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:
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.
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.
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.
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!).