Got Water?: 3 Creative ways to Increase Your Daily Water Intake
You may have heard healthcare professionals telling you the importance of drinking water. Take this into account: research suggests that 75% of Americans may be suffering from chronic dehydration. Considering some of the symptoms connected to dehydration (fatigue, headaches, joint pain, weight gain, and the list goes on), the seemingly simple, but oft-ignored, adage of eight glasses a day becomes all the more relevant. This may seem like a daunting task, and you may find yourself asking, “How am I supposed to keep track of this? Water is so bland to me, how do I increase my consumption?” Following are some simple, creative ways to increase how much water you’re putting into your body.
Disguise Your Water
If you find yourself going for juice or soda when you find yourself thirsty, here are some ways to spruce up your water and make it a bit more interesting. Try infusing your water: popular flavors include cucumber mint or citrus (although you can use any combination of fruit, veggies, herbs, or flowers; my personal favorite is strawberry basil). Plus, when you’re finished drinking, you have a nice little treat to eat that also contributes to your water intake. Another option, especially for lovers of soda, is adding carbonation to the mix. There are a multitude of options: mineral water, sparkling water (some are even flavored with no added sugar, such as LaCroix), or even just using a SodaStream.
Eat Your Water Instead!
You can also get some of your daily water intake from the food that you eat. Having soup or salad for an appetizer is an easy way to get an extra H2O boost. Make sure when making or ordering soup that you keep it low-sodium and avoid cream to get the most bang for your buck. You can’t really go wrong with salads. Iceberg lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, celery, red cabbage, radishes, broccoli, and tomatoes are more than 90% water! While we’re on the subject of food, try following the mealtime cue: drink 12-16 ounces of water 30 minutes before each meal and try to avoid drinking while eating and up to an hour afterward. Not only will you eat less and get full faster, but you’ll also digest your food and absorb nutrients better (since you’re not diluting your digestive juices/enzymes).
Wake Up With Water
A great way to start your day is getting some of your water in before breakfast or coffee. A great way to do this is to take some room temperature or warm water and add a squeeze of lemon. The vitamin C from the lemon is a nice little boost to the immune system. This will also give a jumpstart to the digestive system, as it’s a natural flush. The reason I suggested lukewarm water is because cold water can be a shock to the body, and more energy is exerted to bring it to your body’s internal temperature. It’s a nice way to ease into the day; you’ll notice you’ll have more energy to begin with, so you won’t have to go for that second or third cup of coffee.
There are endless creative ways to ensure that you’re getting an adequate amount of water in your daily life. Whether you try one of the aforementioned ideas, or even just track it via a container with the volume listed on it or an app on your smartphone, the benefits of increasing how much water you drink are vast. In good health, drink up!