Water, that is. In fact, I’m a big fan of drinking water, and I actually like water, but I still have to make an effort to drink enough each day.
But there are a few things I know about my body and water, and because I am on a mission to practice what I know, I drink.
For example, I know that drinking is good for me because my body is made up of about 60% water.
Here are a few other things I know:
I am constantly losing water from my body when I sweat, breath, and urinate.
4% to 10% of my body water gets replaced every day with fresh water.
Water helps energize my muscles and keeps my skin hydrated and looking good.
My brain functions better when I drink enough water.
Even mild dehydration gives me a headache and affects my mood.
Not drinking enough water makes me feel tired.
If I don’t drink enough water my muscles cramp.
Drinking water increases my metabolic rate by about 30%, and even mild dehydration will slow down my metabolism by as much as 3%.
Water is an essential nutrient for my survival, and by the time I feel thirsty, my body has lost over 1 percent of its total water amount, and I am not functioning at my best.
Because I know these things, I drink. But drinking has its challenges, even though I like water. Therefore, I thought I would share some habits I have developed to ensure I continue to drink every day…water that is.
- Every morning the first thing I do after I wake up is to drink a glass of water (at least 16 oz.) to begin the hydration process; to fire up my metabolism, flush toxins from my body, and fuel my brain and body.
- While some people suggest getting a large water bottle to fill with water and drink throughout the day, I choose a coffee mug most of the time.
- It’s easier to drink out of and I drink more water.
- It empties sooner so I have to get up more often to refill the water.
- Getting up more often to refill my water mug means I also move my body and fight the effects of sitting.
- I do have a water bottle with me when I am in the car. Driving for long periods of time, even sitting in traffic, can be easier when we are hydrated. Take advantage of your time in the car to keep drinking.
- Sometimes I infuse my water with lemon, lime, or some other fruit. If you have a hard time drinking enough plain water, try adding a bit of natural flavor. One of my favorites is to add cucumber slices to my water.
- I prefer plain water to carbonated, but sometimes I enjoy a carbonated water. For those of you hooked on soft drinks you may want to try some of these flavored carbonated waters.
- A favorite during the summer is to make flavored ice cubes. Yum! Make sure you have an ice tray, and then you simply squeeze oranges, lemons, limes, or mash berries and put them in the ice cube tray. Add a bit of water and freeze! Add these to a glass of water and you will drink more. I promise. Using this idea and making popsicles is also a fun treat no matter how old you are.
- I always choose water to drink with my meals. Now, if you are drinking tea, iced tea, etc., that’s great! You are getting water with those beverages. Even coffee is going to help your water intake.
- When I know I will be exercising, I start drinking water about an hour before my workout. I also carry water with me on my walks or runs, and always re-hydrate at the end of a workout.
- I eat a lot of vegetables; a great way to stay hydrated. Veggies contain a high percentage of water so the more you eat the more water you take in! Topping the list are lettuce and cucumbers, consisting of 96% water. A close second of 95 percent water, are zucchini and celery. Other close contenders are tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Munching on these veggies keeps me eating healthier, but also keeps me hydrated! The only rule is to keep them raw.
- My new discovery: Soak chia seeds in water or add to a smoothie or juice. Soaking these little seeds causes them to expand to 10 times their original size. When chia seeds are soaked, they drink 10 times their weight in water, making them hydration friendly. The key is to soak the seeds before you eat them so they don’t absorb YOUR water. A side benefit: Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet; loaded with nutrients that are good for your body and brain.
The goal is to create a water habit as I talked about in my March 2017 blog; The “How To” of Healthy habits. Remember, a habit is ‘A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.’
That’s why I drink.