How to Drink Water
A sound bite is a tiny clip from a speech. These posts are designed to be quick ideas (“bites”) about how we busy people can practically integrate wellness into our daily lives. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you accomplish something overwhelming? Start with a manageable crumb.
Summer has arrived, with its intense heat and humidity, and I’m thirsty. While we all know that our organs need water to function, just how much water is inside each of us varies by body type (more fatty tissue = less water), age (newborn babies = 78% water), and sex (adult man = 60% water vs. adult women = 55% water)(see https://rebrand.ly/water-facts). Water regulates our temperature, carries nutrients through our bloodstream from the food we eat, and flushes waste from our bodies. In contrast, “not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue, headaches, skin problems, muscle cramps, low blood pressure and a rapid heart rate . . . [and] prolonged dehydration can lead to serious complications like organ failure” (https://rebrand.ly/water-foods; https://rebrand.ly/water-health). Because water is vital to our optimal functioning, it is essential to figure out ways to drink enough water throughout each day.
While the amount of water we need varies by our age, we should aim to consume a minimum of between 24 ounces (newborn) and 1 gallon of water (breastfeeding woman) throughout each day, with even more water after we exercise and when it’s really hot outside (find your recommended adequate water intake here: https://rebrand.ly/water-intake).
To increase your water consumption, try these tips:
Squeeze ½ to 1 whole lemon into 16-32 ounces of water. (You can squeeze the lemon by hand, or use something like this citrus squeezer: https://rebrand.ly/lemon-squeezer.) Drinking lemon water first thing every morning (before eating) cleanses our liver, which helps with weight loss, digestive health, and treating kidney stones (see more benefits of lemon water here: https://rebrand.ly/lemon-water).
Snack on fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as watermelon, peaches, oranges, lettuce, tomatoes, and celery (see more water-rich foods here: https://rebrand.ly/water-foods).
Replace soft drinks with water, since sugary beverages actually worsen dehydration (see https://rebrand.ly/soft-drinks).
Here are some ideas for remembering to drink enough water each day:
Carry a water bottle everywhere you go. Since my 32-ounce water bottle is heavy when it’s full, it hurts my finger to carry it, along with everything else I’m trying to juggle, so I remember to drink water because I’m literally trying to lighten my load.
Tie your water-drinking goals to your established routine. For example, because my water bottle is 32 ounces, and I’m trying to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day, I need to finish at least two water bottles each day. To meet this quota, I drink one water bottle with freshly-squeezed lemon before I eat breakfast, and I finish my second bottle of water before I eat lunch. If the weather is especially hot outside, or if I exercised that day, I drink a third bottle of water before I eat supper. My hunger reminds me to check my water bottle.
How do you stay hydrated? Email your tips to “firstname.lastname@example.org”!