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  • Health and Wellness

    6 Fresh New Ways To Drink More Water Each Day

    drinking water

    Have you been told to drink at least 8 ounces of water per day? Are you confused by the buzz around water intake and why it is important? Do you struggle with guzzling down H20 while you’re busy working, chasing around toddlers, or hustling around with all of your errands and activities? In today’s blog post, we’re going to talk about why water is so important, how much you should drink, how it can help you lose weight, and how to find more ways to squeeze it into your day.

    drinking water

    The Importance Of Drinking Water

    Water is imperative to life. Your body has a very complex way of regulating how much water it stores and the overall fluid balance it needs. There are a lot of factors that determine your water needs such as:

    • Your body size
    • How “salty” your blood volume is
    • Your exercise level
    • And your overall activity status

    There are a host of medical problems that can arise if your blood is too concentrated or too dilute. As a result, there are checks and balances between your brain and specific organs in your body to help keep your total body water concentration in balance.

    Ensuring that you consume enough water in a day (by drinking different beverages, water itself, and moisture from the food you eat) is pivotal in helping your body function at an optimal level.

    Your kidneys will especially thank you, as low water intake can increase your risk of kidney stones and chronic kidney disease! To help prevent kidney stones, aim for > 2L of water per day.

    drinking water

    How Much Water Should You Drink A Day?

    When you begin to notice that you’re thirsty, you have actually lost roughly 1-2% of your body weight in water loss.

    If you were to try to replace your water loss volume by simply eating solid food alone, you would only be able to reach ~20% of your daily total fluid intake.

    Therefore, it is important to replenish your water stores by intentionally drinking water throughout the day.

    It is challenging to estimate a specific volume of water that every single person needs to achieve to stay hydrated due to everyone’s own individual needs, their specific health conditions, and overall activity level.

    However, at an individual level, your degree of hydration or dehydration can be estimated by collecting a 24 hour sample of your urine.

    If you’re already at your Primary Care Provider’s office- sure, that’s easy to get started with.

    But how about one easy trick that you can do the next time you’re in the bathroom?

    Simply check the color of your urine.

    To ensure you are staying well hydrated, keep your urine a diluted yellow color. If your pee is dark yellow (you may notice this first thing in the morning), it’s time to guzzle down some H20!

    drinking water

    Drinking Water To Lose Weight

    Sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, lemonade, fruit drinks, energy drinks, vitamin waters, and alcohol) are thought to play a large role in weight gain when consumed on a frequent basis.

    Why?

    When you drink something in liquid form, it leaves you feeling less “full” and satiated when compared to having something in solid form. In addition, when you drink sugar-sweetened beverages, you are absorbing a significant amount of carbohydrates that will likely increase your weight and overall fat gain.

    By substituting sugar-sweetened beverages with water, you will more likely lose weight, lose fat and lower your risk of obesity.

    Need help increasing your water intake?

    Grab your Water Habit Tracker and make drinking water FUN!

    Did you know…?

    If you were to drink 100 extra calories / day from a sugar-sweetened beverage, your waistband would increase by 1.1cm (over a 10 year follow up period).

    1. One can of coke = 140 calories
    2. Naked/ Odwalla brand fruit smoothie bottle = 240- 270 calories
    3. Lemonade = 110 calories (in 8 oz)
    4. Vitamin water = 120 calories
    5. One can of Red Bull = 160 calories
    drinking water

    Now, keep in mind your serving sizes.

    • Are you really drinking only 8 ounces? Or are you drinking 2-3x the serving size?
    • If you’re actually drinking 300 calories extra / day from sugar-sweetened beverages, you can assume a 3.3cm increase in your waist circumference just from these calories alone!

    Here’s the good news!

    By decreasing your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages by just ONE a day (to start), you can potentially lose 1.43 lbs by 8 months.

    Imagine what your weight loss potential could be by reducing even MORE!

    And this is just by modifying what you’re drinking. Things really start to add up when you make other changes in your nutrition and activity levels!

    If you’re looking for healthier substitutes for sugar-sweetened beverages, consider:

    • Plain water (tap, bottled, still, and sparkling)
    • Coffee /tea (plain and unsweetened)
      • Studies show that coffee substitutions are associated with small improvements in weight
        • Benefits come from burning more energy and preventing fat from being absorbed
    • Milk (all fat types, plain, and nondairy)
      • Benefits come from calcium, protein, and fatty acids within the milk

    Want the biggest bang for your buck?

    Prioritize water over other healthy beverage substitutions when reducing your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.

    drinking water

    6 Fun Ways To Increase Your Water Intake

    Drinking more water doesn’t have to be boring! Consider some of these different ways to make drinking water more fun:

    1. Splurge on a fancy water bottle (you deserve it!)
    2. Find a water bottle that has water and time markings on it to keep you on track
    3. Decorate your water bottle with fun stickers to give it flare (and involve your kids to make it a family-fun event!)
    4. Download a water app for both auditory and visual reminders
    5. Take your water bottle with you wherever you go so you’ll always be reminded to sip
    6. Download the Healthy Habits Workbook and fill out the Water Habit Tracker to see if you can reach your H20 intake this week!
    drinking water

    In Conclusion

    Drinking enough water to keep your urine dilute in color is key to preventing certain medical problems (like kidney stones) and will help you lose weight! If you’re a big smoothies, soda, or alcohol drinker, start by reducing 1-2 of these drinks each day with water. Don’t forget to make drinking water FUN!

    Grab your FREE Water Habit Tracker from the Healthy Habits Workbook and see if you can reach your water intake goal this week!

    Need help increasing your water intake?

    Grab your Water Habit Tracker and make drinking water FUN!

    References

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