It’s here! Our Back to the Basics challenge! One habit. One month at a time. For nine months! (You can read more about it here: Back to the Basics.)
Our first habit: Drink your water! (Is this a surprise to anyone? 😉 )
Water is essential for life. You know this. But, sometimes we struggle to drink enough of it. So, for the month of September, we are going to work on getting enough water into our bodies. Some of you have this down. Some of you have a lot of work to do in this area. Some of you are like me and fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. Some days I do great, and other days are less than desirable.
How much water should I drink? That is a great questions! There are various formulas and theories out there. As with most health issues, it depends who you talk to. Some say eight, eight ounce glasses a day (the old standby rule), some say half your weight in ounces, others say two-thirds your weight in ounces. I’m sure other formulas are out there, too.
The truth is that it will vary depending on your current health, your daily activity, and even your climate. Two ways you can know if you are getting enough water are: you aren’t thirsty very often during the day, and your output (yep, your urine) is close to the color of your input. (Jessica posted a nifty little color chart here if you’d like a better visual.)
I’m going to recommend you get at least the eight glasses a day rule. If you aren’t getting enough, this will be a good place to start. If you are already generally getting enough water, then you might experiment a little with getting half or two-thirds of your bodyweight in ounces and see how you feel. And, yes, you CAN drink too much water. Don’t go overboard here.
There are several ways you can track your water input. One way is to just remember how many glasses of water you’ve had a day. For most of us, this is hard. Was it three this morning? Or did I already have four? Hmmm…
If you are a natural “tracker” and list maker, there are old-fashioned paper trackers or new fangled apps for keeping track of how much water you’ve had in a day.
Here’s a daily planner with a section for water intake: The Art of Simple Daily Docket.
If you don’t need a whole planner, this free printable from Clean Mama has various options and you can place it where you will use it most.
If you prefer an app, I recommend typing “water tracker” into your device app store and seeing what you can find. There are numerous free ones available. I haven’t used any, so I cannot recommend one.
If you are like me and find tracking things a bit too much for your life, you can just measure how much water your favorite water bottle holds and then see how many times you need to fill said water bottle per day to get your desired total.
The red bottle on the left is thirty-two ounces, so if I fill it up twice per day, I am doing pretty good. The green cup on the right is about twenty-four ounces, so if I use that one between two and three times, that works, too. I need to measure the water bottle I generally take with me to work. It is a bit smaller, but has the best lid so I don’t spill all over my desk. 😉
Some common drawbacks to drinking enough water are not liking the taste and the need to use the restroom more often. I think both are things you can adjust to, if you give it time. You can enjoy the taste of water, but like most things, you have to keep trying. I know I sometimes think water will taste boring and turn to something sweet instead. You can try some fruit-infused water, too. See our recipe page for details. As for the restroom use, your body should adjust to the increase in water. I cannot guarantee this, as everyone is different, but as you add more water to your routine, you can also experiment with the times you drink your water so you aren’t running to the restroom at inopportune times.
So, who is in? What keeps you from drinking enough water? If you are a rock star water drinker, what tips do you have to share?
Want more info?
Here is a helpful article from Mayo Clinic: Water: How much should you drink every day?.
And here’s a post Jessica wrote a while back: Drink Water.
Cori is a wife, mom of three, part-time secretary and random writer who is learning how to take small steps towards big goals. She tends to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, but a journey to learn how to run (something she always hated) has taught her a lot about gradual, slow change. She has a degree in journalism and enjoys doing research and writing.
- Twitter at @thesmallchanges
- Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/thesmallchanges/
- Instagram at thesmallchanges
- Facebook at www.facebook.com/smallchangesbigpicture
- Sign-up for the Monthly Newsletter
- E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org