Helpful Guide on How to Drink More Water
Perhaps the most important substance on this earth is water. 70% of our bodies are water, and no life on earth can survive without it. As the artist, inventor, and Renaissance man Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Water is the driving force of all nature.”
Strangely enough, even though water is so essential to life, we seem to have a hard time drinking enough lately. This problem is especially prevalent in children and young adults. In a study published in 2015, researchers from Harvard found that 54% of participants aged 6-19 were inadequately hydrated.
One of the factors involved in this lack of hydration is the rising popularity of sugary beverages. These beverages include soft drinks, sports drinks, and juice drinks that do not contain 100% juice. Although these drinks may be tasty, they are also loaded with sugar and do not provide the necessary hydration needs.
With all of these drinks that people drink instead of water, it can be difficult to get the needed amount. According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended daily intake of water is 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups for women. This may sound like a lot, but this amount merely balances out the water lost through daily activities.
Benefits of Drinking More Water
Water is the workhorse of the human body. Many normal functions would not be possible without it. Some of these functions include maintaining pH (acid-base) balance, temperature regulation, waste removal, and many others. Drinking enough water means that your body can function the way that it is supposed to.
4 Tips for Increasing Your Water Intake
1. Switching out Sugary Drinks
According to a Gallup poll, 48% of Americans consume soft drinks on a daily basis. Furthermore, the average amount consumed is roughly 2.5 cups per day. If the soda is Coke or an equivalent, that equals 250 calories! Changing this amount alone to water would add 20 ounces to your daily intake, and reduce your calories.
Now, some may think that drinking sports drinks are just as good as drinking water. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Although sports drinks do contain electrolytes, they also contain sugar. Unless you’re a high-performance athlete, you really don’t need to be drinking that 32 oz. Gatorade.
2. Bring a Reusable Bottle With You
Have you ever gotten thirsty at work, and decided to head to the soda machine for a drink? Most likely you are not buying the bottled water in the machine if it even has that option. The best way to combat these urges is to have a ready water supply with you. What better way to do this than to bring a reusable bottle with you that keeps you hydrated, and is kinder to the environment? Currently, there is approximately 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste. Carrying a reusable bottle means you won’t be using disposable plastic bottles, which only add to this total.
3. Add Flavoring Options to your Water
You know that you should be drinking more water, but all the other drinks taste better. To be fair, this is somewhat true. Although a cool glass of water hits the spot sometimes. Given a choice, you would rather have a coke than a glass of water right? Fortunately, there are some flavoring options that are healthy and tasty.
One of the simplest options is adding fruit to your water. Restaurants already serve lemon with their water, so why not start doing that at home? Adding lemon or lime juice adds a bit of zing to your water, and it has virtually no calories. There are even fruit infuser water bottles that make it easy to add fruit to flavor your water.
Another option to look into is the new trend of water flavorings that have become popular. Some options include MiO, Zipfizz, and so on. These products reportedly have no calories either. Some even contain vitamins, electrolytes, and caffeine.
4. Make it Social
We live in a society bursting at the seams with social media and technology. Why not use it to keep track of your water intake? There are several apps on the market today that enable you to do this, and even share your progress with friends. These apps include Myfitnesspal from Under Armour, My Water Balance, and many others. Most of these apps are also free, which pretty much makes these apps a no-brainer.
Drinking water is extremely important for your health. When making changes to your drinking habits, make sure you do not overdo it. There is such a thing as being over-hydrated. This condition is known as hyponatremia, and it creates an electrolyte imbalance in your body. This is extremely dangerous and can cause symptoms such as headaches, vomiting, and in rare cases, seizures and comas.
Although it sounds scary, it is difficult to achieve hyponatremia. When deciding how much water to drink per day, the Mayo Clinic standards are a nice solid number. If those numbers sound intimidating, another good guideline is to simply drink to your thirst. Your body knows what it needs, and it will tell when it needs more water.
Conclusion – Stay Hydrated
Water is an incredible substance. It enables life to exist and provides refreshment on a hot day. Although many people do not drink enough water, it is never too late to make a simple change. Hopefully, these tips will help you start making choices that will improve your health and your life.