Five Methods:Making Drinking Water More ConvenientDrinking Unsweetened Water-Based BeveragesSubstituting Water For Sweetened Beverages and AlcoholDrinking Water Before, During, and After MealsMotivating Yourself by Playing Water Drinking GamesCommunity Q&A
Water is essential for human health; over 70% of the body consists of water, and the effects of dehydration can be life threatening. Although there is considerable disagreement among scientists as to the exact amount of water individuals should consume each day, the former “8-by-8” rule of 64 ounces per day is no longer a hard and fast rule. Replacing high-calorie sodas or alcoholic drinks with plain water can help control appetite and weight, improve sleep and energy levels, reduce the likelihood of dental cavities or tooth decay, and help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus. If you would like to increase your water intake for athletic, dietary, or health purposes, there are many safe and effective ways to do so.
Making Drinking Water More Convenient
1Understand how much water you should plan on drinking every day. The Institute of Medicine recommends an average of 3.7 liters (125 ounces) per day for healthy adult men and 2.7 liters (91 ounces) per day for healthy adult women, allowing adjustments for activity and health levels, climate and elevation, and the amount of water consumed from food and other drinks.
- Keeping in mind that 20 percent of daily water intake typically comes from food and 80 percent of water intake typically comes from a combination of plain water and other beverages, the amount of plain water you need to drink every day for optimal hydration will vary.
- Perhaps the most important factor to successfully increasing your daily water intake is making it easier for you to drink water. Try some of these suggestions to make it a cinch to up your daily consumption of water.
2Carry water with you. Having your own water supply on hand makes drinking water a no-brainer.
- Slip a reusable water bottle into your purse, gym bag, desk drawer, or car, and be sure to refill it regularly.
- Having accessible water makes you more likely to sip on water instead of soda or other drinks and can provide a visual cue to drink more water.
3Develop reminders. Try setting alarms or computer reminders that tell you to drink water once per hour, or decide on a few personal “triggers” for drinking water.
- Triggers to sip water can be routine activities such as receiving a phone call, passing a drinking fountain, stretching during work or workouts, hearing someone say your name, or watching commercial breaks during television programs.
Lobby for a watercooler in your office. If you have a watercooler or purified drinking system available to you and in close proximity throughout the work day, you may be more likely to grab a glass of water than to head to the kitchen to refill your coffee cup.
Prepare flavored water in advance. Having a large pitcher of pre-flavored or purified water in your home refrigerator makes it easy to refill your water bottle every morning or to grab a glass of water at each home meal.
Drinking Unsweetened Water-Based Beverages
1Sip on unsweetened tea. Herbal or fruit teas are essentially water with natural, non-caloric flavors.
- Try drinking unsweetened tea hot in the morning as a replacement for hot, caffeinated beverages.
- For a flavorful drink to get you through the rest of the day, try hot or iced teas in a variety of flavors, such as mint, strawberry, peach, ginseng, or lemon.
2Add lime, lemon, or other natural flavorings to your water. Slipping a slice of citrus fruit into your water can add a subtle flavor to perk up plain water, making it easier to drink more water throughout the day. Try mint leaves, cucumber slices, or berries for other flavor options to add to your water.
3Try carbonated water.
- If you normally drink soda, sparkling water can give you a calorie-free, sweetener-free, fizz-fix with all of the benefits of regular water.
- If you prefer flavored carbonated water, opt for one with no added sweeteners and only natural flavors. Otherwise, buy plain carbonated water and flavor it yourself.
Substituting Water For Sweetened Beverages and Alcohol
Understand that sweetened beverages or alcohol cannot be substituted for water. If you are a habitual soda or juice drinker, or if you routinely drink beer or wine with evening meals, consider swapping water for your typical drink of choice to increase your plain water intake. Although each of these beverages are very high in water content, you can increase your total water intake and remove the side effects of sweetened, caffeinated, and alcoholic beverages by drinking just water.
2Replace at least one drink per day with water.
- Consider a glass of water instead of a second cup of your morning vanilla lattes.
- Plan to drink a full glass of water with your lunch before opening a can of soda.
- Alternate between alcoholic drinks and water at parties, bars, or meals.
3Make water your drink of choice. Replacing soda or sports drinks with water altogether may seem like overkill, but it is the easiest way to increase the amount of regular water you drink every day.
- Instead of keeping a case of soda cans at your desk, consider lugging in a pack of bottled water, or use your new water habit as an excuse to stretch your legs a few times each day on your way to the water fountain.
4Quench your thirst with water. Studies show that when you are thirsty, water will satisfy your thirst just as well as other beverages, such as sports drinks, soft drinks, or juice.
Drinking Water Before, During, and After Meals
Make it a habit to down a quick glass around mealtimes. Drinking a glass of water — or at least a few sips — before, during, and after eating any meal is a great way to up your daily water intake.
2Sip water with each meal. Replace your typical drink during meals with water, or at least have water to drink on the side. Not only can this save you money when you eat out, but it can also cut the calories you consume by drinking and make you less likely to consume additional calories from food.
