If you talk to any health and fitness professional or any bodybuilder, they will affirm the fact that drinking a lot of water throughout the day is essential to physical health. If you need convincing, you can read Web MD's reasons why you should drink more water or Tone It Up's Thirsty Thursday post. Normally, they say to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day. So if you weigh 120lbs, you would need to drink at least 60oz of water each day.
Bodybuilders and people looking to make their tummies look more toned drink substantially more -- a lot of them drink a gallon a day. This helps the body to flush out toxins, and keeps your body from retaining fluid.
I wanted to post about this today because it is my friend and coworker's birthday (Happy 30th, Sara!!). Sara does such an incredible job of drinking plenty of water, and she consistently encourages me to do the same. I am definitely not the best at this, but I am working on it!
So this list of tips is as much for me as it is for you:
1. Decide how much you want to drink - Whether it is 64oz or a gallon, have a goal in mind.
2. Measure it out - I drink all of my water out of a Nalgene bottle. My Nalgene holds 32oz, so I know that if I finish 4 of them, I have completed my daily gallon. When I drink my protein and my BCAAs, I pour water from my Nalgene into my blender bottle -- that way I can track that water as well. I also pour from my Nalgene when I make tea and I count that as part of my gallon as well.
3. Drink in the morning - As soon as you get up, drink 8-16oz of water, especially if you do morning cardio or workouts. Not only will this hydrate you for your workout, it will also get your water intake started early. You don't want to have to chug 32oz before bed.
4. Set hourly goals - I try to finish 2 Nalgenes (64oz) before lunch, another one before I leave work at 4, and then my fourth one before bed. I push most of it to the beginning of the day so that I don't have to get up a billion times during the night for potty breaks. Again, you don't want to have to chug.
5. Track your intake - I have a little notebook that I write down my workouts (tracking weight lifted, reps, sets, etc.), food intake, and water intake to hold me accountable.
6. Don't waste time drinking soda - Soda is like negative water. It dehydrates you and is full of sugar. Diet soda is not good for you either. Stick with water and tea.
7. Have a water drinking buddy - Sara is my water coach. She checks in with me throughout the work day to ask how much I have had so far. At home, Matt helps push me to finish my water as well. Having people around you with similar goals is extremely helpful.
8. Carry water with you - I bring my Nalgene with me just about anywhere. When it's convenient, you're more likely to drink it. And by having it with you, it's a constant reminder to drink more water!
9. Add flavor - If you get bored with drinking plain water all day every day, you can make a pitcher the night before with fruit in it. You can add lemon, orange, cucumber, mint, watermelon, strawberries - whatever you want to spice it up!
10. Think about it. It's free!! - Think about the fact that every time you drink water instead of soda, alcohol, or coffee, you're saving money. Every little bit adds up!
We can do this.