it comes to weight loss.” The same article, in referencing a study, also says, “drinking about 16 ounces of water temporarily spiked participants’ metabolic rate by 30 percent. The researchers concluded that increasing water intake by 1.5 liters (about six eight-ounce glasses) per day would increase daily caloric burn by about 200 calories” (Women’s Health Magazine). How crazy is that?! Just by upping your water intake, you can boost your metabolism resulting in more calories burned! Are you chugging yet?
On a personal note, drinking enough water is often the buffer between making a healthy food choice and making a poor food choice. Every time I have an unhealthy craving or want to snack on something that isn’t that great for me, if I can commit to drinking 8-10oz before reaching for that snack, it not only helps me feel full but it also gives me a minute or two to reconsider my decisions. Oftentimes I’ll choose not to go for the unhealthy snack after chugging a bit of H2O.
Dehydration varies in severity but in short, it’s when your body doesn’t have enough water to function properly. This can happen all too easily just with normal sweating and activity if you aren’t keeping up on your water intake. Check out this article by WebMD to learn the signs and symptoms of dehydration in adults and children including dry mouth, dark urine, headache, feeling dizzy, and rapid heartbeat.
How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?
If you Google this, you may get all sorts of answers! But I have found that the most common advice is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 200lbs, you should aim to drink 100oz of water every day (weight divided by 2). If you weigh 180lbs, you should aim to drink 90oz of water every day. You can use this handy calculator by Mr. Water Geek to find out exactly how much you should be drinking! If you calculate your ounces and you’re a little blown away, take that as a sign that you need to drink more! But don’t become overwhelmed at your water intake goal. Let’s break that down. Think about your daily schedule and see if you can come up with some time chunks to help break up your water goal. If you need to aim for 100oz of water a day, try to break your goal down into 20oz increments and set time limits for each mini goal. (Check out some of the motivational water bottles at the bottom of this post to help you with goal setting!)
If you’re realizing that you definitely have not been drinking enough water, I challenge you to try! And if you need help tracking your water, there’s an app for that! Check out Waterlogged, Water Drink Reminder, Daily Water Tracker Reminder, or Aqualert: Water Tracker Daily.
Natural Ways to Flavor Your Water
Maybe drinking 100oz or more of plain water sounds super boring and ultra difficult. I hear you! It can be hard especially if you aren’t used to drinking that much. There are so many great ideas out there on how to naturally flavor your water. Key word being naturally! It’s important to meet your water goal by drinking water, not drinks made with water that also have tons of sugar and artificial flavors. The most popular way of doing this is to infuse your water with fruit and various herbs. (Check out my Pinterest board for some delicious infused water recipes including detox waters!)
My favorite easy way to flavor water is tossing a big slice or wedge of lemon into my water bottle. One lemon usually lasts me all week. You can even pre-slice your lemon and toss it in the freezer. Then each morning, grab a slice, pop it in the bottle, add some ice and water, and you’re good to go! Did you know that lemon water can also aide in weight loss? Check out all of the health benefits of lemon water in this article!
For more resources on ways to naturally flavor your water:
- 14 Flavor Packed Fruit Infused Water Recipes by Daily Burn
- Fruit Infused Water Recipe Book by Susan Marque
- My Pinterest board with Infused Water Recipes
- 32oz Fruit Infuser Water Bottle with Recipe Book
My All Time Favorite Water Bottles
Finding the right water bottle for your lifestyle can be a super important part of your health journey. This may sound silly, or maybe you’re just as weird and neurotic as I am, but if I forget to bring my favorite water bottle, I’ll go hours and hours without hydrating. To say there are endless choices of water bottles out there is definitely not an exaggeration. You may get a bit lost in all of the choices so here are my absolute FAVORITE water bottles ever. Each one serves a different purpose, so it’s important to think about what kind of lifestyle you have and where you’ll be using your water bottle before choosing one. Most of these will be by the brands Pogo or Bubba because, well, they rock.
- Pogo 40z Chug Lid: This water bottle helped me survive my twin pregnancy. Hydration literally became a way of survival for me while carrying my twins. Having this high capacity, leak free water bottle helped me drink plenty of water each day. A high capacity water bottle like this one is perfect if you’ll be out of the house for a long time without the opportunity to refill, or if you’re a sack of potatoes 38 weeks pregnant will twins stuck on the couch like I was. You can also check out this other version of the Pogo 40z with a Soft Straw instead of the chug lid.
- Pogo 32oz Chug Lid: The same version for the slightly less thirsty mom on the go 🙂 This one is also available in with a soft straw and in tons of colors. And when I say these Pogo water bottles are leak proof, I for real just toss it upside down into my diaper bag and I’ve never had an issue with leaking at all.
- Pogo 18oz Chug Lid: This size water bottle is an awesome option if you just need something to keep at your desk at work with easy access to refill it through the day.
- Another Pogo water bottle? YOU BETCHA! Because this Pogo 26oz water bottle is Insulated! So calling all sports moms! If you will be hanging outside for a while and want to make sure your water stays chilled, this is your answer!
- Bubba Vacuum Insulated Tumbler with Straw 24oz: This is my favorite tumbler for while I’m at home and want to keep my drink ice cold until I get a chance to drink it. The vacuum insulated stainless steel sides keep my drink so cold that there is still ice hours and hours later!
If you need a water bottle that gives you a kick in the pants, check out this motivational 64oz water bottle!
For you cat lovers who need to drink your water right MEOW! 🙂
And for you Harry Potter fans, a world which I admittedly know nothing about!
Comment below and let me know if you have a favorite water bottle, too! And if you need help staying motivated to reach your water goal, please don’t hesitate to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or join my private Facebook group for some accountability!