3Follow up each meal with a small glass of water. Drinking water during and after each meal can help you feel full longer after eating and aid in the digestion of your food.
Motivating Yourself by Playing Water Drinking Games
1Play Water Pong. Water drinking games can help you drink more water. Just remember not to drink too much water, since that can be fatal. Water pong is similar to Beer Pong, just with water. If you commit to playing it once a week, you’ll manage to increase your water intake considerably by month’s end. If you want an added incentive to win at this game, decide on a prize before you start playing. You’ll need a large stable table with a durable flat (and waterproof) surface, 20 cups, and 2 ping pong balls. Here’s how to play:
- Clear everything off your table.
- Fill each cup with 4 oz. of water. Make sure all the cups are equally filled.
- Arrange 10 cups at each end of your table. You’ll want to position the two groups of cups as far away from each other as possible, so if your table is rectangular, set them up at the long ends of the table.
- Align 4 cups in a row at the edge of the short end of the table.
- Line up 3 more cups in a row in front of the line of 4.
- Place 2 more cups in a row right in front of the row of 3 cups.
- Place a final cup in front of the row of 2 cups. You’ll notice that you just formed a flat pyramid out of the 10 cups.
- Arrange the remaining 10 cups at the opposite end of the table in the same pattern. Both peaks of the pyramids should be facing in, pointing in toward the center of the table.
- Take turns trying to throw your ball into one of your cups at the opposite end of the table. When you get a ball into a cup, you get to drink the water in that cup. The person who finishes all their cups of water first, wins!
2Play Water Bank. This is a great game for a family to enjoy together, but you can also play it with your roommates if you live with other people. Not only do you motivate yourself to drink more water while playing this game, but the winner also gets a cash prize at the end! You’ll need a piggy bank, a jar or a decorative bowl to hold the money you collect, and a notepad or a mobile phone to log your water intake each day. Here’s how to play:
- Determine how long you will be playing the game. An easy time-frame to remember is the first to the last day of the month.
- Decide how much each glass of water is worth. Since you’ll be contributing that amount of money to the piggy bank (or collection jar or bowl), make sure it’s an amount that everyone playing can afford.
- Every time you drink a full 8 oz. glass of water, make a note of it. You can keep a simple tally in a notebook you carry around with you, keep track on your mobile phone, or create a log on your computer. Make sure that you play this game with people who you trust won’t cheat!
- At the end of each day or week, deposit the value of water you drank into your communal bank.
- When the game ends, count who contributed the most money to the bank. That person not only earned all the money, but they also drank the most water that month! If there’s a tie, split the bounty.
3Get a Water Card. A water card is just like a coffee card–you get a stamp each time you drink a full 8 oz. glass of water. Once you fill up your card with stamps, you get a prize. You’ll need to make yourself a card and either have a pen on hand to cross off your boxes, stickers, or a stamp. Here’s how to play:
- Create a table in a word processing program. Draw a 9 x 8 grid, label the top row 1 to 8 and the first column with the days of the week.
- Copy the table 3 times on the page so that when you print it out, you’ll have three cards on each sheet.
- Cut the cards out and put one in your wallet for the upcoming week.
- Each time you finish drinking an 8 oz. glass of water, mark it off on your card.
- Each day or week that you manage to fill your card with marks, give yourself a reward. Rewards can be anything from a chocolate at the end of the day, your favorite scone with your next cup of coffee, or even a new book or movie rental at week’s end.
4Have a Charity Water Drive. Drink water to help a local charity. Pool together with your co-workers to see how much water you can drink in a month. The number of glasses you drink represents the amount of money you donate to your favorite charity. You’ll need a white board or a flip chart to log your office’s water consumption, and a jar or large envelope in which to store donations. Here’s how to play:
- Send out an email inviting people to participate in the Charity Water Drive. Ask them to respond with their top three favorite charities, and the amount they would be willing to contribute per glass of water. The amount can range from a few cents to a few dollars.
- Determine the length of time that the drive will last and when it will start. Your charity water drive can last a week, or even as long as a month. It all depends on how determined you are as a team to raise money for your chosen charity.
- Create a grid on your whiteboard or flip chart to track your progress. List the names of everyone participating, and leave a place next to everyone’s name where they can tick off their water consumption each day.
- Mark off your progress at the end of each day to help you determine when you’ve reached your goal. You can color in the inside of a drawing of a thermometer and celebrate once you’ve filled it all in.
- Make your donation at the end of your charity drive.
Why does drinking a lot of water make me feel like vomiting and causes me to feel bloated?
This is because you are likely putting too much water at once into your body. Normally your stomach muscle is relaxed, but a lot of food or water being consumed in a short time causes it to have to stretch, resulting in bloating. If the volume of water you are drinking makes you feel like vomiting, it is because your body knows that too much water is coming in and wants to get it out early, as excess water can weaken muscles and nerves. The first place water is absorbed into your body is the stomach, so that’s why it can be sensitive to too much water being ingested.
Can you drink water any time?
