Agua. L’eau. H2O. Water.
Call it what you want, but it makes up 60% of our bodies and every single system inside of us depends on it. Not getting enough water can make you feel tired, hungry, or weak, and it’s literally escaping us all the time, so it’s of utmost importance to stay on top of our liquid intake.
There are so many different recommendations for daily water intake: we’ve heard the “eight 8-ounce glasses” rule and then there’s the one that says to drink half your weight in ounces of water a day (if you’re not doing strenuous activity.) The mayoclinic.org recommends 3 liters for men and 2.2 liters for women.
To be honest, I’m not totally sure how much you specifically need to be drinking, but I bet it’s more than you currently consume.
I became strangely obsessed with drinking water in the last year or so, especially when I was teaching and noticed I was casually drinking nearly 2.5 liters everyday, just from walking around teaching all day! It became a personal challenge, and I’ve been paying attention to my little experiment for quite some time now.
I’m going to share my findings with you AND give you my tips on drinking more water every day. That’s how passionate (nice way of disguising my obsession) about this I am.
(It’s important to note that it does take time to work up to drinking a lot of water. Your body needs to adjust, so don’t try to go from a few cups to 10 cups overnight!)
MY FINDINGS FROM EXPERIMENTING WITH WATER INTAKE
First, the biggest, most noticeable difference I observe on the days I drink a lot of water (at least 1/2 gallon aka 2.2L) is hunger. I am significantly less hungry when I’m conscious about drinking my water. That being said, if I get to the point of being genuinely hungry, I do not find that drinking water satisfies my hunger, so for me, drinking water is a preventive measure rather than a treatment ;)
Next, my skin. I won’t spend long here because I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, but drinking tons of water has cleared up my skin— and not just on my face! My shoulders and chest (areas where I sweat and that are typically covered and therefore can’t “breathe” that well) are noticeably smoother and dryer (in a good way) when I have been consistently drinking enough water.
Also: my bladder. One major downside to drinking water like a fish (except do fish really drink water?) is that I have to take bathroom breaks quite frequently. This can make it difficult for lots of people to drink those 13 cups/day because not everyone has the freedom to just take a potty break every 30 minutes, but this is why I say to ease into it! My body has adjusted majorly because it’s like “Aight guys, we’re getting a lot of this stuff! Let’s keep it together!” (At least that’s how I imagine it.) So if you’re worried about peeing your pants, start small and increase daily!
HOW TO DRINK MORE WATER
I have the silliest, simplest tip on increasing your water consumption: get a straw.
I haven’t done any technical research here, but my “field work” shows that I drink an easy 1L of water before 10am if I start at 7/8ish and use a straw. This may seem strange, but I’m going to tell you how I drink water/track my water intake, so you can try it out and see where you’re at.
I recently bought a jug that holds 1/2 gallon of water. I fill it up each night and let it chill overnight in the fridge. In the morning, I pour some of that water into a plastic cup with a straw and lid and drink that with breakfast, morning work, etc. When that’s empty, I start over, and by that time I have made great progress on emptying the jug, which is a major victory and encouragement for me! Takeaway here: get a glass with a straw! The straw makes me drink so much more water, I swear. Someone please try this and let me know I’m not alone.
The next biggest factor that helps me drink more water is Crystal Light. I like to buy the drops so that I can control the portions and also not have to go through 10 packets a day… Whatever your jam is, try flavoring your drink so that you’re not just trying to guzzle down boring, plain water all day.
Lastly: start. early. If you want to drink a lot of water, you need a lot of time. The earlier you start, the better. Don’t wait until you get to work to start drinking. Make a big glass first thing in the morning and start right when you wake up! If you’re a coffee drinker, try to drink at least one cup of water for every cup of coffee you drink. Starting your day by drinking water is not only healthy, but it’s amazing how much you can consume by lunch time if you start right when you wake up.
**I’d be remiss not to consider the water we get from fruits like melons, strawberries and lettuces, so definitely keep these in mind as you chug along, but still aim high in terms of straight water intake, just to be safe!