Whenever I recommend to someone I am helping with their nutrition and fitness goals to increase their daily water intake to 2-3 liters I get a worried look and a less confident “I will try”. Even though it is a well-known fact that it is important to stay properly hydrated, many people still struggle with making it a regular habit and eliminate this struggle for good. Here are my top ten, super simple tricks to not only increase your daily water intake temporarily but to reach a stage where your body craves water.
But before we get started, let’s get clear on how much water you should drink per day.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the average, healthy adult, living in a temperate climate should drink the following amounts of water each day, via food intake and water intake.
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
The 8 glasses per day rule
Given that you follow a healthy diet with lots of vegetables and fruit, drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day is a reasonable goal. There are a variety of factors that can influence your water needs such as vigorous exercise, living in a hot or humid climate, your overall health condition, or if you are pregnant or are breast-feeding.
Benefits of an increased daily water intake
Why is it important to drink between 2-3 liters of water per day? Here are the most important benefits listed for you.
- Boosts immune system
- Neutralizes the PH in your body
- Reduces fatigue
- Re-hydrates your brain upon waking up
- Boosts metabolism by stimulating your digestive system and getting things moving
- Lubricates joints and cartilage
- Hydrates Look younger with plumper, hydrated skin
- Burns an extra 5 lbs of fat/year
- Prevents premature aging of the major organs in your body
- Increases production of blood and muscle cells
- Increases enzyme activity in the body
- Lowers cholesterol production
- Reduces risk of colon cancer by 45% and bladder cancer by 50%
- Eliminates toxins and inflammation-causing bacteria
Are you ready to increase your daily water intake? Ready. Set. Go!
- Set your goal
Setting your goal will take the guesswork out of how much water you would like to drink each day. Knowing your goal will make it achievable.
- Get tracking
Whether you use your phone with a daily water tracker, write in your journal, or prepare the exact amount of drinks before you get going each day, tracking is the key to success. How else will you know if you have achieved your goal? And remember how fantastic it feels if you reach a goal? Even if it just a small one? You are right, it feels amazing.
- Break it into steps
Don’t get overwhelmed with the idea of drinking 8 glasses or more of water in one sitting. Spread them out throughout the day and you will barely notice that you are chipping away towards your goal. Did you know, that drinking two cups of water before breakfast can kick start your metabolism by 24%?
I have also created a quick schedule that can help you reach your goal.
- A nice bottle can go a long way
Invest in one or two large water bottles and place them where you spend most of your time. That way, you don’t have to remember so much, and you can easily keep track of the exact amount you already achieved.
- Make it visual
A fun way to remember to drink your 8 glasses of water each day is the rubber band trick. Wear 8 rubber bands on one wrist and each time you have a glass of water, move one of the bands to the other wrist, and by the end of the day, all bands will have moved over. Yay.
- Before you eat, have a glass of water
Having a glass of water before each meal will not only get your digestion started, it will also fill up your tummy which will ultimately help with portion control. Two birds with one stone.
- When you get a craving, have a glass of water
Your body will send you a hunger signal before it actually tells you unmistakably that you are thirsty. So whenever you feel that mid-morning and mid-afternoon craving, reach for that glass.
- Water challenge
Accountability is key when it comes to motivation. I see this every single day when I help my clients achieve their goals. Challenge yourself or set a water challenge with your family or friends to get chugging away at the delicious and precious H2O.
- Make it flavourful
Whether you add fresh lemon juice, add a few drops of lemon oil or add frozen fruit, cucumbers or mint to your water, sometimes this extra bit of flavour is all it takes to get you reaching for your water bottle.
When you get going, it is really that simple. All it needs is consistency. Once you get used to it, your body will do the rest and crave water. Share your favourite tips in the comments.
Thanks, and stay hydrated.