Who doesn’t know that water is good for us? Even if we’re a little confused as to why we should drink water, I’m pretty sure we’re all aware that we should drink more of it.
I think there are some very powerful reasons to drink lots of water every day, and forming the habit isn’t as hard as it may seem. It starts with a plan.
We first need to understand that we don’t just stop a bad habit, we need to replace it. Many times we’re not thirsty because we drink coffee, soda, and alcohol, not to mention, fruit juices, teas, milk and a bunch of other possibilities. Or just as often, we don’t drink enough fluids in general, and we become dehydrated — and that isn’t good for our health.
I’ve made drinking water (100 ounces) a daily habit, although I will admit that a couple of years ago I was more likely to drink Diet Coke rather than water.
Here are some powerful reasons to drink water with some ideas of how to form the water habit
Weight loss-Water is one of the best tools for weight loss, first of all because it often replaces high-calorie drinks like soda and juice and alcohol with a drink that doesn’t have any calories. But it’s also a great appetite suppressant, and often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. Water has no fat, no calories, no carbs, no sugar. Drink plenty to help your weight-loss regimen.
Energy – Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired — even mild dehydration. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated — and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms.
Headache Cure – I used to think I was getting headaches because I needed more Diet Coke (many times that would resolve it). Then I started drinking a lot more water and the headaches went away completely and now I rarely get one. There are lots of other causes of headaches of course, but dehydration is a common one.
Healthy Skin – This is my favorite side affect of drinking more water. It can clear up your skin and provide a healthy glow. Many people have asked me what I’ve been doing (thinking it’s some surgical procedure or expensive skin care regimen) to make me look younger. It’s just the water.
Digestive Care – My hubby can attest to this one. When he’s drinking plenty of water his system just performs better. Our digestive systems need a good amount of water to digest food properly. Often water can help cure stomach acid problems, and water along with fiber can cure constipation (often a result of dehydration).
Cleansing Your System – Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body.
Improve Your Exercise – I’m a tennis player and I can tell immediately on the court if I’ve let myself get dehydrated at all. Being dehydrated can severely hamper your athletic activities, slowing you down and making it harder to perform at your peak. Exercise requires additional water, so be sure to hydrate before, during and after exercise.
How do I drink more water?
Isn’t that the real struggle. You know water’s good for you and you know you should be drinking more but how do you do that? Here are a few tips I used a couple years ago and they’ve really helped me.
First figure out how much you need to be drinking. Usually you take your body weight in ounces and then just cut that in half. That’s your starting point. So if you weight 180 lbs then you would drink 90 ounces of water. Now before you go off the deep end thinking that’s just too much realize it’s less than three of those 36 ounce drinks you go buy at the convenience store every day.
Make a game out of it – When I first started drinking more water I decided that I couldn’t have my first Diet Coke (substitute here your favorite drink) of the day until I had drank 25 ounces of water. Later I bumped that up to 50 and now I’m at 100 ounces. Guess what? Now I’m rarely ever thirsty enough to even drink one Diet Coke, so I don’t.
Keep a bottle of water with you at all times – I have a 25 ounce sports bottle that I try to keep full of filtered water all day. If it’s right there you are more likely to drink it than if you have to go get it.
Have little reminders – Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink. Try to drink when you first get up, before you eat a meal, after you eat a meal and especially during exercise.
Flavor your water – Don’t put sweeteners in it or you’ll defeat the purpose. I like to add lemon slices or flavored liquid Stevia to mine to add some variety.
These are just some of the tips I have used over the last few years to help me increase my water intake and decrease my intake of soda pop. I’d love to hear what tips you’ve used to increase your water. We all need help with this.
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