You probably need to drink more water…
…Especially now that most of us are heading into warmer spring and summer months, hydration is something we have to keep top of mind.
So, after two SOLID weekend days of sunny and 75-degree weather here in Vermont, I’ve decided that this week I’m doin’ a little throwback Monday and coming back to a post originally published on January 5th.
Added bonus? Through this process, I’m learning a lot about the “do’s and don’ts” of reposting an old blog article (ex: edit your old article with an updated intro vs. writing a brand new post and linking to your old one) that I can eventually share with you in the “BLOGGING” section of the HTYMP Blog.
But, in true HTYMP fashion, I’m going to “break” one of the rules I’ve learned through my reposing research that tells me to get rid of my old intro.
Here is the thing – I really loved the intro the OG “11 Easy Ways to Drink More Water” article. Partially because of the Harry Potteresque table I was sitting at when I wrote it, partially because I wish I could go back to Ann Arbor to visit my sister right this second and partially because the old intro makes it abundantly clear that hydration is important no matter the season.
But, I’ve made sure to throw a header on there to make it abundantly clear that THIS is the new intro and the “intro” below is the OLD one!
OLD Drink More Water Intro:
I’m currently sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Ann Arbor, Michigan called The Graduate.
If you’re ever in the area – 10/10 recommend. The dark, mahogany table in the lobby is reminiscent of a house table in the Hogwarts Library. I kid you not, it runs the entire length of the lobby and fits 20 big leather chairs on each side; I counted.
So, naturally, it was the first thing I noticed when we checked in on Friday and I’ve been itching to get back down here. It makes me want to cuddle up with a cup of tea (although, Madam Pince likely wouldn’t approve of drinking in the library), think profound thoughts and read and write all day long.
Have you ever found a place like that? Somewhere that kicks you into creativity/work mode just by the mood it evokes? Since this table does JUST that for me, I figured it was the perfect place to bunker down and write this week’s post.
Since hydration is TOP OF MIND for me as I finish up a weekend of travel and get back to the habits that make me feel my best post-holiday,
I figured it would be the perfect thing to chat about this week.
Why is Hydration Important?
Around 45-60% of your body is made up of water depending on your gender, body composition and age. Water plays a role in nutrient circulation and absorption, cellular signaling, performance, energy, hunger management, workout recovery and more. I mean, if it makes up more than HALF of your body weight, it has to be important, right?
Symptoms of Dehydration
This is why it is so important to learn to recognize when you may need to drink a bit more water throughout your day.
- Dry skin, lips and/or eyes
- Muscle soreness and weakness
- Increased body temp/heart rate
- Darker colored urine
When things get more serious, you may also experience vomiting, muscle spasms and even loss of consciousness.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
The amount of hydration that is right for you depends on your training frequency, body weight, salt intake and even where you live. If you live in a warmer climate and/or at a higher altitude you likely need more water than those of us freezing our butts off up north and at lower altitudes.
Generally, I recommend an ounce of water per pound of body weight for most of my athletes but you’ll need to do some experimentation to figure out what works best for you. A great way to keep an eye on hydration is to pay attention to what your pee is lookin’ like. If it is a light, pale yellow, you’re likely well hydrated without being OVER hydrated (which comes along with its own host of issues). If your pee is bright yellow, you may need to sip a bit more frequently.
How to Drink More Water
1. Win your morning.
You’re more likely to remember to drink water if it is the first thing you prioritize. Drink 8oz of water when you wake up before grabbing your coffee. Then, get in at least 8oz with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will knock out 32+ oz.
2. Buy a water bottle you LOVE.
What size? It depends on your personality type. Either:
~ Get a BIG water bottle (32+ oz) if you’re less likely to finish it if you have to refill it (this is me! Again – Hydration LAZY!).
~ Get a smaller water bottle (12-24oz) if finishing a bottle makes you feel accomplished and motivated to keep it up.
3. Keep your bottle right next to you.
Nope, not on the coffee table where you put your feet up – put it within arms reach. You’re more likely to drink if you don’t have to move AT ALL to (literally) get your hands on it.
4. Make it interesting.
If you find water boring try adding lemon/lime slices, cucumber, mint etc. Seltzers and tea can also be considered hydration. I choose not to include coffee to keep myself from overdoing the caffeine.
5. Eliminate (literal) barriers to entry…
…like a screw top. Buy a top with a straw that you can flip into place. If you don’t have to work hard to get to it, you’ll be more likely to keep sippin’.
6. Keep extra water bottles in the places you spend the most time.
Think: office, car, gym, break room at work, etc. This way, you’ll always have one handy.
7. Do the math and track it.
Figure out how many water bottles you have to drink each day to reach your water goal (ex: 135 lb female /32 oz water bottle = Just about 4.2 bottles/day). Stick a fresh piece of masking tape on your water bottle and cross em’ off as you go. Or, you can hold yourself accountable by printing this FREE Weekly Hydration Tracker.
8. Set a reminder.
9. Eat foods higher in water.
Celery, peppers, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini, melon, and berries are some examples.
10. Double-check your “hunger.”
If you know your body has had enough fuel but you’re still craving “something else”, you likely just need to hydrate. Try hanging a visual reminder (picture of a waterfall? Sticky note that says “ARE YOU THIRSTY?”) right on your fridge.
Knowing why water is SO important can be a great way to stay motivated to crush your hydration target. This way, you can think to yourself “I need to hydrate so I feel great in my workout tonight” or “water will keep me feeling full so I don’t overdo the junk food”. Lucky for you – you’re here reading this so you’ve already nailed this one.
Something you likely noticed RIGHT off the bat is that you can HACK your hydration laziness. Don’t underestimate it – I’m hydration lazy, too! The key to creating hydration habits is to make them AS easy as possible to remember and carry out. So, what comes next?
TODAY: Get your hands on a water bottle you love and download the FREE HTYMP Weekly Hydration Tracker.
THIS WEEK: Try picking 1-2 of these hydration hacks and give em a shot. I recommend printing the HTYMP Hydration Tracking PDF and carrying it with you this week with your (potentially brand new) water bottle.
Let me know in the comments below what is working for you or if there are any hydration habits that are already doing each day that keeps you feeling strong and healthy.