Isn’t it funny how practically all life on earth depends on water and yet so many of us aren’t addicted to a healthy water intake routine? Water is undeniably the greatest gift of nature to mankind. The knowledge that most of the world is on the brink of water scarcity should give us all the more reason to make every drop accountable in making our bodies healthier. On an average, the male body requires about 3 liters (∼9 cups) of water a day while the female body needs about 2.2 liters (∼9 cups) per day.
What happens when you consume less than the essential level of water your body requires on a single day?
The effects begin to manifest in a number of observable signs. It begins with a lightheaded feeling, fatigue, and brain fog even before your body sends you the clear signal of a dry mouth. Next, there are problems with digestion and urination followed by distressed muscles, skin, and joints.
Dehydration is basically making you dull, dumb and downcast.
Perhaps you’ve already recognized these signs whenever you happened to neglect drinking enough water. In that case, here’s a list of life-changing and practical tips and tactics to trick yourself into guzzling down your vital daily dose of H2O.
Use an empty stomach to your advantage.
Right after you wake up is the perfect time to gulp down one or two glasses of water with ease. It’s when your body has had enough rest and needs hydration to get the wheels turning. Some people, including women with morning sickness, can find it hard to chug lots of water in the morning. Try starting with one glass of water and gradually increase your goal. Some people also prefer to add cinnamon, honey, and lemon to their morning dose of water. This adds taste as well as boosts metabolism.
2Don’t drink water immediately after or in between a meal.
Water intake in between food or immediately after food not only decreases your capacity and craving for water. It is because of the way your body gets bloated and you feel ‘too full’ for an extended period of time. So wait for a couple of minutes before a sipping some water every time you finish a meal.
3Carry a bottle wherever you go.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving your can of water at home or office, telling yourself that if you get thirsty on the way, you stop by the store. Keep a mini bottle in your bag or in your car. You never know when you might be stranded in a traffic jam with a parched throat on a sunny day without a corner shop in sight.
4Keep a water bottle collection.
Keep it exciting with a small collection of water bottles, jars, cans, and sippers meant for different places, seasons, moods, and activities. It doesn’t hurt to show off your unique style while investing in a few healthy storage options for your water. Get one in neon shades for your gym sessions, a plain, minimalist bottle for work and meetings, and an exquisite jar for your home-made squashes and teas. You could even split your daily target volume into a set of smaller cups and mini sippers if it motivates you better.
Use quirky, marked ‘Motivation Bottles’.
A water container that will really help you track your progress is one that has readings on it. Hourly targets and goals indicated by markings on the bottle help you stay committed to your daily intake goal. You can also use stickers to decorate a plain bottle with markings and motivating pointers.
6 Make sure your bottle doesn’t smell odd.
Sometimes the odors of plastic on a fresh bottle or mold forming on the insides of a used one can make your water taste unpleasant. This could be off-putting for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy water intake habit. There are several ways you can get rid of these unpleasant smells. Giving your bottle a good scrub with dish washer liquid and warm water can do wonders. For persistent odors, try a lemon rinse or let your bottle sit overnight with some baking soda or charcoal inside. Dry it under the sun for any remaining odor to vanish.
Set goals one day at a time.
Researchers say that the optimal water requirement for a person depends on his/her metabolism, activity levels, and the environment. Unless you spend the same amount of energy every single day, it is wise to determine your water requirement for each day. Sometimes you simply need to listen to your body. If you’re going to spend most of your day off lounging at home, you won’t need as much water as you will on a work day. Furthermore, on certain days, your body might need a particular kind of diet with a prescribed volume of water for adequate hydration or for the treatment of certain conditions.
8 Place plenty of reminders around you. Or use an app.
Sometimes, you need to remind yourself to take care of your body even though it may not send you a signal. That’s when your brain is too busy dealing with something important or demanding of full attention. At such times, setting reminders can help. You could choose from several mobile apps available today that give personalized schedules based on your lifestyle, body weight, health problems, etc. Even bottles come with timers now.
9 Include more spices and lesser salt in your snack.
Excessive salt is found to reduce thirst and increase hunger. High-salt diet essentially induces the body to retain more water which needs to be counteracted by urea but the body needs energy from food to synthesize urea. Long story short, you’re likely to feel less thirsty and crave more food. Replace a salty treat with one is that seasoned with spices and herbs that will keep you thirsty while satisfying your craving for interesting flavors.
10 When you have a food craving, munch on water-rich fruits and veggies.
Sometimes when you’ve got the munchies, you gotta munch. Fruits can help you satisfy your hunger in a healthy way while also helping you achieve your daily water intake target faster. You’ll also get your fix of minerals and vitamins if you carry a snack of fruits like watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, peaches, pineapple, cranberries, and raspberries. If you’re a salad lover, go all out on celery, broccoli, lettuce and cucumber/zucchini. Also, try substituting frozen fruits for ice cubes on warm days.
11 Make a game out of it with colleagues/friends and keep score.
It’s easier to motivate yourself to drink more if someone else is part of your routine. Ask a few friends or coworkers to join your water challenge and keep a scorecard for each of them. Whoever never misses a scheduled sip of water throughout a week will get a yummy treat at the end of the week, courtesy of the others.
12 Ditch monotony – try spritzers, shakes, sherbets, punches, and teas.
Plain water isn’t the only means for you to hydrate your system. There are a number of different concoctions that guarantee refreshment and taste at one go.
Fix yourself one delicious smoothie or fruit punch for each day of the week to spice it up and also ensure a nutrition-rich diet. Even simple frozen fruits or a few mint leaves can make your drink exciting.
13 Use your stretch breaks/bathroom trips to refill your bottle.
If you work a desk job, you would know how often you tend to put off refilling your bottle. You tell yourself you’ll do it in 10 minutes and before you know it, more than an hour has passed since your last sip of water. If you’ve taken an oath to take breaks from sitting for too long, use these breaks to refill your bottle.
14Try flavoring your cup of water.
Apart from fruit additives, Stevia-based water flavoring is a big hit among fitness enthusiasts. Pick a flavor that is both mild and tempting. A mint-infused cup of water is great to start the day with. After lunch, grab a cup of ginger-flavored water to help digestion.
Go one cup at a time with flavoring so that you don’t have to be stuck with a flavor you are not particularly fond of.
15 Use an easy-sip bottle or go crazy with those fancy party straws.
A cup or bottle with an easy-to-access nozzle or a flip-open snout will make a huge difference for those who are particularly stingy with the time and attention they can afford to spend on their water schedule. Also, admit it, you’ve always wanted those silly straws you saw at birthday parties ever since you were a kid. Well, now is your chance to get a few twisty, twirling and spiral straws to make your goal fun. If anybody were to call it silly, just gift them one!