Have you ever noticed how everyone now seems to carry a bottle of drinking water with them wherever they go? While this habit might seem unconventional, it is a rather healthy practice to follow. In fact, water seems to have become the second most popular drink in America (after sodas, of course). Other than its popularity factor, water is one of the body's most essential nutrients. Did you know that 50-75 percent of our total body weight is made up of water? It is perhaps the key component in maintaining healthy bodily functions.
Water plays an extremely important role in maintaining body temperature, lubricating organs, transporting nutrients across the body, metabolizing body fat, aiding digestion, storing energy and flushing out toxins. But, there is one problem—our bodies cannot store water, which is why we require to replenish lost fluids.
And while we may advocate drinking plenty of water, it does help to know why. What we may not realize is that if we don’t drink the right amounts of water, our bodies begin to break down. When the body is dehydrated, it absorbs water from within, making the blood thicker. Not drinking enough water can lead to problems like migraines, dizziness, heart-burn, high-cholesterol, arthritis, hypertension and several heart-related problems.
Several factors such as our health, level of activity and weather conditions influence our water requirement, which varies from day to day. It is very easy to fall behind on our basic water requirement. Fortunately, you can trick yourself into drinking more water. Here's what you do:
Drink Water When You Get Up
A lot of people may not realize this, but our bodies get dehydrated while we sleep. This is exactly why it’s advisable to drink a tall glass of water, instead of that regular cup of Joe, considering coffee will only dehydrate you further. So here’s what you can do—keep some water on your night stand. The fact remains, if you see it in front of you, you’re more likely to drink it. It’s as simple as ‘out of sight, out of mind’ so this simple trick can ensure a healthy start!
Click through to the Fix.com blog to view the full version of the above infographic on dehydration.
Mark Your Water Bottle
Okay, this may seem a bit much, but it’s a great way of keeping track of your water intake. Every time you drink water, mark your bottle with a tape or label marker to set your next water drinking goal. We’re sure you may have set a timetable, and within that given time frame, you need to drink up to the marked level. The brightly colored tapes or labels will also serve as a reminder to drink water.
Set A Timer
If the labels and colored sticky tapes seem a tad bit juvenile, perhaps you might consider setting an alarm at certain intervals. This will serve as a fail safe, considering you will have your phone on you at all times. However, it might just be a problem if you’re in an important meeting and your alarm goes off. At times like these, considering switching to vibrate.
Add Flavors To Your Water
We get that water is tasteless, and can seem like quite the drag to keep drinking. We recommend adding a natural flavor to your water. This way, the water might seem more appealing and palatable. Of course, you could just add a sprig of mint or thyme to the bottle. But adding a few fresh fruit or vegetables like watermelon, raspberries, blueberries, or cucumber will make the water delicious and attractive. You’re going to want to drink it. Alternatively, you could try adding a natural food color to your water. This way, when the bright pink or green liquid is staring you in the face, you can't really ignore it, can you?
Use It As An Appetizer
Now, this trick works wonders, especially if you’re a weight watcher. Drinking water 15 minutes prior to your meal is a great way to not only increase your water intake, but curb those cravings too. Another great fact remains that if your stomach is filled with water, you’re less likely to overeat—a great way to maintain a healthy weight.
Eat Foods With High-Water Content
We’ll admit that merely drinking water can get boring after a while. But you could also ensure you’re staying hydrated by chomping on some healthy fruit and vegetables. After all, they are a great source of water. Try cucumber, lettuce, apricots, cherries, grapes, zucchini, celery, radishes, bell peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, grapefruit, and even yogurt. Eating them will help you meet your daily water requirement without relying much on the fluids.
Eat Thirst-Inducing Snacks
This one might be tricky, especially if you’ve been advised to lay of salt. However, if you have a clean bill of health, but don’t drink enough water, try snack on foods that will make you thirsty. Salted nuts (because chips and a definite no-no), seafood, soy sauce, pita bread and whole grains are a great example of healthy snacks.
Make It A Game
I personally enjoy keeping track of my water intake, and being smug about reminding friends and colleagues. Now, if you set a goal and make it a challenge, drinking water can be turned into something fun. Now, if you don’t find company, that’s still okay. Simply keep challenging yourself and each time you meet your target, give yourself a reward.
Gulping down a lot of water at once can seem like a task. Keep some straws handy. The fact remains, when you drink out of the bottle, you’re aware of how much water you’re drinking, and will eventually get tired. Drinking out of a straw is a hassle-free way to meet your set goals, and not get bored. You will be surprised by how much of water you end up drinking, with minimal effort.
Get In A Little Exercise
While not merely a great activity to keep fit, it does make you thirsty. When you exercise, you increase your heart rate. At the same time, exercise speeds up your muscle movement which generates a lot of heat in your body. To cool down, your body sweats. This means your body loses water and you feel thirsty.
Use Apps To Keep Track
Let’s face it, fitness trackers, calorie counters and apps that track your progress are an instant mood elevator. They’re also a great way to keep you motivated, considering you know how you are progressing and meeting your set goals, every step of the way. While you may enjoy your fitness apps, apps like WaterLogged, OasisPlaces and WeTap are a great way to track your daily water intake.
The truth is, drinking sufficient water won't not only improve your health but will keep you energetic, motivated and uplifted all day long. Hopefully these simple tricks will keep your water game on point!