Ways to Stay Hydrated Even If You Don't Like Water
Not staying properly hydrated can make you groggy, unable to think clearly, and even seriously injure yourself if you lose consciousness. Oh, also dehydration can mimic hunger, which can lead to weight gain! Between being busy with back-to-back meetings or swimming in deadlines, there are so many distractions during the workday that causes me to not adequately hydrate. Even when I find myself “in the zone” and having a crazily productive workday, I find myself forgetting to drink water.
If you don't remember to focus on hydrating while you're at work, chances are you are not drinking enough water, period.
I've never been the best at making sure that I stay hydrated. In high school, I vividly recall passing out on multiple occasions during color guard and marching season. During undergrad, I almost passed out while biking around my neighborhood. During graduate school, I remember being on the verge of passing out during hospital tour with a well-respected staffer of a state representative during my graduate school internship. Over the years, I’ve got to the point where I can manage to at least not pass out from dehydration— that’s progress, right? Fortunately, none of my experiences with dehydration have landed me in the hospital— which can definitely happen when you are severely dehydrated.
I’ve talked about my love for using the Plant Nanny app when it comes to staying hydrated. Plant Nanny is one of my go to apps that I believe all women should download because it encourages you to drink sufficient water throughout the day by keeping a virtual plant alive. Plant Nanny also helps me to monitor my water intake over time, which is really important because dehydration can cause symptoms that mimic other health issue symptoms. Therefore if I’m not feeling well, I can confidently to talk with my doctor to possibly rule out dehydration by discussing my water intake history and get to the root of the issue. Since using Plant Nanny, I have been very cognizant of properly hydrating and have not run into many days where I feel like crap.
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Plant Nanny alone is not the only strategy I use to stay hydrated. After all, to receive a “drink water” alert means nothing without actually drinking water.Here are some of my favorite tips on how to stay hydrated while using the Plant Nanny app.
Drink 8-12 oz of Water When You Wake
As part of my morning routine, I drink a glass of water as soon as I wake up. Not only does that first glass of water help me to wake up, but it also helps me to get a head-start on meeting my hydrated goal for the day. Drinking a glass of water immediately after waking up is an added benefit for mornings when I wake up with a sore throat or dry mouth— I sometimes snore at night. The water helps to remoisten my airways making my mornings more comfortable. There are also some potential benefits to drinking water first thing in the morning such as increased metabolism, meaning possible help with weight loss goals.
Drink Room Temperature Water
I do not believe the claims that drinking ice-cold water will aid in losing weight because your body burns more calories to heat the water up. I’m not going to go down that path… lol. I personally find that I drink more water when I drink room temperature water. I made the switch to drink room temperature water more than 2 years ago now. When drinking room temperature water, I am able to drink more in one sitting than ice water. Brain freeze is counterproductive lol. Regardless of what temperature you like to drink water, water is not the most exciting drink, which leads me to my next two tips.
Indulge in Sparkling Water
Sparkling water is a fun way to spice up your hydration life. Sugary drinks and caffeinated sodas are not great ways to hydrate because they act more like a diuretic. Freshman year of college, I basically gave up juice and soda, reserving my sugared beverages for the occasional small glass or as a mixer for a cocktail and of course mimosas. However, I still crave the carbonation from soda. Sparkling water is a great way for me to get my carbonation fix as well as to hydrate. I really enjoy sparkling water, sometimes opting for sparkling water over a beer when I'm out at the pool with my friends. I've also made sparkling water a part of my self-care. When I'm really stressed instead of pouring a glass of wine— well that's a lie, I still grab for the wine lol— I also sip on sparkling water. It is something about the bubbles that is really soothing to me.
Sip on Fruit or Herb Infused Water
Another fun way to spice up your water hydration life is to drink fruit and/or herb-infused water. Some of my favorite concoctions: strawberry, basil; blueberry, lemon; and mint, lime. Like sparkling water, I drink infused water cold. Enjoying a cold glass of infused water is a yummy substitute for sugary drinks.
Drink from Clear Containers that You Know the Volume
I remember being gifted a Starbucks reusable cup for iced beverages. I remember just being able to drink so much water out of that cup. I was constantly refilling that cup and that is when I realized that drinking out of a clear container is a great way to drink more water. You may find yourself more motivated by easily seeing your progress. Now, I keep a reusable water bottle with me as my go-to container. I also find that having volume marks on my clear containers, or at least knowing the total volume, helps me to make sure I'm drinking enough water. If you are like me, sometimes you may feel like you are drinking a lot of water, but you really didn't. Having a clear container with volume measurements marked will make sure that you're tracking your pace to drink enough water throughout the day.
If you don’t know the volume of your container, you won't realize that you really only drank two ounces, instead of eight.
Skip that 2nd Cup of Coffee
Caffeine, like alcohol, is a diuretic. I don’t drink coffee— I previously shared how caffeine can induce anxiety in me. Instead, I drink green tea. However, 56% of Americans drink coffee. During the workday, it is very easy to drink 2-3 or even more cups of coffee: a morning cup of joe, afternoon pick me up. Drinking one cup of coffee may have negligible effects on fluid loss: you lose the amount that you drank. However, after drinking more than 1 cup of coffee, the amounts of caffeine can have diuretic effects. Therefore, I limit myself to 1 cup of green tea per day. If you need an afternoon pick me up, try walking around for 15 minutes or doing light exercise.