hydration

Five Easy Ways to Drink More Water Throughout the Day

Drink More Water

We all know we need water to be healthy; however, remembering to drink it isn't always easy.  How you drink water can be just as important as how much water you drink, so gradually drinking water throughout the day is important too, especially as the temperatures start to rise.

Below are VarCity’s top 5 ways to drink water consistently throughout the day.

1.  Get a bigger bottle.  I used to keep a little 12-ounce bottle of water on my desk, and I would drink it all, but then I would never get around to refilling it. Now, I keep a large 1 liter bottle on my desk with a goal to drink all of it by the time the work day is over. I like it because it's a little goal I can set each day and easily see my progress as the hours go by.

2.  Set an alarm.  If you get so focused that you forget that bottle is on your desk, you may want to try setting an alarm on your phone or computer to go off every couple of hours or so to remind you to take a few swigs of water. I like to use this time to stand up and stretch, too!

3.  Drink a glass before each meal.  If it's just not convenient for you to drink water throughout the day, try setting a goal to drink at least one cup of water before each meal.  Not only does this help you to stay hydrated, studies show that drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you feel full faster!

4.  Track what you drink.  A small glass here and there in your busy day may have you unsure about how much water you consumed at the end of the day. So try tracking your fluid intake just like you would when you record meals and snacks in a food journal.

5.  Don’t live on water alone.  You can meet up to 20% of your daily fluid needs by consuming fluid-rich foods such as fruits and veggies, which are 80-90% water!

And remember, if you are working out regularly, especially in the heat, you will need more fluids.  For every pound lost during a workout (due to sweating), consume an additional 16 ounces of fluid. 

Water: How to Drink for Optimal Hydration - Part 2 of 2

Hydration Water Optimal Schedule

In our last installment on VarCity’s ideal way to hydrate, we give you a suggested daily water drinking schedule.  If you missed our earlier hydration related posts, make sure you read the Benefits of Drinking Water and Part 1 of Water: How to Drink for Optimal Hydration.    

Daily Water Target

• Wake up:  Immediately drink two warm glasses of water (this will help your body get rid of the previous day’s toxins)

• Breakfast:  Sip (don’t chug!) water with breakfast as needed

• Between breakfast and lunch:  Sip at least 1 glass of water

• 30-45 minutes before lunch:  Sip 1 glass of water over 15 minutes

• Lunch: Sip water with lunch as needed

• Between lunch and dinner:  Drink at least 1 glass of water

• 30-45 minutes before dinner:  Sip 1 glass of water over 15 minutes

• Dinner: Sip water with dinner as needed

• Between dinner and bedtime:  Drink the remaining water as needed to hit your daily goal.  Drinking faster than you otherwise would is ok (just note that you might wake up in the night to go to the bathroom).

• And note that closer to meals, it’s important to sit down when you drink water.  You eat sitting down to focus your body on digesting food.  Give your body the same peace when you sip water.

Water: How to Drink for Optimal Hydration -- Part 1 of 2

Water hydrate drink optimum

We know, we know.  We all should be drinking more water.  Our own Caroline V has already laid out the benefits in her earlier blog post The Benefits of Drinking Water.  And while proper hydration is absolutely the key to feeling and looking better, how we drink water is almost as important as how much water we drink.  Below are VarCity’s top 3 tips to help your body absorb more water throughout the day.   

1.  Wake up and Flush Your System  

Your body worked all night to package up yesterday’s waste. This is why you often have to use the bathroom first thing in the morning.  To make sure the body is clean, flush your body with warm water immediately after waking up.  Don’t wait until 15, 20 or 30 minutes after waking up, because then you’d just be holding on to waste.  Some of this morning’s water might not be absorbed, but the point of drinking so much water at once is to stimulate the body to flush out the toxins from the day before.

2.  AIm to Drink Half of Your Body Weight In Ounces Each Day

A good general rule is to aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day.  For example, if you weigh 100lbs, shoot for 50 ounces of water per day.  And remember this is only a baseline suggestion, if you’re outside a lot or are doing a lot of exercise definitely drink more water until your thirst is quenched.    

3. Drink Water Slowly - Especially During Meals

When I first started drinking more water, I’d chug water during the day because I was worried about falling short of my 3-liters-a-day goal.  Little did I know that I was never absorbing the water that I chugged.

Instead sip your water and if you fall slightly short of your goal over the course of a day than chug like a frat dude.  Most importantly, don’t chug water with meals because you are killing the digestive process that’s breaking down your food.  Based on the same principle, you also don’t want to chug water right after a meal. Instead, 30 minutes before a meal, drink a glass of water. This hydrates the stomach’s buffering lining so it’s able to produce the sufficient stomach acid you need to digest difficult foods (dairy, eggs, nuts, etc).  And note that there's a fine balance.  Don’t drink a whole glass of water right before a meal or you might actually dilute your stomach acids.

Try following these guidelines for a week, we promise you’ll notice a difference!