Water - it is so simple yet so powerful. I’ve always been a fan of drinking water. I’m a runner so staying hydrated has always been ingrained in me. I was reminded recently about the importance of water after receiving my second COVID-19 vaccine shot. I heard that drinking tons of water could help lessen unfavorable side effects. I drank so much water that day and the day after, that I felt like I had to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes.
As you may or may not know, water helps move oxygen throughout our bodies which is essential for cell function. Water is also key to healthy digestion, sending nutrients throughout the body, and flushing out toxins. It's also good for weight loss, improving your mood, and is great for boosting your energy.
For me, water is often my starting point whenever something feels off in my body. If I have a headache or feeling “out of it”, I ask myself, “when was the last time you had some water?” I often do this with my husband and kids too. As soon as they say, “my tummy hurts” or “my head hurts” I tell them they need to go drink some water. It’s the one thing I’ve started repeating so much recently that it truly makes me feel like someone’s mother, haha.
Despite the amazing health benefits that water provides, it can be tough for some folks to be consistent with drinking an adequate amount of water.
Here are some tips to help encourage the healthy habit:
Buy a cute new water bottle. I actually have multiple water bottles to encourage my hydration. One is my “on-the-go” sporty stainless steel 27oz water bottle and my “at-home” water bottle is a 16oz acrylic tumbler. When I was pregnant, I brought myself a huge new water bottle with a straw (I swear I drink more when I have a straw) to encourage the necessary increase in my water intake while pregnant. Who doesn’t like something new?
Make fancy water. With the summer months upon us, I like to have a pitcher of water with sliced cucumbers ready to go in the fridge. If you want to go the refrigerated pitcher route, invest in a pitcher with a good strainer to avoid the bitter taste that sometimes occurs when citrus fruits are left in the water too long. Infusing your water with fruit can add a little pizzazz that makes it more interesting and tasty. Put some mint or basil leaves at the bottom of a pitcher, fill it with water and ice, add your favorite fruit, and a lemon wedge to the side of a glass and there you have a refreshing mocktail!
Healthy competition. Make a daily goal with a friend, your partner, or even with yourself to drink a certain amount of water each day. I work on finishing at least 2-3 refills of my 27oz water bottle daily. It is recommended to consume 64oz a day which comes from the advice of drinking 8 servings of 8oz of water a day. This benchmark can vary based on the climate where you live, your weight, physical activity, and diet. No matter where you start, definitely set a goal for how much water you want to consume. If you need to, start small and challenge yourself to drink more. During the week, when I chat with my mom, we sometimes check in to see how many water refills we’ve had - there’s nothing like a great accountability partner.
Always keep water handy. What has worked best for me to ensure I’m getting the water I need is to always be ready. I refill my water bottle in the evening to make sure I have water ready first thing in the morning. I have pitchers of “fancy” water ready in my fridge, especially throughout the summer. I always carry refillable water bottles for me and my kids when we travel as well. Many airports even have water fountains that are equipped to fill a water bottle. Just make sure it’s empty upon arrival at the airport then fill it up once you’re through security.
Drink responsibly! If you like to enjoy a cocktail every once in a while, make sure you are staying hydrated during happy hour. My personal rule for myself is that I have a glass of water for every adult beverage I have. This is easy to do when you’re out to dinner or at a bar - always ask for a glass of water when you order your drink. You will definitely enjoy your outing that much more and you’ll feel great the next morning - I wish my 21-year-old self knew this rule, LOL.
Whether you’re already a water warrior or trying to jumpstart the healthy habit of daily water consumption, remember that starting your day with a least one glass of water is an important part of maintaining your overall health. To keep our bodies functioning properly, and keeping our skin hydrated and glowing, we need to drink up!