Health

5 ways to drink more water daily

BY JO-HANNA TAYLOR

Sunday, November 04, 2018

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STAYING hydrated is important. Especially in a warm climate, replacing the water that we lose throughout the day is essential.

As important as this is, drinking water is always on the back burner for many of us.

Why is this?

We make the time to drink all the coffee, alcohol and sugary drinks we can, but water is a hard sell.

To get us all drinking more water and accessing the amazing benefits of consistently drinking water, this month's nutritional dare for 12 Months 24 Dares is to Drink 2 litres (8 cups) of water daily.

Excuses for not drinking water are very common. The most common reasons include too many bathroom breaks, lack of time, and my favourite – “it's too boring”. Excuses aside, let's look at the benefits of water and five ways to shatter these excuses and drink more water.

Why drink water?

Growing up, it was drilled into our heads that water is 'essential for life'. However, knowing that water is essential and having a desire to drink it are two different things. Even though there is general education about its importance, many socio-economic factors do not contribute to the proper motivation for drinking water.

It's cheaper to buy a sugary bag juice than a bottled water.

Ads for sodas and sugary drinks are much more 'enticing' than water PSAs and ads (in my opinion).

Along with the necessary replacement of water that the body needs for optimal performance, there are many other benefits to dinking water. Some include:

• Boosts energy and brain function: Numerous studies highlighting various age groups show that mild dehydration affects memory, mood and brain performance.

• Can aid with weight loss: Makes your body feel full and assists with overeating. Also ensures optimal body temperature control while exercising so your motivation isn't affected.

• Boosts immune system and flushes toxins: Water helps to carry nutrients and oxygen around the body and flushes toxins and other waste products out.

• Can prevent joint pain, backaches and headaches: Many studies confirm that even slight dehydration triggers certain types of headaches, joint pain and backaches.

How much water is enough?

There is an ongoing debate as to how much water is enough, but the reality is there isn't a set in stone amount as your water intake depends on your age, gender, body weight, how active you are, the type of climate you live in and the amount of water you consume in your food and drinks.

The American College of Sports Medicine highlights that the body uses around nine cups of water just to survive, with adults losing around 10 cups through sweating, urinating and breathing. So the 8 x 8 rule (8-ounce cup, 8 times a day [2 litres]) is really just a marker, but the true test is observing your thirst and your urine colour, ensuring it's not too clear or too dark.

5 ways to drink more water

1. Start the day with a glass: Having water by your bed to start the day gets your mind and body prepared to continue the trend.

2. Eat more fruits and vegetables that have high water content: Watermelon, tomatoes, celery, and cucumber are examples of fruits and veggies high in water. Make it a habit to sneak this into your day.

3. Add flavour in your water: Add some zest to your water by adding fresh fruit (lime, watermelon, grapefruit slices), herbs (mint, rosemary), or vegetable slices (ginger, cucumber).

4. Keep water bottles around you as a visual reminder: In your car, in your bag, by your desk, keep your containers around and in sight (preferably non-plastic and BPA free to prevent toxins getting into your water and affecting your health).

5. Set a reminder: Throughout this month, you can use your phone and set daily reminders throughout the day, or you can use an app to get you into the habit of drinking. Plant Nanny and Drink Water Reminder are good apps to try.

Don't worry about excuses. Once you plan for this change (have a restroom nearby and make the time) your body will gradually start to adjust. It's not too late to give this challenge a try! The benefits are worth it! Try it with a friend!

Email us at 12months24dares@gmail.com or follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook using the handle 12months24dares.

Jo-Hanna Taylor is the Wellness Coordinator of 12 Months 24 Dares. She is an internationally certified America Council of Exercise Personal Trainer, Group fitness instructor and Power Vinyasa 200YT Yoga Instructor.


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