The key to drinking more water? Know what makes it so great for you.
If consuming water and staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your body, why is it then, that there are still so many of us who either forget or don’t care to drink enough of it, regularly?
Over the course of our lives, we have all probably said or heard the ‘drink 8 glasses of water a day’ mantra too many times to count. If water tasted more like beer (without the calories, of course), this mantra would not exist because there would be no need to remind anyone to drink it. But because water is utterly flavorless, drinking it all day every day can feel like a chore - even for the healthiest of people.
Telling ourselves or someone else to drink more water because it’s the healthy thing to do, as it turns out, is not all that convincing. If, for years, we find ourselves having to repeatedly remind or convince ourselves or someone else to get in the habit of doing something, then it is probably safe to say that the importance of that very thing is probably not truly felt or known.
If you want to consume more water, convince someone else to, or want to find more enthusiasm for your healthy habit so it feels less like a duty, the key is to know why you’re doing it in the first place.
Like anything else, if we’re going to pursue and commit ourselves to something, we need to know what it’s going to do for us or what we’re going to get out of it. When we know this, only then can we actually enjoy it.
So what’s so great about water, anyways?
Water flushes out toxins, which can help you achieve clearer skin. Toxins and bacteria in the body cause inflammation, and can lead to clogged pores and eventually, acne. By increasing water consumption you can help rid your body of harmful bacteria and toxins faster, which may lead to fewer breakouts.
Hydration even plays a topical role in skin health and acne prevention. Personally, my worst breakouts often occur on the heels of doing something incredibly drying to my skin, like using potent AHA/BHAs more than once a week, which leads to an overproduction of sebum followed by clogged pores. When this happens, I find water-based moisturizers with a gel like consistency (as opposed to thick and creamy), or a great essence, to be the most nourishing and healing solution because of how effective they are in penetrating the deeper layers of my skin.
Staying well hydrated can also help all sorts of digestive issues. Each of our bodily functions and organs, depends on water to some degree. In addition to flushing out toxins, water fuels the transportation of nutrients throughout the body and can be useful in breaking down food and making minerals and nutrients more accessible to the body. Water is also helpful in relieving constipation due to the role it plays in helping us digest soluble fiber, which leads to soft, well-formed stools that tend pass through the colon.
We lose water whenever we sweat, urinate, and even breathe. If you’re not replenishing your body’s water supply, you may be chronically dehydrated and not know it. Not only does dehydration exacerbate constipation, but it can also intensify other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as bloating and gas.
Whenever my body acts up in these ways, I often make the mistake of searching every corner of my medicine cabinet or every pocket of the internet for a remedy that will put me out of my misery. At best, I will find something that is able to give me temporary relief. But truthfully, it’s always been my experience that, by staying well hydrated each day, from morning until night, I’m able to prevent most digestive issues from surfacing at all.
It can relieve pain and stiffness in your bones and joints. Whether you’re suffering from an arthritic condition, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, or are simply feeling pain and stiffness in your bones, muscles or joints after a workout, experts believe that proper hydration can expedite pain relief and other symptoms - in a number of ways.
Injury, wear and tear, and types of arthritis are all things that lead to damaged cartilage, eventually causing our bones to grind against each other at the joint - which can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Many believe that water can serve as a natural lubricant, and offer pain relief to affected joints and muscles. It’s also believe that water can aid in the removal of toxins from surrounding damaged joints and muscles, and therefore help prevent inflammation from worsening.
The healing powers and benefits of water are endless. Water supports proper kidney function, combats fatigue, boosts productivity, and can be a very effective tool for managing our weight and appetites.
Making it a part of your every day routine can be challenging, so I’ve also included my favorite tips, tricks and hacks to help make consuming it easier.
- Make sure it is the first thing you consume in the morning. It sets the tone for the day.
- Drink it before every meal. You may feel too full to even consider after you’re done eating.
- Add in some seasonal fruits for a hint of something sweet, and to cure boredom.
- Eat your water. Grapefruit, watermelon, strawberries, celery, cucumber and lettuce are just some of fruits and vegetables that contain more than 90% of water per volume.
- If you have to, set alarms or reminders for yourself to drink up. Things get busy, time flies and our focus is almost always required somewhere other than ourselves. By setting an alarm to go off every few hours, we’re sort of forced to pause and think the very thing we’ve lost sight of and need to be reminded to do.