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Tips to Staying Hydrated

*Tips to Staying Hydrated*

 

  

You’ve probably heard that the average person needs to drink 8 to 10 cups of water per day to make up what the body uses and loses. But for active folks who exercise, that number can easily double.

Drinking upwards of 20 cups a day is a challenge, so here are a few tips to help you get yours:

  1. Make it smart. Knowing why your body needs water – and realizing all the amazing benefits it provides – can serve as motivation to help you drink up. Decreased risk of cancer, clearer skin and increased productivity are a few of the reasons to stay hydrated. Water also aids in fat loss – it curbs appetite, replaces sugary drinks and boosts your metabolism. Knowing this can keep you motivated.
  2. Make it mindless. If you’re going to consume 64 – 200 fluid ounces of water (8 – 20 cups), then drinking it will need to be super convenient. Have you ever noticed how if you leave a bag of chips open while watching TV, you somehow manage to mindlessly eat the entire bag? Take advantage of mindless consumption by leaving a pitcher or water bottle in your workspace or at home. You’ll take a sip here, and a sip there – and before you know it, it’s all gone! I’m actually putting this point to practice right now with a quart-size water bottle. Try it – I swear it works!
  3. Make it fun. If you like pretty things (who doesn’t?!), put your water in a special container. You can buy a nalgene (those unbreakable plastic bottles) or a fancy chrome mug. Presentation counts, and so perhaps, water will be more appetizing in a pretty container.
  4. Make it flavorful. Drinking large quantities of water can get a bit monotonous, so you might benefit from switching things up. I don’t recommend adding sugary powders to water as you’ll dramatically increase the number of empty calories you are consuming. I also avoid sugar-free drink mixes; I’m personally weary of artificial sweeteners in bulk. But… adding a slice of citrus fruit can make a noticeable and welcomed difference. If you need more flavor, squeeze half of a lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange into your glass or pitcher.
  5. Make it a pre-meal tradition. Drink a tall glass of water 15-30 minutes before you eat. Thirst is often misinterpreted by the mind as hunger. You feel hungry, but your body is thirsty. So, drink water before each meal. Not only will you be increasing your hydration, but you’ll probably drop a few pounds in the process.
  6.  Make it the first thing you do in the morning. We all have a morning routine. We wake up, brush our teeth, take a shower and so on. Once your feet hit the floor, walk to the kitchen and start your day right: With water. It will help replace lost fluids during sleep (when we wake up, our bodies have often gone without food or drink for more than 8 hours). I prefer room temperature water in the morning, but do what works for you!
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