Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bottoms up: guide for drinking more water

Bottoms up! No, not alcohol!  Water… The elixir of life.   Was that a little melodramatic? No I don’t really think so. Water is absolutely essential to our bodies. I’m not going to get into the mechanics  of why it’s essential… that’s not who I am, at least not today.  I will touch on a few things though. They say water aids in weight loss and that a good deal of the time when we think we are hungry, that we are actually thirsty. Water is  good for your complexion. Water is  good for organ function. Ok,I’m done with the mechanics of why we should drink more water.…I think it’s a given that water is healthy for us. I will however say that it is recommended that we drink a lot of water. I’ve heard that a good general amount to drink is  64 ounces a day. I’ve also heard that we should be drinking half of our weight in ounces. So if someone weighs 200 pounds they should be drinking 100 ounces of water.  But really, it doesn’t matter what method you used to come up with your daily goal of water intake, what matters is that you drink water. A lot of water.

There was a time, when I drank absolutely no water. None. Zilch. Nada.  I drank a lot of soda though. It was actually a  very difficult process to actually get myself into the habit of drinking my water in the quantity that I need. And I don’t understand it, but Pepsi and sodas seem to go down the hatch a lot quicker than water. (I believe I read somewhere about some of the chemicals in diet soda having that effect… But once again, I’m not getting into the technical side of it….it’s too mechanical for me at the moment.) So how do you do it? How do you get yourself to the point of drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day.? For me, it’s a thing of setting the goal and then simply striving for it. The biggest issue is keeping track of how much you drink. Sipping out of a glass here and there is probably not going to get you your 64 ounces of water. It’s better than nothing and you may think you are drinking a lot, but in reality you may only be drinking 8 ounces or 20 ounces. So one of the biggest things ismaking sure you’re drinking your water and building that habit is to track the water.

I’m going to give a few little tips about making water consumption easier in the beginning because it has to be palatable in order to make us drink it and I know I actually struggled with that in the beginning.  After that,  I will move into ways to track the water consumption to make sure that you really are drinking what you need to be drinking.


Drink Flaroviring
If you are new to actually drinking water…plain old water and especially switching over from straight soda it could be difficult because you’re used to the flavor. Do not despair, there are some wonderful products out there on the market to help.The flavor really does make a difference.  I still use them to flavor one or  two bottles a day just for something different to break up the monotony.

Temperature! For me, Cold water seems to go down faster and easier than warm water. For this reason I try to keep my water as cold as possible.

The bathroom!!!   I do find that when I am dehydrated or just starting out with upping my water consumption I do run to the bathroom quite a bit. After a day or two of consistent drinking the water it levels out some back to a more normal amount. Apparently this is because when you’re dehydrated and not drinking enough your body will store every little bit of water that it can. (My weight goes up when I stop drinking and become a little dehydrated for this same reason, my body goes into panic mode and holds onto every drop it can.) Once your body starts getting the water it needs it will stop conserving and holding onto that water.   At that point it begins to eliminate some of those excess stores of water…..extra trips to the bathroom…like I said, it will even out!  Another bathroom issue that I’ve been able to navigate is  going to the bathroom six times in the middle of the night. I tend to start to taper my water off toward the evening. I still do drink at night but I don’t pound the water quite so quickly. It works for me… experiment to find out what works for you. One last bathroom tip?   Actually pay attention to the color of your urine ! Seriously keep an eye on the color of your pee, if it’s really dark drink more! If it’s light/almost clear, then kudos and keep drinking!

Water first! I typically try to drink my water goal amount first before I start drinking a diet soda, juice, whatever other drink I’m around.  I found early on that if I drank my soda first then I would never want the water the rest of the day.  It started me on a slippery slope of only soda for the rest of the day.  So I set a little rule for myself that I had to drink at least 64 ounces before I switched to anything else. Over the years I’ve been able to relax that rule a little bit simply because soda is so sweet… Even the diet so I will actually begin to crave the water after drinking the soda for a little bit. I actually only only drink soda nowwhen I’m having a day where I am really struggling with exhaustion or a headache or something that makes me feel like I need the caffeine boost.  I’ve come a long long way!

How do you track Water? I have some ideas and tricks that I have used or seen used. 

Number one. A giant mug. This is probably the first thing that I did in my quest to drink my daily goal of water.

