The conference group’s one-word exclamation chorused through the assembly room, startling others around us.
You’d have thought I said I climbed Mt. Everest.
Instead, what I said: “I drink around 70 ounces of water a day.”
I sensed my new friends struggled with the notion they should drink more water, too.
The simple answer to drinking water is to get your butt to the faucet more often. It’s not a hard concept, and it isn’t rocket science.
But, sometimes the simplest things are the most complex. At least, it was for me.
Really?…You may be thinking…You’re writing about water?
Yes. Introvert that I am, I struggle with helping people as much as I’d like to. I’ve learned writing connects people. So, I’m offering here some ideas I shared with those new friends, in case they might help you, too.
First Things First
We’re all different. What works for me, may not work for you. There are lots of hydration calculators on line to tell you how much water you should drink.
Further, there are people around me who seem to get by with a steady diet of Red Bull, coffee and cigarettes. I am not one of those people.
I dehydrate easily.
So, determine how much you need, then see if these tips might help. And please note: Do NOT drink your daily allotment all at once. This can actually be adverse to your health.
1. Start the Day Right
I don’t talk to anyone before I have my first cup of coffee. (I do it as a favor to them.)
However, I don’t have my first cup of coffee until I’ve consumed sixteen ounces of water. And, because lemon in water is so good for health, I squeeze half a lemon in lukewarm water to give it a little pizazz.
I drink it nonstop (probably not recommended), because I’m anxious to get to my coffee! But once done, I immediately have sixteen ounces of my goal out of the way.
2. Be Prepared
When I travel, I toss a container of water in the car, even for short trips. You never know when you’ll sit in traffic, break down, or wait at a doctor’s office.
I carried a bottle of water throughout the conference. When I packed, I tucked several full bottles in the car. Each day at lunch and dinner, I re-filled the day’s bottle in the facility’s cafeteria.
3. Fill a Pitcher
I write in a home office. As such, I’m never far from a faucet. However, when I’m working intently, I don’t want to break and go after more water.
So, early on, I opted to dig out the biggest pitcher I could find and fill it with the day’s amount I intend to drink (or, as close as possible). I “take it to work” with me each day.
When the pitcher is empty, I know I’ve had (at least) my targeted amount.
4. Use a Stem Glass
Who doesn’t prefer to drink from a stem glass? It’s so much more elegant than a plastic cup or even pretty glass. There’s just something fun about drinking from a container with a stem. The more decorous and blingy, the better. As a result, I reach for it more often.
Plus, it doesn’t sweat on my paperwork the way a regular glass does.
5. Count Pennies
Ever lose track of how much you drink? Warning – it’s a natural tendency to assume you’ve consumed much more water than you actually did.
Determine how many ounces you want to drink each day. Assume a typical glass holds eight ounces. Divide by eight. Each time you drink eight ounces, slide a penny to the right. This works on your desk, windowsill, table, just about anywhere.
6. Drink Water Before Each Meal
Who couldn’t stand to lose a few pounds? Water helps to fill your stomach, according to nutritionists. As a result, you’re not hungry as often, and you eat less at meals.
Try to drink eight ounces shortly before each meal.
7. Consume Water With Every Meal
Water is 99 times out of 100 what I reach for at mealtime. Sure, I like tea and soda more. But, caffeine dehydrates, and carbonation depletes calcium in bones.
Water does nothing but supplement my health.
If you drink herbal tea, coffee, soda, alcohol, V-8 juice, or low-sodium broth, try to drink them between meals where they don’t compete with the tastes of your food. Besides, you’ll savor those other drinks more that way.
I’m told a can of soda has as much water as a similar sized glass of water, but the soda has extra calories from sugar, artificial colorings and additives you should avoid. Plus, as I said, carbonation and extra caffeine are bad for your health.
8. Flavor It
Look at the picture. Don’t those slices of lemons and limes make the water look refreshing? They also provide an extra citrusy taste to the water. Delicious!
Years ago, I stayed at a B&B in Sedona, Arizona. The owners each day had a huge picture of water at the ready, with slices of lemon, lime and oranges floating on top. I noticed I kept sauntering back into that room to get more of the water.
If they can do it, so can we. Also good are fresh mint, cucumber slices, and some berries. Freeze the latter and it also helps to keep your water cold.
Another option is a water-flavoring enhancer such as Mio Fit, Crystal Ice or flavored Stevia. (Note: I am not endorsing any of those products. I have no experience with them and do not know what chemicals, if any, are added.)
9. Cleanse Your Home of the Competition
My husband and I don’t even keep soda pop or energy drinks in the house. If it’s available, it’s too easy to reach for.
10. Focus On It
Visualize your success. Until it becomes habit, think ahead each day as to how, where and when you’ll add water to your diet.
If you find water a tad boring to ponder, focus on these factoids instead:
- The human body is about 65% water. Shouldn’t we strive to keep it that percentage?
- Water (or its derivatives) is mentioned more than 700 times in the Bible, always offering a spiritual or physical significance in the lives of people. Water served as a symbol of God’s goodness, as in rainfall for crops, replenishment for drinking, and a purifier and cleansing for baptism; and, it was often associated with the powers of death and danger, as in the Great Flood, the drowning of the Egyptians, and various droughts. In short, water played a powerful role in the Bible.Shouldn’t it play a powerful role in our lives, too?
- The effects of dehydration can include headaches, heartburn, back pain, colitis, angina, joint problems, poor concentration, fatigue, muscle stiffness, cramps, depression, to name a few. Even mild dehydration can lead to significant impairment and affect cognitive function.We have enough to combat in this life; why needlessly subject ourselves to these obstacles and ailments when we can thwart them with pure, readily available water?
11. Reward Yourself
Finally, reward yourself! Crave a dessert? Make it a practice to drink a glass of water before enjoying dessert. Can’t get by without a delicious cup of herbal tea? Drink a glass of water first to earn your tea. Adopt a practice and reward what works.
What about you? What do you do to make sure you get enough water? I’m always looking for more ideas.
—If you haven’t had a chance to check out my book series, The Crossing Trilogy, I hope you will! The first book, Crossing into the Mystic, can be ordered through your local bookstore, or via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Book #2, Edging through the Darkness, will be released May 2015. Thank you to the many who have taken a moment to leave a review on Amazon or recommend it to friends.