Drink More Water

Whenever I read an article about healthy eating tips, somewhere in the top five is “drink more water.” It is always there, without fail. I never quite understood why until I started doing it myself and found that I felt so much better, had fewer cravings, and was more awake. It almost feels like it flushes out my whole system! The problem is that at some point I would always go back to my old ways—it’s hard to turn something into a habit. As a runner, and a long distance runner at that, hydration is very important for me so I recently took it upon myself to make drinking more water a habit. Here’s how you can do it too:
What really helped me was buying a larger water bottle. Since I started rowing in high school, I have been one of those people who always has a reusable water bottle laying around somewhere, so if you aren’t then that is your first step. Go get one, and actually use it. But don’t just get one of those small, .75 L bottles or you will have to refill it a lot. You could start with that if you are only drinking a glass or two of water each day, but if you already think you drink a decent amount then opt for a larger bottle. That way, you’ll be pushing yourself to finish a 32 oz bottle instead of a 25 oz bottle. And, you won’t have to refill it as often.
Next, you need to figure out how much water you actually need per day. It depends a lot on weight, but activity level is also important. This is a level you need to keep in mind so that you don’t drink too much water—yes, that is actually possible. Just as drinking too little water is a problem, so is drinking too much. The term for this is ‘overhydration.’ Although rare (it typically results from drinking too much water in one sitting, or working out a lot and not replenishing your electrolytes and sodium levels), it is possible. So how much water do you actually need? About half your body weight in ounces. If you weight 130 lbs, then you need about 65 oz of water a day. If you exercise, then add a little more. I shoot for finishing about two 32oz bottles of water a day, even when exercising, because I also get a lot of water from my diet—fresh fruit and vegetables contain water.
Try to get in a glass around the time you wake up, and one before each meal. It helps you wake up, and helps to satiate you so you don’t gorge yourself on food when you eat. This is why articles tout water as a way to help you lose weight—it fills you up with zero calories so you’ll naturally eat less at each meal. Sip the rest of your required ounces throughout the rest of the day.

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