How to Drink More Water

How to Drink More WaterI wrote last week about how much water you should be drinking each day: approximately 3 liters if you’re a male and a little over 2 liters per day if you’re a female. To most people who aren’t used to drinking that much water each day, it can certainly seem like a crazy amount. But if you want to avoid running to the bathroom every five minutes, you may have to plan out when you’re drinking the water.

If you’re a guy and you need to drink 3 liters of water per day, you’ll obviously want to spread that amount out from the time you wake up to shortly before you go to bed. Furthermore, if you’re the type of person who has to get up during the night to go to the bathroom, or if you take multiple bathroom breaks at work each day, you may have to cut down on the other drinks you consume during the day. 3 liters is certainly a lot of liquid to drink, and I’d be willing to bet that’s more liquid than most people drink all day.

The best way to ensure that I am drinking a lot of water each day is with a reusable water bottle. I’ve tried 1 liter bottles and 2 liter bottles but have settled on 500 ml because that’s an amount that I can drink in one sitting. First thing in the morning, I fill it up and chug it back. At work, I’ll fill it up at the water cooler multiple times per day. When I’m at home, I’ll fill it up again. It’s less daunting when you can fill up a smaller bottle and drink it back in one shot. There’s also the added benefit of not having to carry around a giant, heavy 3 liter bottle of water with you throughout the day.

Now I’ll admit that there are times when I want to drink water but forget to. One suggestion I’ve heard is to set the timer on your phone. Program a countdown timer for every hour or two and when you’re at work, you not only remember to drink your water, you can get up and stretch your legs as well.

I realize that some people just don’t like drinking water. For those people I suggest a water bottle with a fruit infuser. If you haven’t seen one of  these before, it’s essentially a standard reusable water bottle with a “cage” in the middle that holds fruit. The idea is you cut up fruit and toss it in the cage, then fill the bottle up with water. The cage holds the fruit but allows its juices and flavor to enhance the water naturally, giving you something a little more palatable that you’re more inclined to drink than plain ol’ water.

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?We’ve all heard that it’s important to drink water each day. It’s likely that most of us aren’t drinking as much water as we should, opting for tastier less healthy options instead, such as soda or chocolate milk. But swapping out some of the beverages you are currently drinking each day and replacing them with water will help you consume the proper amount of water each day.

If you ask anyone how much water they should be drinking each day they’ll probably say “eight glasses.” That seems to be the standard that everyone was taught, and that was certainly the case for me. But how how big should each of those glasses be? And doesn’t it seem like you’d be going to the bathroom all the time if you’re drinking eight glasses of water per day?

That old “eight glasses of water per day” addage refers to eight 8 oz. glasses. Why 8 oz. glasses? Probably because it’s easy to remember “eight and eight.” But the truth is that men should be drinking about 3 liters of water per day and women should be drinking between two and 2.5 liters of water each day. If you do the math you’ll see that eight 8 oz. glasses doesn’t even equal 2 liters of water.

If you take a 2 liter soda bottle and imagine it filled with water, it can seem overwhelming knowing you need to drink it all, especially if you’re a guy and realize you should be drinking one and a half of those bottles each day. The good news is that we do get water from the foods that we eat and other drinks we consume, so you don’t need to exactly hit 3 liters if you’re a guy or over 2 liters if you’re a girl. But it’s a good idea to keep that amount in mind when you’re planning out your water consumption for the day, and try to get as close to that amount as you–and your bladder!–can.

Can Water Go Bad?

Can Water Go Bad?Today, I attempted to get back into my routine of doing kettlebell exercises each morning. I got changed and then grabbed my water bottle. It was then that I realized the bottle of water had been sitting on my desk for about five weeks now. Was it still good? Does drinking water go bad?

