A few months ago, I took on a water challenge: to cut other drinks out of my diet and to drink half my body weight in water. It seemed impossible. First, I love diet soda. It was like a little sweet treat that I gave myself each day that didn’t contain any calories, so it couldn’t be bad for me, right? Wrong. The artificial sweeteners in the diet soda are no good for the body and can even cause digestion issues when consumed in high amounts. Second, that’s a lot of liquid to drink, no matter what the form. In order to succeed, I needed to come up with a schedule. Once I did that, I found I was actually drinking more than I needed to. I currently drink about 120 ounces of water a day.
The benefits of drinking more water are numerous and include: maintaining healthy appearance and elasticity to skin, energizing your muscles, helping to get rid of pesky headaches and, of course, helping to consume fewer calories. Here are some tips I have personally followed in my quest to drink more water daily.
1. Use the same water bottle every day: I have a 20 ounce water bottle that I fill 5-6 times a day. This way, I always know how much water I am drinking at any given time. Of course, when you travel, this will not be possible but for your daily drinking needs, I think it’s nice to stick to one water bottle to help keep track of how much water you are drinking.
2. Add some flavor: One really smart purchase I made a while ago was a cup with a lid and straw and an infuser inside. In this infuser, I add fruits, veggies and herbs to add more flavor to my water when I am feeling like it needs some zing. Here are some of my favorites additions to water: 1 slice of orange and 1 frozen strawberry; 3 slices peeled cucumber; 2 slices lemon and 4 raspberries, frozen mango and pineapple, 2 mint leaves and 2 slices lemon.
3. Make it fancy: Sparkling water feels so fancy to me. It’s like the champagne of water and there are so many great options out there that are sodium free, calorie free and sweetener free. My current favorite is LaCroix Apple Berry. I usually save these for lunch or dinner and sometimes bring it with me to dinner parties to make myself a mocktail on weeks like this one where I am eating clean and not consuming any alcohol.
4. Make a schedule and stick to it daily: My current schedule is: 20 oz. before breakfast, 20 oz. before my afternoon workout (around 1PM), 20 oz. at lunch (2PM), 20 oz. with afternoon snack (3:30/4); 20 oz, with dinner (6PM) and 20 oz. before bed. I also generally bring 10 oz. or so to bed in the event I wake up thirsty. Another tip, if you are feeling hungry right before bed, choose to drink some water instead of eating. It is very likely that the glass of water will take away your hunger pangs and you will be much more comfortable when going to bed than if you had eaten right before bed (can you say heartburn?).
5. Keep other beverages to a minimum: Of course, we all need our morning coffee (or tea in my case) but try to keep beverages other than water to a minimum.