If you were to ask me what the one thing is that you could start doing today to improve your overall health, it would be to drink more water. No magic pill, potion or 3 day juice cleanse can support your overall health and well-being quite like some good old fashioned high-quality H2O. You’ve been told a thousand times to drink more water, but I’m telling you again because, well frankly, we kind of suck at. It’s estimated that 75% of Americans are functioning in a state of chronic dehydration (not to be confused with the more serious cases of acute dehydration). This can leave us performing at less than optimal levels and suffering from some of the most common concerns I hear in my practice: fatigue, headaches, constipation, brain fog, dry skin and an overall lack of pep in your step. While these symptoms can be linked to a number of factors, starting off by increasing your water intake is a great first step to rule out the need for more intense interventions.
While some people may argue that they simply aren’t thirsty (typically the ones that hate the taste of water), my belief is that we are misinterpreting our body’s signal of thirst for more rewarding and stimulating activities like eating, sleeping or grabbing an extra cup of java (learn more about that in this video from Meghan). Adequate hydration is important for every single cell and metabolic process in your body, so if you’re looking to boost metabolism, improve brain function and be an overall superstar, I suggest you start by filling your cup.
Here are 3 super simple hacks to keep you hydrated.
1) Bottle Up
Invest in a water bottle that you actually like drinking out of and keep it close by. Seems super ridiculously simple, but that’s because it is. Nothing is worse than trying to stay hydrated with a leaky, smelly water bottle that has a funky combination of old coffee, tea stains & smoothie remnants. Here’s a few things to consider before buying:
– Is the spout optimal for drinking (do you prefer a straw, pop top or screw top?)
– Is the opening wide enough to fit ice, fruit or lemons? (if that’s your thing)
– Is it lightweight and easy to pack into your bag?
– Is it easy to clean?
2) Wrap it up
Once you’ve invested in an awesome water bottle, go ahead and wrap 8 elastic bands around the bottom (more or less depending on the size of your bottle- aim for at least 2 L per day). For every bottle you drink, roll one of those elastic bands up to the top with the end goal of getting them all up by the end of the day. Fun, right?
3) Jazz it up
If you don’t like water simply because it just doesn’t taste good (although it tastes like nothing), jazz it up by adding some fruit. It adds a punch of flavour (without sugary additives) and you’ll get a pop of antioxidants to boot. Here are a few of my favourite fruity flavours:
I’d love to hear how you stay hydrated? Leave a comment below with your favourite fruity water infusions, water bottle or tricks you use to get your daily dose of H2O.
In health & hydration,
Heather, CNP, RNCP