Drinking water seems like such a small thing, right? And maybe it seems unworthy of much focus because we require it for survival, but how often are we not drinking enough water or replacing it with other beverages? The truth is, we need water for more than survival.
Sure, dehydration is a concern in a summer. And it is certainly part of the reason I’ve been focusing on drinking more water the past couple weeks, but there are other factors to consider:
- Water is calorie-free, sugar-free, preservative-free, and fat-free. Can you say the same for your diet soda? Your orange juice? Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t drink orange juice, but it’s not the most guilt-free source of hydration. Plus, you’d be better off eating the actual fruit, rather than drinking your calories. My husband always says beer is just water with some hops, but you still need pure water. Everything in moderation, regardless.
- Not drinking enough water can cause serious fatigue. Your bodily fluids require it to replenish; blood becomes thicker, causing your heart to work harder.
- The slower blood flow also affects your brain function and mental capacity, making concentration difficult and impairing memory.
- Dehydration can make you constipated. Your bowels need water to function. TMI, maybe, but still important.
- Lack of water can result in more frequent UTIs. This is something I can attest to personally. It’s pretty straightforward: drinking more water flushes out your kidneys and bladder, which prevents bacteria from growing.
- Premature aging is another side effect of dehydration. Your skin requires water for the cells to regenerate.
I could keep going and going. There are many sources you can go to for more information. Here are a couple:
I always carry a water bottle with me, but I’ve consciously upped my intake. It’s not only good for me in the sense that I’m staying hydrated, it also gives me a reason to get up every so often and take a short walk to the water cooler at work.
And we’ve already talked about the benefits of walking, but even short strolls around the office help prevent blood clots and improve your mood.
If you’re having trouble consuming more water, you can try…
- Drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up. This seems to set a good standard for the rest of my day.
- Add some lemon, lime, or other fruit to your water if flavor is your concern.
- Bring a water bottle with you everywhere, like I do. Even better if it has measurements on the side so you can keep track of your consumption easier.
- Track how much you’re drinking through an app like MyFitnessPal. Or just record it in a journal.
And here are 40 more creative ways to increase your water consumption!