As I mentioned last week one of my goals for the new year is to increase my water intake and stay hydrated. There are several reasons why I wish to increase my water consumption.
I used to only drink water when I felt any signs of dehydration (mostly headaches). I know now that it is important to keep yourself properly hydrated even before any signs of dehydration begin to appear. I used to very easily go through my entire day and realize that I hadn’t had a single sip of water all day.
Why is water so important? Water is essential for a variety of processes that are responsible for keeping us healthy. Fortunately for us here at U of T there are H2O stations spread out across campus, making staying hydrated way easier. Staying hydrated influences the body to run more effectively while increasing the levels of alertness and concentration.
Some of my tips for staying hydrated:
- Keep a water bottle with you at all times.
- Make it a habit to drink as much water as possible right after waking up.
- Stay motivated.
Personally, my biggest struggle is staying motivated. It has only been a little over a month since I’ve started this new habit. I use an app called “WaterMinder.” When I first downloaded the app it asked a few questions like weight, height, gender etc. and gave me a daily water intake goal. The app allows me to log all the water I drink throughout the day and there is also an option for teas, coffees, and energy drinks. My favorite aspect of the app is that it sends me notifications with my daily progress, I like to think of it as a competition (with myself) where I need to reach the goal every single day. By doing this I don’t forget to drink water and I motivate myself to drink as much water as possible.
Sometimes the taste of water can be boring especially when you are drinking more than 9 cups a day, I like adding lemon slices in my water to make it taste different. When the weather is hot, I know instantly when my body is dehydrated. I can feel myself getting dehydrated, and so drinking water is my natural response. However, during the winter this becomes much harder for me to do. As the weather becomes colder it becomes very easy to forget that we need water. I find that actually creating a “hydration habit” helps by building a flexible plan to reach certain goals.