Before you go on with this blog post, do a quick mental tally of how many times you’ve had water today. Then do a tally of how many times you’ve had non-water (coffee, tea, juice, soda, alcohol) today. Which number is higher?
It’s difficult for a lot of people to have the “perfect” water intake. Caffeine, alcohol, and sugary drinks are everywhere, all the time, and can be hard to resist. There are coffee shops and gas station Big Gulps on every corner, and there are soda machines in almost every break room and public building in the country. You know what’s hard to find sometimes? Water fountains. I know people that go entire days without any water consumption at all.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a perfect, water-only drinker. I drink tea, alcohol, and have the occasional soft drink. I don’t tell myself that I should only drink water all day, every day… But I do know that my water intake should be significantly higher than my non-water intake… every day.
Here are a few behaviors I try to practice that make that happen:
Practice 1: Water is BAE
(Before Anything Else)
Drink one glass of water before you have any other type of beverage in the morning.
It’s so easy to have milk or orange juice with breakfast, coffee or tea on the way to work, or a sugary drink to “get you going,” but if you haven’t had any water, you could be setting yourself up for some slight dehydration for the day. Before you drink any non-water beverages, make sure you at least start your day with a glass of water.
Practice 2: Water in between the non-water drinks.
Once you’ve had a non-water beverage, drink a glass of water before you have another non-water beverage.
If you pepper in water between your non-water drinks, you’ll likely drink less dehydrating things throughout the day, just because your bladder will be full and your body will feel more hydrated. This will maybe cut down your cravings for other types of drinks.
Practice 3: Limit the non-water beverages per day, during the week.
During the week, I allow 2 non-water drinks during the day, usually a cup of tea in the morning and either orange juice later in the day or a beer at night. Limiting myself to only two non-water drinks during the day keeps me in check. If I’ve had two cups of tea in the morning, I stick with water throughout the rest of the day. If I know I want to go out to dinner and have a couple cocktails, I’m going to stay water-only all day until I go out.
Do I go more than 3? Yes, sometimes. And usually it’s on the weekend. I’m not a die-hard with this rule, but it does make me at least THINK about how much non-water I’m drinking each day. One thing I don’t do is let my non-water intake outdo my water intake.
Incorporating This Ish…
I’m not telling everybody to DO all these practices, every day, without breaking from it (I mean… it would be really cool if you did). I’m am saying that if you think about doing one of these every day this week, it’ll be a good start in getting more water into your body throughout your day.
So pick one. Do it tomorrow. See if you can do it again the next day. When you’ve been able to do it consistently, see if you can add in another practice.
Confused about how much water you should be getting?
Don’t worry about it. There are so many old-school rules out there and conflicting evidence. It’s hard to not get confused about what you should be getting. In my opinion, don’t stress out and over think it if you’re not a professional, high-level, competitive athlete. Most of us can get by on the basics: drink when you’re thirsty. I like this article the best when it comes to new school hydration findings.
WHY should you have more water?
Google it. There are a thousand articles on the benefits of better hydration. Basically though, it’s better for your skin, your organs, your muscles, your blood, your energy, and your brain. Go get ’em, tiger!