Most of us do not drink enough water every day. Staying hydrated properly is often difficult in our busy lives; however drinking enough water is extremely beneficial to your health. Water helps to regulate bowel movements, improve digestion and improves your skin. Drinking more water will help you replace non-healthy sugar-laden drinks, too. Water can also help with weight loss because it can help to curb poor eating habits. The benefits are truly endless. If you are having trouble getting enough water in your diet, here are some suggestions to create better habits:
Flavor water with fruit
Adding some fruit or herbs to water can make it taste better. Suggestions to add are cucumber, lemon, strawberry or mint (or a mixture of these). These additions will flavor the water without adding a lot of calories. You can make a large pitcher of flavored water to drink from all day or buy a water bottle with an infuser that you can add the fruit to.
Keep water handy
Keep a water bottle nearby all day to reinforce the habit of drinking water throughout the day rather than only when it is in front of you or when you get thirsty. A good choice to buy is a BPA-free water bottle, .
Set a goal
Start by tracking how much water you are actually drinking during the day. Once you have an idea of how much you are currently drinking, you can work up to the desired amount. Set that goal and add a little slowly, while continuing the track your intake. This will create a habit that will be easy to follow.
The recommended amount of water is half of your body weight in ounces of water. Therefore, if you weigh 150 lbs., you should drink 75 oz. of water per day. The best way to increase is to do so slowly over time. Try to drink an extra glass each day until you hit your goal.
Create the habit
Make water your first beverage each day. Drink a glass first thing in the morning. Even better is to start the day with a warm glass of water that has the juice of half a lemon mixed in. For convenience, make your own fresh squeezed lemon juice in advance. Drink your water before you have coffee. While there is water in coffee and tea, it is important to drink just water by itself, too.
Drink water as a snack
When you have hunger pangs, instead of eating a snack, try drinking a glass of water. It will increase your water intake and curb your appetite. Sometimes when you think you are hungry, you are actually thirsty. So, try drinking water first before you eat.
Get started now
Choose any one of these suggestions to start implementing increased water consumption into your daily routine. Another plan is to pick one method per week, and in just a few weeks, you will be up to your water goal daily.
Kelly Peterson, Practice Director at Grand Rapids Natural Health graduated with a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in July of 2011. She then went on to complete a 1-year general medicine residency in Naturopathic Medicine at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Medical Center. She has always had a passion for medicine and through growing up in a household that opened her up to the power of a healthy, loving, fulfilling life, she found her passion in Naturopathic Medicine.
Kelly is passionate about creating access to Naturopathic and Functional Medicine for the greater Michigan community. She is the past president of the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians (MANP) and continues to work diligently with this association to achieve licensure for Naturopathic Physicians in Michigan. Kelly is also a board member for Universal Health Solutions and an active member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP).