Have you ever played on of those “Break the Ice” introduction games that have you share a fun fact about yourself? My go-to is that I’ve never had a soda in my life. I love the shock value.
Technically I’ve tasted soda, twice. When I was a kid I had multiple allergies, one of which was corn and its byproducts. Corn syrup sweetens most carbonated beverages including sodas. So they were never offered and I grew up only drinking water, 100% fruit juices, and unsweetened tea. By the time I was old enough to outgrow my allergy and make my own food choices, I just didn’t like the taste.
So to some extent, I suppose drinking water comes easy to me but drinking enough is a different story.
This blog is about making small changes to your health and I think this is a great one to start with and turn into a habit.
We start hearing in elementary school health class that our body is 60% water and you should drink 8 glasses a day, but that doesn’t mean we do it.
Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.-W. H. Auden
Water intake became more prominent for me when pregnant with baby #2 and I started having some scary symptoms that apparently were caused by dehydration. So I had serious motivation to get my amount of water up quickly.
I was working a 40+ hour/week desk job at the time and the easiest way for me to remember to drink enough was to start out with it at my desk. I started buying SMART water bottles that come in 1L (33.8oz) and 1.5L (50oz) and would refill mid-day. I could easily tell how successful I was in acheiving my goal. I’d reuse my bottles for days at a time but admit this isn’t a very environmentally friendly (much less cost effective) process but it got me to establish the habit quickly while on the go. #ad
Fast forward a year and now I’m a busy SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) consumed with caring for my little ones and often not remembering to fuel myself well.
I started hearing about the benefits of H20 again from the social media influencers I followed and decided I wanted those benefits!
- helps the body function properly
- boosts mood
- gets rid of excess toxins
- reduces wrinkles and helps maintain your skin’s elasticity
- can aid in weight loss when increased prior to meals
- can help to curb overeating when your body confuses hunger and thirst
- aids digestion and prevent constipation
- normalizes blood pressure and stabilize the heartbeat
- cushions joints
You want all those benefits too, right?! As I get older, I definitely want all those skin and heart health improvements. I’ve tried all sorts of eye creams for those under eye bags and dark circles but I’m convinced its the weeks that I drink all my water that I see the most improvement in that area.
Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine”-Slovakian Proverb
So just how much water do I need to drink?
As a general guide, an adult male needs about 3 liters (101 ounces or 15.5 cups) per day while an adult female needs about 2.2 liters (74 ounces or 11.5 cups) per day, some of which is contained in the food we eat. To calculate how much you personally need for both health and weight loss benefits:
- Take your weight in pounds and multiply by 2/3 (or 67%) to determine how much water to drink daily in ounces.
- If you are exercising, you will want to adjust that number based on how often you work out since you are expelling water when you sweat. You should add 12 ounces of water to your daily total for every 30 minutes that you work out.
100 pounds | 67 ounces
150 pounds | 100 ounces
200 pounds | 134 ounces
250 pounds | 168 ounces
What worked for me
Scientists say that if you already feel thirsty, then you are already dehydrated. I needed something to take the guess work out and help me remember. There are apps you can use to log your ounces, including my FitBit, and I tried, but I couldn’t remember exactly how many ounces I had when it was handy to log. Like before, I decided to start out with the full amount in the morning and fell in love with these water bottles that give you a “countdown” with the time of day and some motivational saying like “Almost There.” They are close enough to my calculated goal that I typically just drink one. #ad
My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t like to haul the big jug so he chose a smaller one plus more durable as well as insulated and knows he has to fill it up at least 3 times a day to hit his goal. #ad
Water is the only drink for a wise man.”-Henry David Thoreau
How to build the habit
Remember it takes 21 days to make a new habit. Will you challenge yourself to drink more water this month?
- Take a day to jot down your current water intake so you know where your starting. You can use a tracking app or pen & paper.
- Start small with one of the many tricks people use to drink more water
- Keep a water bottle visible (my favorite trick!)
- Get a filter pitcher and keep refrigerated for a refreshing cold drink available anytime
- Add a flavor with fresh cucumber, lemon or fruit or buy flavored packets to add in
- Set a time and make it a routine like drinking a glass of water before that morning cup of joe
- Don’t forget to pay attention to your body – are you hungry? bored? Drink a glass of water before you eat and you’ll often learn the difference. Thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger.
- Add a glass after any outdoor activity in the heat
If one of these doesn’t work for you, pick another. Some days I don’t drink all my water and load up on unsweet tea for that caffeine boost. It’s about progress not perfection. Drinking just a few more ounces of water than yesterday is better for your health!