Water is so important for our bodies, especially if we’re trying to maintain an active lifestyle. I’m sure we’ve all felt the effects of having too little water in our systems. Sometimes we can feel parched, have headaches, constipation, dry skin, feel dizzy, fatigued, or even bloated. But for whatever reason, getting ourselves to drink more water is a huge chore.
Why is it so hard to drink more water?
Bottom line: it is hard to drink more water because we need A TON of water daily and other things taste better. It takes a lot of effort to drink more water. Not only do you have to be aware and constantly sipping water, but you have to go to the bathroom quite a bit as a result.
How much water should I drink?
It just depends. Some people will say to aim for a gallon. I’ve been told 1 ounce per pound that you weigh and then add 8 ounces if you work out. I’ve also heard to drink 2/3 your body weight in ounces. So the exact number isn’t always clear.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggests an intake of 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women (source). To put that into perspective, 1 gallon is approximately 3.78 liters. So that would have men at about a gallon a day and women drinking a little less. Granted, this is for the average healthy adult, so your needs may be different based on your activity level, etc.
Tips to drink more water:
Drink through a straw. Some people like to mark up a gallon bottle with the times they like to drink X amount of water, I personally love drinking through a straw. Since switching to a cup with a straw, I have noticed that I speed though my water intake without even realizing it! I use this Healthy Human one. It’s 32 ounces, so I fill it 4 times a day.
Drink for a specific bottle or cup. It is so hard to keep track when you drink out of all different sized cups. I stick with the same large, 32 ounce cup for all my water intake so that it is easy to measure. I fill it with water 4 times daily to get my water in.
Start slow. Your first goal should not be to drink a full gallon of water if you haven’t even come close to that in the past. Start slow with a goal of a half gallon, then after you hit that with ease up it to 3/4 gallon, gradually getting to a full gallon after about a week.
Infuse your water. Popular infusions include lemon, cucumber, lime, grapefruit, strawberries, etc. Get creative! Infusing your water is great for people who can’t get past the plainness of just water alone. They make some pretty cool Fruit Infuser Bottles to make this even easier for you!
Track it. There are apps specifically for tracking water intake or you can also track it on MyFitnessPal along with your food intake to help keep yourself accountable.
Limit other drinks. It is hard to drink water when you filled your stomach with soda. There just isn’t as much room in there until you go to the bathroom. Limiting other drinks will help you drink more water. Plus, the point of drinking more water is to keep you hydrated, soda dehydrates you…
Drinking more water is an adjustment. It can be hard in the beginning, but it is well worth it. You will find yourself less bloated, less constipated, less headache-y, less tired and surprisingly wanting to drink even more water.