Do you struggle with getting enough H2O in your day? You and close to half of the Canadian population. Drinking water may be simple and accessible, but it certainly doesn’t come easy for many.
So why is staying hydrated so important?
- It has a significant impact on energy levels and brain function.
- It can minimize common health issues like headaches and constipation.
- It protects your organs and lubricates your joints, which can prevent injuries and other health risks.
- It can help you lose weight by increasing metabolism and satiety.
- It can increase physical performance.
So how much water do we actually need? It depends on these main variables:
Weight. The more you weigh, the more water your body needs. An easy way to calculate this is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds, aim to drink 75oz a day (this is equivalent to just over 9 cups).
Activity level. The more active you are, the more you need to replenish the water you lost from sweat. Be sure to hydrate before, during, and after a workout.
Diet. Water goals and guidelines around drinking enough are usually based around the assumption that you’re also getting some hydration from food. But if your diet lacks water-based foods like fruits and veggies, chances are you need more than you might think.
Environment. Hot or humid weather and elevation changes can accelerate dehydration, so be sure to drink extra water if you live in a warm climate or travel often.
So how can we up our water intake? Like anything, consistency is key in order to make it a permanent habit in our daily lives.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Keep a water glass nearby.
This visual cue in places like your nightstand or next to your sinks can serve as a good reminder to fill up and drink up.
2. Switch it up with your fluids.
It doesn’t have to be plain water all the time – try carbonated water, flavored water, BCAA’s, or herbal tea to add flavor and variety.
3. Bring a water bottle everywhere you go.
In the car, to work, out shopping, you name it.
4. Use an app or set a reminder on your phone.
Or if you’d rather not use technology to help you out, a good old fashioned sticky note on the mirror can also do the trick.
5. Set measurable goals.
Some examples might include drinking one litre of water before noon or one big glass before every meal.
6. Consider investing in a water cooler or a soda stream.
I love my soda stream!
7. Replace other drinks.
Water is a better source of hydration than things like pop, alcohol, juice, or fancy coffees. Plus, you’ll cut way back on sugar at the same time, which is an added bonus that will contribute to better overall health.