How to Drink More Water (Even When You're Not Thirsty)
As humans, our bodies need water in order to perform the most basic functions: transporting nutrients, flushing out waste, and allowing our muscles, organs, and bones to function properly. According to the H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, via the USGS, the brain and heart are approximately 73% water, while the lungs are 83% water. The skin- the largest organ in the body- contains 64% water, with the muscles and kidneys containing around 79% water, and the bones about 31% (USGS).
Like a lot of people, I always assumed I was drinking enough water. I didn’t measure it, but since it’s pretty much all I drink, I just figured I was good. (Spoilerrr: I wasn’t.) Recently, my boyfriend and I randomly decided to do a water challenge. It started as a “competition,” but after the first couple days, it was pretty clear ya girl wasn’t takin’ home any medals. Not only was I falling WAY behind the standard recommendation of 8, 8 oz glasses per day, it was a STRUGGLE to get even half of that. It wasn’t that I didn’t think water was important, it just wasn’t on my radar. I usually drink a glass first thing in the morning, right after I brush my teeth, before, during, and after my workouts, and sporadically throughout the day. So you can imagine was my column of the water challenge looked like…. *Cue the tumbleweed.*
Even though I was shocked at how challenging it was for me to get to 64 oz by the end of the day, when I stopped to think about it, it really wasn’t surprising. If your water bottle isn’t in your line of sight throughout the day, and you don’t feel thirsty, it’s so easy to forget about it. Luckily, by tracking my water intake, I’ve been able to make a lot of progress over the last few weeks. So today, I want to share what’s been working for me, to help you drink more water, even when you’re not thirsty!
Track Your Water: Simple. Just start writing down how much water you drink each day. Get a cute little notebook from Marshall’s, or stick a piece of paper on the refrigerator, and keep a pen nearby. Each time you drink 8 oz, make a tally.
Use a Bigger Water Bottle: When I started tracking my water, I was using 8 oz glasses. That got annoying real quick because not only did I constantly have to refill my glass (when I remembered), it was more glasses to keep track of. The more convenient it is for you to drink water, the more likely it is you’ll drink it. I decided to start using a 16 oz water bottle, and it immediately felt easier. Less fill ups, less glasses to keep track of, and easy to take with me on the go.
Use a Water Tracker App: I started using the My Water water tracker app about a week in, and I am IN LOVE with it. To start, you enter your weight, and whether you exercise, to get your daily water goal. The free version of the app allows you to record your water in increments as low as 1.5 oz, and as high as 50 oz. You can set reminders to go off throughout the day, which is an awesome feature, especially if you’re not able to carry your water bottle with you all day. The app also shows you your stats by day, which I love because it’s so fun to see your progress. Plus, you’ll see a little trophy on the days when you’ve reached or exceeded your goal. This app is efficient, it makes tracking your water fun, and since I started using it, my water intake has gone way up. If you really want to see a difference in how much water you’re drinking, GET. THIS. APP.
Getting enough water can be hard, but I’m telling you, just writing down how much water you’re drinking can make such a big difference. At the end of the day, it feels so good to see that you’ve reached your goal, or that you drank more water than the day before. It’s like giving yourself a little win every day, and it’s a bonus because it’s a win that’s doing your body so much good. So, if you think- or know- you should be getting more water throughout the day, what are you doing?! Grab a pen and paper, or download a water tracker app, and GET. TRACKING. TODAY!