The truth is, drinking water can go bad but it all depends on how it’s stored. If it was a glass of drinking water left out for weeks, chances are it would be contaminated in some way. If it was left outside, bugs would certainly try and lay eggs in it, which is a problem with still water during the summer months. Indoors though, I don’t have to worry about mosquitoes laying eggs in my drinking water, but there is other stuff floating around in the air. Dust, cat hair, and whatever else is drifting in the air could easily land in my glass for me to drink unknowingly.

If you plan on drinking water that will be left out for extended periods of time, you’ll want to ensure that it’s stored in a container intended for food products. You’ll also want to use a bottle or jug with a lid to keep out any airborne contaminants. In addition, you’ll want to fill the container with filtered water. Then, you should be able to store the water almost indefinitely.

As far as that water that was on my desk, I drank it and it tasted fine. Fortunately, the food-grade bottle was filled with filtered water, so nothing happened to it over Christmas holidays and early 2014 while I was still trying to muster up the motivation to begin working out again.

 

How Salt Impacts Your Hydration

How Salt Impacts Your HydrationI’m sure there are a wide range of ways that salt has an impact on the body, but today I want to look at just one of those ways. Specifically, how salt impacts how thirsty you are. It’s a little bit confusing, but too much salt can make you parched. Conversely, not having enough salt can dehydrate you as well. Strange but true!

When I eat poorly, one way that my body reacts is that I get really thirsty. This is because that a lot of junk foods such as burgers, fries, and even pizza are overloaded with salt. As a society, we consume far more salt than we actually need, and this can manifest itself as dehydration. What the body is doing is attempting to balance out its salt level. When there’s too much salt, your kidneys have to dispose of what isn’t needed. One of the most efficient ways  to do this is through urination. That’s why you’re body’s telling you to drink more water when you’ve had too much salt!

Now, let’s say you’re sick in bed with a fever. You’re not eating or drinking much and you’re soaking the sheets with your sweat. Your body is losing salt through sweating and you’re not replenishing it quickly enough. This isn’t good because as your salt levels decrease, so does your blood pressure, leading to dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, and symptoms that are much worse. What this is called is hypotension, and it can be caused by a lack of salt in the body.

One way to avoid these highs and lows is to simply watch your salt intake. Generally, you should be somewhere around 2,000 mg of salt per day, not much more than that, and not a whole lot less. If you’re consuming more, obviously you’ll want to try and cut it back, but you can also help your body by balancing out the levels through drinking more water. If you’re not getting enough salt in your diet, try adding a spoonful of Pink Himalayan salt a glass of water. This particular type of salt is packed with all the minerals that our bodies need that’s stripped out of filtered and distilled water.

Hopefully these two examples illustrate how having too much salt in the body will mean you need to drink more water, but also how not having enough salt in the body means you need to drink more water as well.

Why Drink Water in the Morning?

Why Drink Water in the Morning?I look to a few people for motivation to help me lead a healthier lifestyle and one of those guys is Mike Dolce. Dolce is a big proponent of drinking A LOT of water–he drinks two gallons per day–and says that it aids in weight loss. Mike Dolce also suggests drinking water first thing in the morning, but why?

Drinking water first thing in the morning is great for a number of reasons. Personally, I always wake up dehydrated. I don’t know if it’s just the six or seven hour stretch of not drinking, or maybe I’m breathing with my mouth open and that dries out my mouth. Either way, I’m always thirsty right when I wake up, and I like to have something before I drink a cup of coffee or a smoothie.

Another reason for drinking a big glass of water in the morning is that it can help you out in a couple ways if you’re trying to lose weight. For one, it can help fill you up so you’re not eating a giant breakfast first thing in the morning. Secondly, it’s a way to kick start your metabolism first thing in the morning before you even get your day started.

It can be hard when you’re rushing around each morning to remember that glass of water. But, to help myself out, I now take a bottle (reusable, of course) to bed with me each night. If I wake up during the night and I’m thirsty, I won’t have to get out of bed. It’s also there for me when it is time to get up and I’m ready to start my day.

Give it a try and see if you notice a difference.