Drink more water: it’s a phrase we’ve all heard at some point, whether it’s from your doctor or from a concerned acquaintance. Hydration has tons of benefits, from improving your skin’s appearance to making your digestion more efficient. Plus, we need water to survive! But drinking tons of water can be difficult to sustain, and can feel pointless at times. Here are some tips to make your journey to hydration a bit easier.
Drink Before You’re Thirsty
Experts say that once you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Most people wait too long before chugging some water when the more efficient way to hydrate is to sip constantly throughout the day. Get a water bottle that’s easy to carry around and ensure it’s close at hand wherever you are, whether that’s in the car, at your desk, or in bed at night. A great way to start your day is by having a glass of water before your tea or coffee so that you’re already ahead of the game.
Spice Up Your Beverage
There’s no rule that says you have to drink plain or still water for it to “count”, so if you find it too dull to be appealing, try spicing your water up. You can buy flavor drops, infuse your water with fruit or herbs, or you could go so far as to buy a sparkling water maker to get the restaurant effect. There are also other hydrating beverages that aren’t plain water, such as coconut water or sports drinks, that you could use to supplement your hydration. Just be aware of added sugars or caffeine that could impact your body in other ways.
Eat Hydrating Foods
There is a surprising amount of water content in some fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and cucumber. By consuming more of these throughout the day, you’ll not only get some valuable fiber but some additional hydration as well. A good way to tell if a fruit or vegetable has high water content is by considering how “juicy” it is. The juicier the food, the higher the water content.
If you exercise often and chug loads of water, but never really feel sated, chances are you’re deficient in salt. When you sweat, some of your body’s salt content is sweated out and needs to be replaced. Sports drinks often have some salt content to address this issue, but you can easily add the salt back to your body by eating a high-salt-content food (such as pretzels or pickles) shortly before or after a workout. You can also make your own electrolyte drink if sugar content is a concern for you. Check with your doctor first to ensure that an increase in sodium won’t negatively impact your health.
Drink While You Eat
Many people are in the habit of having soda or an alcoholic beverage with meals, which can have a dehydrating effect and can mess with digestion. Try replacing your usual drink with a glass of water (or water equivalent) and having a few sips between bites of your meal. Once you start this habit, it’ll become second nature to have any food with some water alongside it.
Bookend Your Day With Water
Just like you should be starting your day with hydration, you should be ending it that way, as well. To avoid having to get up in the night to use the bathroom, don’t chug water before bed, but have a few sips while you wind down for the night. A cup of herbal tea can serve this purpose. If you often wake up feeling dry-mouthed and groggy, hydrating before bed might make a huge difference in how you feel in the morning. Improving hydration in these simple ways might not seem like it’ll make much of an impact, but you’ll be surprised. Eventually, you’ll be that glowy-skinned, energized person preaching the benefits of hydration to friends and family.