I purchased that 64 ounce mug and the first thing I did every morning was to fill it up with water and ice.  Then I would start drinking. That first mug had  water facts on it but it  also had a line that showed how many ounces of water was left in the mug at certain points.  In this way I could quickly glance at my mug see the water inside it and look at that line and see where I was in my water consumption for the day.  I always knew how much water I had drunk and how much more I had to go! This mug was so well insulated that my water would  still be cold at the end of the day, I prefer cold water so that was a huge plus. I loved that mug! I carried it with me everywhere! Family dinner?  My mug sat beside my plate!   Out to dinner? Unless it was a really nice restaurant… I carried my mug inside with me. Many days, I would have to refill that mug. Sadly, the mug met with an unfortunate end when I set it on top of the car to grab something and I drove away without retrieving the mug… The mug did not withstand the fall from the car . I bought a replacement… It was the same size but it wasn’t the same.  I bought another replacement… The Bubba mug (amazon affiliate link) and used that one for many years (I actually bought three agreement red, green and brown).Nothing ever really truly replaced the first much loved mug, but this method worked for me for many many years.
Bubba Mug

Number two. This is a method I have not tried myself, but I have seen it many times. Simply carry a gallon jug of water.

This is obviously aiming for more than 64 ounces a day, but is the same concept as the mug. Carry the what are you going to drink that day with you at all times. I have actually seen people draw  horizontal lines in permanent marker periodically on the gallon jug and they label each line with the timeline. The top line might say 8 AM the next line might say 10 in the third line might say 12. That way they have an idea of where they are in their water consumption and where they should be by a certain time of day. It sounds good to me because that’s exactly what my favorite mug did it showed me how much water I was at and where I needed to be.

Number three. Water bottles. This is been my primary method over the last year or so. But I also did it a few years ago when I worked at the deli. I carry water bottles to work. Every day in my insulated lunchbox I pack one frozen water bottle and threecold water bottles. Yes it takes up half of my lunch box but the frozen bottle is also my ice pack. I then walk out the door with my lunchbox in one hand and my one water bottle in the other hand. The water bottle in my hand is usually flavored water. Which as I said earlier is a great way to help get into the drinking of water and break up some of the monotony. I drink the flavored water during my commute to work. And then I work on the water bottles in my lunchbox at work. I can easily keep track of where I am by how many water bottles are left in my lunchbox. I typically try to drink one water bottle before my first break, one water bottle before my lunch and then at least one water bottle before I go home. Sometimes I make it to my ice water sometimes I don’t. But that’s OK because even without the ice water bottle I am already over 64 ounces. And that does not include any water and I drink at home.  (Notice that I’m still carrying all of my water with me!  This seems to be a trend for me!)

Number four. I have also tried filtered water bottles. (amazon affiliate link). Typically they are smaller, and require me to refill out of a water cooler,sink or some other tap water means while out and about. I have one of these bottles at my desk at work because it does come in handy in a pinch. I typically do not use this method very often, mainly because of the fact that the bottles that I have purchased tend to not be insulated as well as I would like the larger bottle gets warm and I prefer my water cold.

Number 5. There are some water containers that sync up with your phone with an app that helps remind you....I have not tried them...but they look cool!

Number 6.  Myfitnesspal and other trackers allow you to track the water

So there you have it!  My collection of  tips and ideas to help boost your water consumption. Water is honestly the most overlooked aspect of weight loss.  It is  also one of the most overlook aspects of health in general. It really does make a difference in everything!  I’ve said it many many times this is an individual journey and what works for me may not work forsomeone else. Find what works for you! Just like I have tried many of these ways and have to continually strive to find what works for me in each stage of my life and each stage of my weight loss journey.  The benefits are out of this world!   So come on and tilt the bottle, the mug, the jug, a glass and have a drink with me….WATER of course!


Lynn said...

Great tips. Personal trainer approved! I carry a gallon around with me at work in the summer.

MaryFran said...

Thanks! It’s something I have to think about a lot...it’s easy to slip up and stop drinking enough!

Vickie said...

Adding things to water means when you drink it, insulin production starts. It is no longer “water”. Even if there are no calories.

SANRDJ said...

I drink water all day = no idea how much but it's all day. Actually scrap that, I drink water all day monday to friday - on the weekends I do slack a bit. When I want something special, I drink sparkling water :) No juice or pop for me in over a year (unless it's tonic with my gin)!

Shelley said...

I drink a ton of water all day long and have even converted my husband to doing this...and wonder of wonders, he's feeling better and his running is going much better too! You can't go wrong with water. :)

MaryFran said...

Hmmm I’ll have to research that one! :-)

MaryFran said...

It really is the elixir of life isn’t it!

Sarah said...

I still struggle to get enough water, but I did quit soda. I can't go with the big mugs. They are just too bulky and hard to hold so for now it's 16oz bottles.

Thanks for the tips and reminder. I'll try to increase my water.

MaryFran said...

Lol. Yeah they are totally unwieldy!!!! That’s what I don’t miss!!

MaryFran said...

I typically do much more water during the weekdays also...and slack on the weekends. I’m trying to fix that though!!!

Kathy said...

I have a 32 oz Rubbermaid plastic bottle so I know if I drink that twice a day, I'm good to go!! Great tips, thanks so much!!

MaryFran said...

Way to go on having a method to make sure you get your water in!!!! Keep it up!!!