As a holistic health care provider, I would say that one of the most common things I see causing challenge for my clients is dehydration. It’s the source of many skin issues, high blood pressure, fatigue, constipation and headaches (to name a few).
We all know that we need to drink more water but sometimes life happens. I know how it goes … you do great for a few days and then get out of the habit and feel like you’re starting over. This post will give you some great tips for making those well-hydrated days to become the norm!
How much do you need? Half your weight in ounces is what most experts consider “well-hydrated.” I believe this is a low standard. For most people you will likely need more.
A better way to judge is that you should have to urinate at least every 90 minutes or so and the urine should be clear or very light yellow. If you’re currently not drinking much at all, first work up to that half-your-weight-in-ounces point, then you can increase from there. Once you get there, you will find that you crave water and feel much better when you’re hydrated properly. (If you are pregnant or nursing you really need at least your body weight in ounces … so if you weight 150 lbs, you will need 150 ounces of water/day.)
Here are some practical tips that I use to help clients keep up with their water needs:
- Start first thing in the morning as soon as you get out of bed with 32 oz.
Your body wakes up dehydrated and starting the day with water can help to flush out toxins that your body worked hard to loosen up in the night. Plus, this means that before your day even starts, you have ½-1/3 of your water in (depending on your weight, activity level, etc.).
- Drink a big green smoothie as 1 meal per day.
Again, this gets another 32 oz. or so of water between the water you add and the incredible water that comes from the greens and fruit.
- Flavor your drinks.
If you just want something besides water, you can add a dash of cinnamon (especially good in hot water), some fresh mint, lemon, lime, cucumber or any fruit or vegetable to add a bit of flavor.
- Eat more raw fruits and vegetables.
Raw produce naturally has a high water content and, although it’s harder to quantify, when you eat more of it you can drink a bit less water.
- Measure it out the day before.
Figure out how much water you need.
- Try a different temperature.
There’s lots of controversy about what is the best temperature of water to drink. The differences are nominal so do what you like. If you’re always hot, drink chilled water… Tend to run on the chillier side? Try drinking warm water… Room temperature is always good too.
- Drink tea.
Although drinks with caffeine and sugar (coffee, soda, etc.) are dehydrating and don’t count toward your water needs, herbal teas can be great. You can drink tea hot or cold which is good to keep in mind if you want something besides water and it’s hot outside. Peppermint or ginger tea are great for digestion. Hibiscus tea is tangy and great for blood pressure or heart issues. Chamomile, lavender and passionflower teas can be good for reducing stress and unwinding at the end of the day.
If you’re going to have something besides water, you may as well help yourself by drinking some natural medicine. (You can also open a capsule of RenaVen in hot water to support the kidneys, or AdrenaVen for adrenal support, etc.). Adding a scoop of the Fermented Mushroom powder to hot water is also helpful for immune support.
- Figure out why you’re not drinking enough now and address the root cause.
For example, if you just forget, setting a reminder will help. If it’s an issue of “out of sight, out of mind”, then put a water bottle in your car, at your desk, on your kitchen table, etc., so it’s always around and easy to grab. If you don’t like the taste (odd, I know, but I have a few clients with this … normally it’s because they’re too used to sugary drinks), try adding a bit of lemon, lime or drinking cooled herbal tea such as peppermint or adding cucumber or something to give a bit of flavor.
- Create rules to drink by.
Make a rule that you can’t eat or drink anything until you have your 32 oz. of water in the morning. Then also do your best to finish your water by dinnertime. This will help make it so you’re not up several times in the night to use the restroom and will also ensure that you wake up ready to drink lots of water in the morning.
If you have children (post nursing), start them early so drinking lots of water is a normal habit. If you want them to grow and thrive, you have to water them properly.
Give yourself some time to let you taste buds change. If you’re used to drinking lots of strong flavors that include sugar, chemicals and/or caffeine, this will take some time to adjust to. Cheers to your hydration!