Increasing your hydration levels when you’re searching to make changes in your health is one of the most obvious changes you can make off the beginning. As human beings, we grossly overestimate how much water we are actually consuming in a day when it’s not being tracked. The hard thing about this habit is that it can be hard to get started and stay consistent with it. This becomes even more difficult for those of us in the northern hemisphere as winter approaches and the environment gets colder — water just isn’t something we want to be drinking.
Fortunately, there are a few things we can do to make this process easier. So let’s talk about why it’s important, and how we can be successful with increasing our water intake.
Why Hydration Is Important
It’s basic knowledge that your body is primarily made up of water. And most physiological processes that happen in the body begin with a molecule of H20. The amount of water that you intake is directly related to your blood volume level, so when you have less liquid in your body, it becomes harder for your body to circulate the blood. This means that nutrients and oxygen aren’t being delivered to the rest of your body as efficiently.
Did you also know that your body uses water as a means of regulating the temperature of itself? This means that it looks after your core temperature level, your breathing rate, your heart rate, and it manages to look after your organs and keep them in healthy shape too. This also plays impact on the lubrication of our joints, and removing waste to prevent infections.
Water is incredibly important for many different health related reasons, not just because we know “we need to drink more water.” Truly understanding why it’s important may help you be more successful with it.
What Are Some Of The Benefits?
We encourage increasing your water intake because there are many positive side-effects that an increased hydration level can elicit. If you are feeling low on energy, increasing your water can have a dramatic effect on this. It can also improve your cognitive function and help you feel less foggy, or help clear a headache. It can improve your performance, and also improve your recovery. It can make your skin smoother and softer, and help to clear up some blemishes you might be experiencing.
From a health perspective, it helps aid in proper digestion, which means it can boost immunity, relieve constipation, and help with preventing kidney stones or other kidney complications.
Tips For Drinking More Water
You understand why it’s important now, so let’s talk about how to be successful with the new habit you’re going to work on creating.
First Thing In The Morning
Consume a glass of water first thing in the morning upon waking. Consider that you’ve just slept for 6-8 hours, your body is in a fasted state, and you haven’t had anything to drink for those 6-8 hours. Your body is dehydrated just upon waking, so it’s important to replenish that. And, it starts your water consumption goal off to a great start!
Tag It Onto Another Habit
The easiest way to learn a new habit is to tag it onto a good habit that you’re already doing. If you struggle to drink at work, tag this onto something you might do routinely at work. This might mean as you bring a new client into your office, you drink 1/4 of your bottle before they arrive in your office, and another 1/4 after they leave. You can try having a glass of water with every major meal that you eat, since eating is something you are already doing anyways. Each time you enter the house, or each time you get a snack for the kids. Try to associate it with something that you are already doing in your day, and this will become a learned behaviour too.
Our favourite suggestion to our clients is to tag it onto a cup of coffee or a cup of tea. Before and after each cup of coffee, you must drink 1 glass of water. Essentially “earning” your cup of coffee. If you’re a heavy coffee drinker in your day, you might actually find that this will help you decrease your caffeine intake too, as you’ll be less likely to reach for another cup of coffee since you’ll be full on liquids already!
Don’t expect this to come easy; Learning a new habit is always difficult and takes time. But most importantly it takes reps – so keep at it, and eventually over time, it will become a learned behaviour too!
This goes without saying that this might be the obvious and most common solution to helping yourself get more water in. Again, this ties in with trying to learn a new behaviour. There is nothing wrong with setting alarms or plastering your computer with sticky notes so that you don’t forget. The point is that you are trying to establish this new behaviour, and sometimes we need to be reminded – over and over again. This is not a negative thing. This is a learning process!
Reps and Reps
Water intake is so largely addressed because of it’s importance to the body. Many physiological processes that happen within your body rely on molecules of H20 to perform to their necessary standards. When we become dehydrated, we compromise many of those processes.
So if you’re feeling tired, lethargic, foggy, sluggish – good chance that if you slug back some water, you’re going to start to feel better shortly thereafter.
Most importantly, to establish this habit as something that is important to you and permanent, it requires reps and reps. You need to stick to the effort of learning the habit in order for it to become a permanent thing within your day to day. Don’t give up too soon. Keep at it!
If you need more tips and tricks for helping increase your water, or you’d like to look other factors that are affecting your energy levels or health – book your FREE Nutrition Intro here.