We all know most of our body is made up of water but it turns out that the majority of people have a hard time remembering to drink water! For me personally, it wasn’t until my late teens that I started to realize that I am constantly dehydrated. I don’t even remember drinking much water up until high school. Plastic water bottles, which are so common nowadays, weren’t even the norm back then. I wouldn’t be surprised if a large chunk of people are living their entire lives dehydrated. Hopefully this article will help change that for a few of you out there in Internet land.
Why should you strive to stay hydrated?
Water is the universal solvent and lubricant for our bodies. Just think about it… the saliva in your mouth right now is mostly water. The blood that’s pumping throughout your body is mostly water as well. Your brain is 90% water!
• Your skin stay moisturized, elastic and looking good,
• Loosen and break up phlegm so your cough will be more productive,
• Carry and flush wastes and toxins out of all tissues and into the urinary system,
• Move digested food out of the colon,
• Reduce fat deposits.
Just like how you can’t wash the dishes without making the dishwater dirty or wash the car without making the rags and water dirty, or mop the floor without making the mop and mop-water dirty, your body can’t easily move the waste and toxins out your body if you’re dehydrated all the time. Suffice it to say, you need to drink water regularly in order to help make it easy for your body to make the constant changes it needs to stay healthy.
How do I know how much water I should drink?
Doctors aren’t sure where the 8-glasses-a-day rule came from. We think the government came out with the 8 x 8 glass rule just to tell people a number, any number. There are so many different body types and different climates people live in, not to mention varying levels of activity to be able to just give out a number like that.
So how do we know if we’re hydrated?
Urine color! If your urine is dark yellow, orange or has a strong smell to it, you need to drink more water. Strive to have your urine color be pale yellow to clear. Colorless urine indicates over-hydration, which is usually considered much healthier than dehydration but one should not over do it. Drink water regularly throughout the day but like most things, in moderation.
How do I drink more water at home and work?
The trick is to simply dedicate a big mug or a refillable water bottle for yourself. It’s important that it’s larger than usual so you don’t have to constantly refill it. This will be your go-to-bottle or cup. Place it on your desk so it’s always within reach and in view so there are no excuses! I keep mine on my computer desk because that’s where I am most of the time.
Practice the opposite of “out-of-sight-out-of-mind.” If you keep a large bottle of water in your view and reach, it’s an inherent reminder to drink water. So don’t put it on the ground, or on the desk behind you, but next to the monitor you’re using to read this.
How do I drink more water when I’m on the go?
Before you leave the house, have a glass of water and make a habit of always leaving the house with a full water bottle. I’m not talking about those standard 12-16oz bottles but those 1 liter bottles because they’ll last you a long time.
If you run out of water while on the road, food establishments will not refuse to give you free water, especially if you have your own cup or bottle. I usually stop by a fast food joint and refill my bottle using their fountain drink machine.
If you’re going to school, slip a large bottle in your book bag so you can drink during your class. I am astonished that I almost never see anybody drinking water throughout a 3 hour class.
What refillable water bottle should I use?
I tend to reuse 1 liter plastic water bottles. They are not too heavy and it’s enough to last you several hours if you’re out of the house and running errands. I always avoid putting the bottle in direct sunlight because the water tastes funny if the bottle heats up. Even worse, if it is a certain type of plastic, Bisphenol A (BPA) will leach into the water.
What is Bisphenol A?
If you look under a plastic bottle, there is a recycling symbol with a number in it that indicates the type of plastic it is. The #7 type plastic bottles are the ones most likely to contain BPA while others don’t. The “Smart Water” brand of bottles, for example, are stamped #1 (PETE) and don’t contain BPA.
Sometimes I’ll reuse a glass bottle because glass is inert and the water will remain fine even if I leave it in the direct sunlight in a hot car. However, it is heavy and has a chance of breaking.
Stainless steel bottles are a good option too as they are also inert and won’t shatter if dropped. Plus, they can come in a variety of shapes and colors.
Some more tips…
In the morning when you wake up, before you do anything, drink a glass or two of water. You’ll notice that you will annihilate that water pretty fast simply because you haven’t drank any in the past 8 hours. Which reminds me, before you go to sleep, go pee so you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night.
Please be aware that we often confuse hunger with thirst because the signals are very alike! If you drink a glass of water before your snacks or meal, it will help prevent you from overeating. While you’re at it, replace carbonated sodas with water, especially during your meals and you’ll feel a lot less bloated.
Anyway, I hope this helps! I wish all of you hydrated and healthy lives.