For those of you who read my last post and took on the water drinking challenge… how’s it been going? (If you missed it, you can read it HERE) 🙂 It is important to remember that your water intake needs to be spread throughout the day. Drinking large amounts of water in a short period of time can cause serious problems. (Read more toward the end of this post about Water Intoxication/Hyponatremia).
As I was doing my own ‘homework assignment’, I quickly realized that I am a pretty terrible (consistent) water drinker myself! 😛
I decided to come up with some ideas as well as look for tips online to help find ways to remind and motivate myself and my family to drink more water. The full articles and links are listed below. Most repeat the same or very similar suggestions – but the following is a list of my favorites. At the end of the day, do whatever works for you. The other day, I saw my mom-in-law walk around with a sticky note attached to her glass. She drew check marks on it to keep track of her water intake. It was nothing fancy or hi tech, but it worked for her… and that’s what matters! 🙂
12 Ways to Motivate and Remind Yourself to Drink More Water
1. Educate yourself.
As I researched the importance of water in the human body, I was actually surprised that dehydration caused so many problems. I mean, I knew drinking enough water was important, but not THAT important! Learning that dehydration could be associated with several of the conditions my family and I struggle with (e.g., fatigue, dry skin, my daughter’s occasional orthostatic hypotension (dizziness upon standing up too quickly), nausea, anxiety, and digestive issues) motivated me to drink more.
2. Use a smartphone app.
There are many free apps available. I’m currently trying one out called Plant Nanny. It’s cute and quite fun! Essentially, you have a cute little plant that gets to drink water every time you finish a glass yourself… If you forget, it eventually dries up and dies…
If you’re not into ‘cute’ and don’t want to become attached to an adorable little virtual plant (like my dandelion – I named him “Dandy”), then go for a more “grown up” looking app. 😉
Here are a few screen shots of Dandy. I did drink water but forgot to let Dandy drink for about a day… so eventually, this is what happened… 🙁
3. Use a chart.
Using a chart where you can keep track of the number of glasses of water you drink can be fun for families – especially ones with younger kids. Put up a water chart on your fridge, then use check marks, tallies, stars, stickers – or whatever suits your fancy! For younger kids, print out cute pictures of cup icons that they can colour in. You can even try this idea at the office! Here’s one I found online:
4. Set an alarm.
Set an alarm on your watch, phone, kitchen timer, or computer that rings periodically – reminding you to take a sip or two.
5. Buy a water bottle you absolutely LOVE and carry it with you.
My personal favourites are the glass ones with silicone covers. They have soooo many to choose from now. (I don’t enjoy the smell and taste of plastic and stainless steel… Blech! 😛 )
6. Draw lines on your water bottle or glass to indicate how much to drink and when.
Here’s an example I found on Pinterest:
7. Flavour your water with a slice of lemon, other fruits/vegetables, or even spices and grains.
I think the fancy name for this is “infused water“… Google or search Pinterest for ideas and recipes. If you’re interested, here’s an excellent article about the Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water.
8. Add drinking water into your daily schedule or routine.
For example – drink a glass of water when you first wake up, with breakfast, at bedtime, etc… If you follow a day timer/schedule closely – write it in! When it becomes a habit, it’s hard to break. 🙂 (And yes, I know the water reminders below practically take up the entire day timer! Lol! I needed to get the point across! ;))
9. Eat your water.
Instead of snacking on chips and candy, snack on fruits and vegetables with high water content. Some examples include: cucumbers, melons, celery, grapefruit, tomatoes, etc… (see more examples in the photo below from HealthNewsLibrary.com). For younger kids who may be ill and need help staying hydrated – make some homemade popsicles and/or jello. To decrease sugar content in jello (even if it’s just by a little bit), add a package of flavourless gelatin and a bit more water.
(Important side note: NEVER use “sugar-free” jello products which use artificial sweeteners. Yes, regular jello has a lot of sugar and it’s not good for you… BUT artificial sweeteners like aspartame (sold under products names like ‘Sweet ‘N Low’, ‘Splenda’, and ‘Equal’) are worse and extremely toxic to your body and especially your brain! If you’re going to eat candy and baked goods, just eat candy and baked goods – don’t go for the sugar-free options unless they use natural sweeteners like Stevia or Xylitol. If you’re going to drink pop (soda), just drink it – don’t go for the diet or “zero” varieties! For more information, here’s a very informative article about the Dangers of Aspartame.)
10. Incorporate water into your daily ‘reward system’.
If you reward yourself for daily accomplishments, include drinking water on that list. E.g., “I must complete this particular work/reading assignment AND finish drinking 3 glasses of water before I can watch a show on Netflix or play video games”.
11. Eat something spicy.
When I read this, I immediately remembered that whenever my husband and I eat at Tropika (one of our favorite Malaysian/Thai restaurants), I always feel good and very well-hydrated in the evening! It’s because I drink TONS of water when I’m there since I’m not accustomed to eating spicier foods. I enjoy them from time to time, but I have to chug lots and lots of water when my mouth feels like it’s on fire! 😀
Ask one or two friends/co-workers to do a water drinking challenge with you. Be creative! Have fun! =)
Can you drink too much water?
The short answer to that is – yes. Remember: drink enough water – but don’t go crazy overboard! It is important to spread your water intake throughout the day. Follow the rule of thumb mentioned in my last post because there IS such a thing as over-dosing on water. This is not to alarm anyone, but just in case you didn’t know – it is possible for someone to ‘OD’ and have too much of a good thing – even water. It doesn’t happen too often because your body will give you lots of signals that you’re drinking way too much, too fast (we’re talking amounts like litres and litres of water all at once or in a very short period of time) and sometimes there are underlying health conditions present… But it does happen from time to time – especially when an individual cuts out too much salt from his/her diet. The combination of too much water (too fast) and not enough salt disrupts the electrolyte imbalance so much that your body can’t function properly… If you’re interested in learning more, the condition is referred to as Water Intoxication or Hyponatremia.
Here are a few ways to maximize your water drinking efforts! (Source: project.nsearch.com)
Happy (H20) Drinking!! =)
For questions, comments, or topic requests – please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 🙂
How to Trick Yourself Into Drinking More Water Every Day – http://lifehacker.com/how-to-trick-yourself-into-drinking-more-water-every-da-1678956552
7 Ways to Drink More Water That You Might Not Have Heard Before – http://www.absopure.com/blog/refresh-your-senses/7-ways-to-drink-more-water-that-you-might-not-have-heard-before/
10 Ways to Drink More Water – http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/10-ways-drink-more-water
Dehydrated? – http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dehydrated
Dehydration Can Cause Fatigue – http://www.thedoctorstv.com/videos/dehydration-can-cause-fatigue
Drinking Water At the Correct Time Maximizes its Effectiveness on the Human Body – http://www.project.nsearch.com/profiles/blogs/drinking-water-at-the-correct-time-maximizes-its-effectiveness-on
The Benefits of Lemon Water: Detox Your Body and Skin – http://draxe.com/benefits-of-lemon-water/
Can You Drink Too Much Water? – http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/water-intoxication
Aspartame: By Far the Most Dangerous Substance Added to Most Foods Today – http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/06/aspartame-most-dangerous-substance-added-to-food.aspx
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