Generally it isn’t bad to drink water at any time. Before bed, drinking water may be less optimal, and you shouldn’t drink too much water, but basically, if you are thirsty or you feel like you haven’t had enough water, there is no bad time to drink it.
What can happen if you drink too much water?
If you have headaches or naseau while drinking, stop. Overdrinking water can actually be fatal, but it takes gallons of water. Still, if you feel sick or bad, stop drinking immediately and have something salty.
Is drinking water after a meal harmful?
No, and in fact, you need the most water when digesting food, as it takes water to break food down. It will not cause problems by diluting stomach acid, your stomach deals with this in various ways.
Is it okay to drink warm water regularly?
Absolutely. The difference is tiny, but if anything this is slightly easier on your body than drinking ice water, since your body doesn’t have to provide as much extra energy to bring the water up to your body temperature. Under ordinary circumstances, drinking warm water is completely fine.
Will I get fat if I drink water during a meal?
No! Water isn’t fattening, it’s very healthy. In fact, water is often used for weight loss! Be sure to ratio your water intake with how much you sweat, that way you don’t drink too much!
What can I do if I don’t like the taste of water?
You can add sliced fruit and vegetables to improve the taste. Popular choices include citrus fruit (ie: lemon, lime, or orange) strawberries, cucumbers, or mint. The longer you leave the fruit or vegetables in, the more flavorful the water will become! Avoid leaving them in for more than a day, however.
if we drink water between meals, isn’t that harmful for us and make us fat?
No, absolutely not. In fact, it can help you manage your weight to be more healthy.
I try to drink more water, but sometimes it’s just hard for me to drink large amounts of water—should I take small amounts of water?
You generally shouldn’t drink large amounts of water in a short amount of time, and instead drink your daily required amount in increments over the course of your day. At meals and after waking up, it is generally a good idea to drink at least a cup of water, but even this can be spread out over the course of your morning/meal. If you feel bloated after hydrating, you might be over-doing it.
Why is water important?
All the cells in your body need water to carry out basic processes. Without water, your cells can’t function.
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|Drinking water is very important to your health for losing fat and keeping your energy up. It helps promote good sleep and great looking skin; therefore, it makes you more attractive.|
- Adequate hydration allows your body to remove waste, circulate blood and nutrients, support cellular health and biochemical processes, promote proper organ function, and maintain energy levels, among other essential bodily activities.
- You may need to increase your daily water intake during hot weather, time spent at high altitudes, or during periods of physical exertion.
- Try drinking a glass of water at every meal. And one in between, then you can be sure you are getting enough hydration.
- Drink a little water every morning before you brush your teeth for a refreshing start to your day.
- Drinking water flushes out your kidneys, helping decrease the risk of developing infections or other diseases.
- Be aware that you can die from water intoxication which is caused by drinking too much water.
- Buy a flask or a keep a jug with the amount of water you want to drink, and make sure that you drank it all at the end of the day.
- Most people consume enough water in response to their thirst and through their daily routines. If your urine is clear or light yellow you are likely consuming enough water.
- Before you go to bed each night, put in the refrigerator the number of water bottles you would like to drink the next day. They’ll be cold and waiting for you when you wake up.
- Remember that food sources and water-based drinks can provide significant amounts of your necessary daily water intake. Foods such as watermelon, oranges, and tomatoes are up to 90% water, and soups, coffee, and juice count toward your daily water needs as well.
- Try to keep track on how much you have drunk throughout the day.
- One way to calculate how much water you should drink per day is to take your weight in pounds, divide that by two, and drink that much water in fluid ounces.
- Remember that water benefits lots of things. It helps moisturize lips, keeps from infections, etc.
- While drinking water, to increase the amount drastically, take mouthful of sips and make sure you drink a glass of water in at least 6 or more sips.
- You should drink water every hour and day. You could also drink some other healthy stuff like milk or juice that doesn’t contain sugar.
- Make sure you don’t leave drinking water in the car unless it is in a container made of glass or BPA-free plastic. Liquids stored in plastic containers containing BPA have been claimed in numerous studies to be carcinogenic. Many countries, including the U.S., have banned the presence of BPA in baby bottles, but not for general use by older children and adults.
- In some countries, tap water is dangerous and can cause illness. When in doubt, opt for purified or bottled water sources.
- Increasing your water or fluid intake in the late evening may cause you to have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. To avoid this, you may want to limit your beverage intake after dinner.
- Do not attempt to regularly replace food with water as a weight-loss technique. Water is not intended to replace food in your diet, as you need the nutrients from solid foods to survive.
- Drink only when you’re thirsty. Your body is its own doctor and will tell you how much water you need. In fact, you’re much healthier drinking when you’re only thirsty then drinking 8 glasses of water per day! Forcing yourself to drink 8 glasses of water per day gives you nothing but a big fat risk of over-hydrating, which is more dangerous than dehydration.
- Drinking too much water is rare but can cause hyponatremia, an electrolyte imbalance, which can have serious negative health consequences, including death. By letting your thirst be your guide, consuming water from a variety of food and beverage sources, and following the recommendations of a health professional for health conditions or intense physical activity, you can avoid drinking too much water.
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