10 ways to drink more water
by Ryan Pereira
We’ve almost set a path by discussing food in the previous post and now follow it up with hydration considering they are the primary needs to help someone live a healthy and fit life. Hydration and water intake is also associated to improve a person’s athletic performance irrespective of the fitness levels. In my personal experience it also helps you lose weight. Not keeping yourself hydrated could lead to negative impact on your health and performance.
If you take a look at the previous post, I discussed the 8 rules to a healthy food plan. In which I highlighted the need to drink and hydrate through the day. Now, what you need to do is really important. So whether it’s your food or water itself, I’m going to try and talk about what you need to keep in mind while trying to keep yourself well hydrated.
Before we begin, let’s try and understand dehydration and how to figure if you are dehydrated.
How do you know if you’re dehydrated?
Take a look at your urine. The clearer the urine, the better hydrated you are. If it is a clear-pale lemonade colour, you are hydrated. If it is a darker lemonade to apple juice colour, you are dehydrated. And if it is dark and cloudy, you are severely dehydrated and should inform you doctor right away. (I apologise for those examples. I know apple juice and lemonade will never taste the same for you ever again :p )
You’ve obviously come across many posts online on the benefits of water and trust me there are enough of them but my idea to put this down was to persuade you to drink it up and ways to do so instead.
While keeping your body hydrated is one of the easiest ways to improve your health, research shows that nearly half of us are dehydrated.
To stay healthy and hydrated, you should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily. If you don’t drink enough, it can affect your body temperature, energy, brain function, digestion, mood, performance, and joint health.
How much water do I need to consume ?
The most commonly asked question, by clients and friends alike. Drinking about 3-4 litres of water in our climatic conditions can increase your effectiveness and overall performance whether you’re at work,training or just going about your daily routine.
Often thought and assumed, drinking 3-4 seems to be daunting task. The same people would easily gulp down 2-4 glasses of coffee or tea through the day, consume aerated drinks or even alcohol with lunch or dinner. They all provide hydration, but are not nearly as healthy as water.
If you substitute water, you’ll have no problem drinking through the day. Drink two glasses when you wake up, two glasses with every meal, and plenty of water before, during, and after working out. Take a water bottle to work and drink all day. Keep a bottle in the car. If you’re training hard, especially in a warmer climate that we reside in, you may find you actually exceed the prescribed 3-4 litres a day. You probably won’t miss your coffee. If the rest of your food plan is solid, it should help you regulate your blood sugar level, so you won’t feel the need to use caffeine as an artificial energy source.
A good rule of thumb is that you drink 1 ounce (30 ml) of water for every pound of your bodyweight. For people wondering how much 1 pound is in kgs, it’s 0.453 kilos ! You’re welcome 😉
These are the 10 ways to drink more water
1. Drink a glass first thing in the morning
When you wake up, drink a glass of water before enjoying your morning cup of coffee, tea, or juice. Drinking water will replace fluids lost during the night and jumpstart your hydration for the day.
2. Do a mid-day hydration check. (As mentioned in the introduction)
Looking at the colour of your urine is the easiest way to monitor your hydration. If your urine is darker than lemonade, you’re dehydrated. Make it your daily goal to have clear urine by 3 p.m. It will give you a good idea of how well you’re hydrating in the morning. If your urine isn’t clear, drink water immediately and work to hydrate better the rest of the day.
3. Naturally flavour your water.
Water doesn’t have to be boring. Add flavour to your water with sliced fruit like lemon, lime, orange, watermelon, mango, kiwi, pineapples, berries, pineapple, apple, and grapes.
4. Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
To stay hydrated, keep a one-litre bottle with you at all times. A litre is equal to 33 ounces, so plan to fill up your water bottle based on your personal hydration needs. If you weigh 120 pounds, that’s two to three refills per day.
5. Replace aerated drinks, packaged juice, and coffee with water.
While it’s clear that water is the best option for hydration, sodas, juices, and coffee drinks can be tempting. Not only loaded with calories and sugar, they can also dehydrate your body. As a starting point, work to decrease your intake of these drinks to one per day. Substituting water for a 20-ounce soda will save you about 240 calories. This can help with hydration and weight management.
6. Set a reminder.
It’s easy to forget to hydrate until you feel thirsty, but by that time you’re already dehydrated. Set a schedule or calendar reminder a few times throughout the day to help you remember to refill your glass and hydrate. There are sufficient FREE apps for Android and Apple phones these days.
7. Eat more fruits and veggies.
Eat two to three servings of fruits and vegetables at every meal. Unlike processed foods (sugar, flour, salty snacks, lunch-style meats), fruits and vegetables are high in water and minerals.
8. Hydrate when you exercise.
Just 2 percent dehydration can lead to a 20 percent decrease in performance. During the day drink 1/2 to 1 ounce of water for every pound you weigh. In the two hours before you exercise, drink 16 ounces. Follow that with 4-6 gulps of water every 15 minutes during your workout. After you exercise, drink 16 ounces of water for every pound of weight you lost during training.
9. Drink before you eat.
Before each meal, drink at least a glass of water. Thirst can often be confused with hunger. To avoid overeating and dehydration, drink a glass of water at the first feelings of thirst or hunger. Wait a bit and then decide if you’re really hungry. I’ve mentioned this in the previous article as well.
10. Finish your day with water.
Before you go to bed, drink a glass of water to stay hydrated overnight. If you prefer a hot beverage to kickstart or end your day, drink hot water with lemon.
Can I hydrate myself through food ?
The answer to that is a resounding, YES !
I’ve mentioned this in the previous article as well. Fruits and vegetables have much more than what meets the eye. That includes water too !
Water helps us in digestion, nutrient transportation, and joint lubrication (very important), and helps regulate body temperature, which is particularly important for a tropical climate like ours.
Nearly 80 percent of our water intake comes from drinking. The other 20 percent comes from food. While filling up your water bottle is a good habit, you can also add some of the delicious water-filled foods below to your diet to stay hydrated this summer. I’ve named 20 fruit & vegetables that could add to your water intake. They are denoted by their water content in the percentage (percentage) form.
- Cucumber – 96%
- Lettuce – 95%
- Celery – 95%
- Zucchini- 95%
- Tomato – 94%
- Spinach – 92%
- Watermelon – 92%
- Strawberries – 92%
- Broccoli – 91%
- Grapefruit – 91%
- Cantaloupe – 90%
- Peach – 88%
- Freshly squeezed Orange Juice – 88%
- Carrots – 87%
- Pineapple – 87%
- Apricot – 86%
- Yogurt – 85%
- Apple – 84%
- Cherries – 81%
- Banana – 74%
These are just a few and you should add these and a lot more to your daily intake to compensate in case you don’t drink it down enough.
Won’t all this amount of hydration lead to me spending time in the bathroom ?
We all are bound by time, isn’t it ? But what if I keep going to the bathroom is the most common question asked by people and also bothers them as they’d find it extremely difficult and uncomfortable to take multiple pee breaks during the day. Now, there are two ways you could improve your hydration and stay out of the bathroom. Number one, increase the amount of your fluids you drink, gradually. Number two, space your intake throughout the day. If you forget to hydrate don’t gulp down a litre in one go. Space it out and you’ll be fine.
Take care of yourself !
March 22, 2016
February 19, 2016