Most of us wait for a new year to set goals, best known as resolutions. We set ambitious goals hoping that the new year will help us become better people. The ugly truth is that the new year won’t move a finger to make your goals come true.
Related: Here’s Why New Year Resolutions Fail
According to 2016 data by Nielsen – surprise, surprise – the top resolutions among US citizen are health-related. Living healthier and being fit tops them all with 36%, while losing weight come close in second place. So what better goal to add to your “healthier me” list of not drinking more water?! We all know that drinking more water is healthy because everyone says so, and because we also don’t actually drink enough of it.
Why Drinking the Right Amount of Fluids?
I said “right amount” and “fluids” for a reason. You will see why in a bit, but first, let’s start with some water benefits:
- it keeps the balance of body fluids; we’re 60% water, so we gotta make sure we stay at that rate;
- it energizes your muscles and organs; since we are more than half fluids, our entire body works on them;
- water helps with skin elasticity by hydrating it from the inside.
What’s the Right Amount of Fluids?
You are probably way too familiar with the 8 glasses of water per day a.k.a. 2 litres. Some experts recommend even more.
But this is not entirely true for everyone. We are all different and according to elements such as:
we have to drink different amounts of fluids. In my case, it’s about 1.8 litres/day. You can find out which should be your daily water intake by using a water intake calculator or an app (plenty of them out there).
One last thing that I feel the need to emphasise before starting tricking ourselves into drinking more water is…
WATER = FLUIDS
I want to say this loud and clear because it got me tricked as well.
Did you know that 20% of our daily water intake comes from fruits and veggies? (CNN)
We take fluids from different sources such as soups, smoothies, fruits of vegetables. So here’s the reason why you shouldn’t drink those full 2 litres of plain water.
1. Make it flavoured
It is quite cool these days to drink infused water.
Infused water is basically plain water with fruits or veggies in it. What you have to do it add water in a bottle, add your favourite fruits or vegetables (I like cucumbers or raspberries) in and let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. In this way, the fruits and veggies will infuse faster. Bonus: you get to eat the fruits or veggies after you drink the water.
Another idea is lemon water: plain water with a drop of lemon juice. Or any other fruit juice honestly.
2. Water comes in many forms
As previously mentioned, we take 20% of our H20 intake from food.
So basically everything that hat water in its composition is considered water intake. Here are some examples:
- natural juices
I’m quite a tea fan, so most of my water intake is basically from tea because I enjoy drinking it that much.
3. Keep track of your water intake
This is actually the scary thing that made me think seriously about my water intake.
Take a few days (maybe a week) and track your water intake. I mean it! Write down how many glasses of water you had every day if you have to. I did it and it scared me when I realised I was drinking barely 0.5 litres/day!
You might come to the same scary conclusion as I did.
4. Keep a bottle of water nearby
… or any other thing that will whisper you “drink meee…”. Having a bottle of water or a mug near you will remind you it’s time to have a sip or two.
5. First thing in the morning
This is another popular new year goal. Drinking water in the morning will help your organs “wake up” and it will help digestion.
I found this quite tricky. I felt nauseous when I drank water on an empty stomach. And that’s not an encouraging feeling when you want to drink more water. Later I discovered that it happened because I was forcing myself to drink too much water and because of that I was swallowing air too, which caused the nauseous.
If you get the same symptoms, don’t give up. Start by having just a couple of sips first thing in the morning. Your body will start to like it and you will see that soon you’ll feel thirsty when you wake up.
6. Fancy water bottles
This works like a charm on me!
If a get a new mug that I love or a fancy new water bottle I use them for a good couple of weeks and I drink tea and water just because they are pretty and I like using them. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it works.
This is more a “how-to-not-get-drunk-so-easy” method, but it can work for raising your water intake too.
The one-to-one method can be translated like this: one glass of water for each drink. So let’s say you had a sugary drink; it means you also have to drink a glass of water for it. Quite simple, huh?
8. Set reminders
Sounds quite basic and boring, but for lots of people, this trick works.
There are a lot of apps that will annoy you with reminders to not forget to have a glass of water. Or you can go the classic way and add a cute sticky note that will remind you to drink water.
Drinking more water isn’t that kind of habit that requires your free will only. Your body also has to accept it.
As I was feeling nauseous when I was forcing too much water in the morning in my system, the same might happen to you. Your body won’t understand why you give it so many fluids all of a sudden. Not to mention you’ll pee a lot because your body’s first instinct will be to eliminate all that water.
So start small and let your body get used to the healthy way and ask for more water. Set small goals that will help you track the progress.
Of course, achieving milestones means nothing if there isn’t a reward at the end of the tunnel. So set small rewards (a new nail polish, dinner out) if you achieve your milestone of drinking more water.
Throughout my struggle of trying to drink more water, I discovered that the temperature of the water influences how much water I drink.
The right temperature
I have sensitive teeth and drinking ice cold water is a huge no-no for me. Those of you who have sensitive teeth know what I’m saying.
So, not too cold, not too hot (makes me feel nauseous). The perfect temperature for me is at room temperature. In this way, my teeth will be pain-free and I can drink more water, without feeling thirsty.
Figure out which is the right temperature the allows you to drink a full glass of water and stick to it. It helped me a lot. Dunno if there’s some science behind this, but it totally worked for me.
Hope you found this article interesting and useful. What are your favourite tricks for drinking more water?