I'm a big water drinker. It's my drink of choice just about everywhere because:
a.) it's usually free.
b.) it's refreshing.
c.) it doesn't mess with the flavor of my food.
d.) it's good for me.
Every now and then I slack on drinking water, and I always feel pretty awful when I do. I get tired, my skin breaks out, I get headaches and you know...I'm thirsty. I always ask people when they come to the counter how much water they drink, because not getting enough water can really impact your skin. Here are a few tips on how to stay hydrated!
1. Keep a water bottle with you wherever you go!
This is a big one. At work I have a Camelbak water bottle, and I always have a large Aquafina bottle that I refill and keep using in my school bag. I recommend buying a real bottle, as plastic bottles consume additional petrochemicals. I'm just being cheap at the moment.
I set a goal to drink a certain amount of these water bottles everyday. It's way easier to drink four water bottles than drinking "8 glasses of water." If you don't drink a lot of water, start slow and build up. As a rule of thumb, you should drink half of your body weight in ounces of water a day.
Ex: If you are 100 pounds, you should drink 50 oz of water a day. Of course this varies, but it's easy to remember.
2. Stop drinking soda.
I have never been a soda person. Sure, I enjoy the occasional root beer or cream soda every blue moon. But it is just so sweet and hurts my throat. I mean, c'mon, it's carbonated sugar water. Whenever I drink it, I always think, "I'm basically drinking syrup right now." Replacing soda (or as I call it, "pop") with water will not only replace remove a lot of calories from your diet, but your body will be so much happier!
3. Flavor it if you need to.
Water can get boring. It's just so...watery. Sometimes you need a little flavor! Sometimes I buy a low-calorie iced-tea mix at the store, but the best way to flavor your water is with produce in your fridge. My favorite is adding cucumber and lemon, as pictured above. It just gives your water that little bit of flavor you want, but is not overpowering. I always drink more water at restaurants when they add lemon! Experiment and find some flavors you like. Frozen fruit is a great option; frozen blueberries, raspberries or peaches add some sweetness!
4. Add some ice and a straw!
This sounds kinda silly, but I think it helps. When water is super cold, I drink it like nobody's business. Same thing when I add a straw. Maybe it's just more fun drinking from a straw? Maybe you feel fancier? I really don't know. But hearing the clinking of ice in my glass and being able to twirl the straw around helps me to drink more water.
5. Purify your water.
I'm very lucky to live in an area with delicious tap water. But I have been to other areas of the country with water that tastes pretty nasty (Florida, I'm looking at you.) Getting a Britta system is not too expensive, and makes a huge difference in the taste of water. You will drink so much more water when it tastes good. Also, spending money on a purification system could possibly guilt you into drinking more water. Similar to spending money on a gym. Paying for it makes you use it!
6. Drink water every few bites throughout your meal.
Take a drink of water every one to two bites you take during a meal. It sounds a little excessive, I know. But, it will help to slow your eating by forcing you to put down the fork. It will also fill up your tummy with water instead of food, and help you to eat less. And look at that! You just downed a few glasses of water during your meal. Voila!
7. Drink tea, not coffee.
Okay. Totally guilty. Like...really, really guilty. I choose coffee over tea about 97% of the time. Getting to drink coffee is one of the highlights of my day. I love it. Not to perpetuate stereotypes or anything, but I live in Seattle. Loving coffee is almost a requirement.
But when summer comes around and I don't have to go to class, I drink a lot more tea. And I hate to admit it...but my body is grateful. Caffeine in coffee is a mild diuretic and can increase urine excretion. This can be neutralized by drinking an extra glass of water, but why not just drink caffeine-free tea instead? (Answer: because coffee is the nectar of the gods.)
So go drink some water! You will thank yourself. Once you get in the habit, it's so easy and delicious!