Don’t Sabotage Your Efforts! Drink More Water.

My son's Silly Bandz help me keep track of how much water I need to drink each day.

As part of my Fitness Train Challenge, I vowed to drink 60 oz of water each day (not including what I drink during exercise) and let me tell you, Day One of the challenge was not the day to wear my annoying belt that takes forever to undo.  My ten-fold increase of trips to the loo was enough to prove that my water intake before this challenge was definitely lacking!

Whether you go by the proverbial “8 glasses a day” or a more scientific approach (as seen in this online calculator), drinking enough water can be quite the feat.

I want to take a few moments to share not just how you can make sure you’re drinking enough water but also a few reasons for why you absolutely need to focus on getting enough H2O if you want to achieve your health and fitness goals!

“The cells that make up our vital organs need water to carry out basic chemical reactions. …We can eat a healthy diet yet still be poorly nourished if we do not have enough water to absorb or digest the nutrients in it.

~ Modern Hydrotherapy for the Massage Therapist, pg.36 (emphasis mine)

This quote confirms my theory: just like our metabolism goes into survival mode when we under-eat, the same damage can happen when we are dehydrated. Things just won’t work like they ought to. And weight loss goals aside, let’s not forget that our blood is 83% water, our brains 75% water, and our kidneys rely on water to get rid of toxic build-up. We need water, people!

But in case you need a bit more motivation to gulp down those extra ounces each day, here are a few other reasons water is your new BFF:
  • Water delivers a non-stop supply of oxygen to your muscles.  In fact, muscle cells with an adequate supply of water can work longer without tiring.
    • Water keeps you regular. If you’re not having a bowel movement at least once a day, chances are you’re not drinking enough water (or you’re eating a lot of processed junk — and you know how I feel about that). Your body uses water to digest food in the gastrointestinal tract so not having enough water turns your digestion into a no-thru road.  Just say no to digestive traffic jams! Drink more water.
      • Water lubricates your joints, keeping them flexible and providing smooth motion. Every fit girl needs graceful joints!
        • Water contributes to your energy levels.  Studies have shown that most people are functioning at 75% of their potential, simply because they are lacking proper hydration. Next time you turn to caffeine or sugar for an extra pick-me-up, try drinking a few glasses of water instead!

          Now that I have you convinced, how are you going to go about it?

          Here are a few ways you can track your water intake and make sure you’re getting enough:

          Thanks to my awesome and talented friend, Antoinette, I now get to wear these beautiful handmade bracelets instead of my neon-colored Silly Bandz -- much better fit with stilettos.

          Bracelets:

          You can use Silly Bandz (much nicer on your skin than rubber bands) or bangles if that’s how you roll.  Each bracelet represents a certain amount of water (i.e. the size of your water bottle). Move the bracelets from one wrist to the other as you drink water throughout the day.

          Rubber Band:

          If bracelets aren’t your thing, try putting a rubber band on your water bottle and moving it up an inch every time you empty the bottle.

          Alarms:

          Set the alarm on your digital watch or your iPhone to beep every hour (from morning to evening), reminding you to drink a glass of water.

          Ticker:

          If making lists is your idea of a good time (you know who you are!), than create a note in your iPhone or a post-it in your wallet where you can keep a running tally of your water consumption for the day.

          Also, keep in mind that drinking herbal teas and broths count as water but coffee and caffeinated tea actually deplete your water supply!  It pains me every time I drink two cups of coffee and have to put one of those bracelets back on my other wrist (but apparently not enough to stop drinking the black magic!).

          Do you have another secret to making sure you drink enough water?

          13 thoughts on “Don’t Sabotage Your Efforts! Drink More Water.

          1. heidi says:

            thanks for this post, natasha. i clicked on the link to that calculator and found that at my weight i should be drinking over 100oz a day!! needless to say, i grabbed my water glass and started drinking it as i finished reading 🙂

          2. Rahel says:

            Very good post on an important topic! The believe that caffeine acts as a diuretic has however been proven wrong (see here or here). In fact, coffee & tea do have a mildly dehydrating effect, but just so does water itself 😉 In other words: Move those bracelets back!

          3. Natalie B says:

            Alcohol is also a dehydrant – a hangover is a sign that your body is severely dehydrated!

          4. Melissa says:

            Thanks for all the info Tash, I think Tim needs to read this {my Tim}. He is always sassing me over the amount of water I drink, and the fact that I don’t go anywhere without my trusty 24 oz re-usable water bottle.

            I think I am getting the required water I need {I usually refill it at least 3-4 times daily} but it has taken quite a lot of time of conscious effort to get to this point, that and the fact that I don’t drink anything other than water except for my glass of milk at supper:)

            Thanks again for the reminder

            PS I have started to include DVD workouts of the 30 day shred to my fitness regimen!

          5. Jake Carte says:

            Heres what I do to drink in all the water my body needs:
            throw a herbal tea bag into your water bottle (and a couple extra in your bag or pocket).
            flavours i like are cranberry, raspberry, lemon, mints, and several others. i find one tea bag is ok for 1 or 2 fills

          6. Jocelyne says:

            Thanks for this post on water Natasha! I have started drinking Crystal Light which I really like. I’m sure it has chemicals or whatever but it helps me drink water anyway. I like the flavoured tea bag idea, might try that. One factor that has encouraged me to drink more water is that I’m told it is really good for my skin. I’ve been having trouble with my complexion and really want clear skin again so that’s my motivation to drink up!

          7. kelly e says:

            Hi Natasha, I just found your blog through a friends and started reading. a LOT. like, all of it. And over this whole day, have consumed 3L of water (1/2 of a liter was my water consumption during a run).
            i am inspired by your transformation!
            We have 2 kids, and at the end of my 2nd pregnancy with my son, I was at 180. After having him and the natural weight loss of having a baby, i sat at 160 for a year. I managed to lose 20lbs and kept it off for about 8 months and then slowly gained back almost 10lbs. I am off refined sugar right now but am compensating for that by snacking, snacking, snacking! Anyway, I’m feeling very motivated by your story and realizing that I can have that body I want! So, my goal is to drink about 2L of water each day (aside from workout water intake), change my snacks to healthy ones, watch my portions, and up my workouts. A bit of Jillian in the morning followed by a bit of cardio (such as a short 2k run or a 4.5k very brisk walk), 5 days a week.
            ALLLLL this said, thanks! I am glad I found your blog and look forward to following your entries!

            • Natasha says:

              Thanks for telling me your story Kelly! You are so right, the body you want WILL be yours! Making those healthy changes you listed will have a huge impact on your lifestyle and you’ll get addicted once you see how great you feel. Looking great helps, too! 🙂

              Implement a few changes at a time and you’ll have a radically different lifestyle (and body!) before you know it!

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