For February, Alexys wanted to make it a habit to drink more water everyday. This is something she used to do with seeming ease, but recently she noticed she was only drinking about half of what she used to. Alexys wasn’t sure exactly why or when she started making drinking water everyday less of a priority, but she knew that she wanted to work on improving it now. Bethany asked Alexys some questions and Alexys wrote some quick tips of what helped her drink more water.
Less waste: Drinking water can come with buying and using lots of plastic. I noticed last year that I was accumulating a ridiculous amount of plastic bottles because I was relying mostly on bottled water to drink everyday. I realized that this was not a good thing so I did some things to change it.
- I’m not completely plastic free and I do still drink some bottled water out of convenience, but the bottles I do buy I always make sure to put in my recycling bins (I just re-use paper grocery bags to sort my recycling) and take them to my local recycling center.
- The biggest thing I did to cut back on buying plastic water bottles was by purchasing a 3 gallon jug at my local grocery store and using the water station at the store to refill it. I have actually saved a ton of money this way. While the average bottle of water costs me about $1.58/liter, I can fill my 3 gallon jug (with reverse osmosis water) for $1.35. Way better deal over time.
- Another thing I did was buy a reusable water bottle. I noticed right away when I went to look for one that they can be pretty expensive. I have a few of them now, and my favorite is one that I got for $9 at my grocery store.
- Honestly you can go to almost any store and find reusable water bottles these days. Just get one that you like and will work for you, and one you know you will use.
Why water is important: Our bodies are made of about 60% water and our blood is about 90% water. Drinking water is vital for many functions in the body to be able to perform properly. Being hydrated is important for your physical performance, flushing out toxins, digestion, kidney health, blood pressure, regulating body temperature, and even brain function.
Electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphate are all electrolytes that carry an electrical charge and are important for homeostasis. Electrolytes play an important role in the nervous system function, muscle function, and also help balance the pH in your body. It is important to note that not all water has natural or added electrolytes, so it is a good idea to hydrate yourself with a variety of fruits, veggies, and other drinks, as mentioned below.
Dehydration can cause a slew of unwanted symptoms. Read more about the effects of dehydration here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086?page=0&citems=10
How much water should you drink? The amount of water you drink depends on a lot of factors including: climate, sweating, illness (vomiting or diarrhea), and individual medical needs. The best thing to do is listen to your body. Drink when you are thirsty and try to set a reasonable goal. Some people do fine with the standard 6-8 cups a day, and some people find that they need more than that to stay hydrated. It can also be helpful to talk to your doctor about your water intake. They can take your personal health into consideration and help you find the right amount for you. I personally try to drink around 1 1/2 to 2 liters of water a day, but there are days I drink less than that if I make soup, which I tend to eat a lot in the winter, because I like making my own broth.
How to drink the correct amount of water everyday: Find what works best for you. You can drink cold water or room temperature water, flat or sparkling water. You can get fancy and add lemon juice or ice cubes made of fruit, or buy water flavorings at the grocery store.
You don’t have to feel so overwhelmed at the thought of only drinking plain water either. You can get some great sources of water and electrolytes in your diet by eating certain fruits and veggies (melons, oranges, celery, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, etc.). You can also drink broth or make soups. Even some juices and milk can offer plenty of hydration. Coconut water is also a great option if you like the flavor, and it offers lots of electrolytes! I personally love melons in the summer, but it can be hard to find good fresh fruit in the winter so I tend to stick to things like coconut water, orange juice, milk, and broth during the colder months.
Overall, I noticed I feel better when I am drinking enough water. I also felt more connected to my body. As silly as it sounds, when you are taking the time to listen to what your body needs, even with something as necessary and simple as drinking water, that connection can really expand into other parts of your life. Hopefully this post helps you feel motivated to drink more (water lol).
Next month, Alexys’s challenge to go declutter and organize her phone. She wants to get rid of some apps and make everything easy to find. She hopes by doing this her phone won’t be one more object of stress and annoyance. Stay tuned!