Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

I love water.

No, but really, I do. I'm that person who probably annoys wait staff at restaurants because they have to refill my glass ~123456 times during meals. And I'm OK with it.

I have friends who rarely drink water, even dislike it, and primarily drink soda water, diet sodas, juice, coffee, etc. instead. Me? Good ole' plain H2O, please. Aside from an iced coffee on the daily and whatever I might choose for a cocktail, I don't need bubbles, sugar or flavor.

The amount of water your body needs per day can depend on a number of factors. Are you male or female? Active or inactive? What's your diet like? According to this article by Active, women should consume 91 oz. of water per day, vs. 125 oz. for men - but only 45-50% of that consumption actually comes from fluids, with 35% coming from what we eat and the rest from metabolism.

Regardless, I know I feel better when I'm well hydrated, but it's easy to "forget" to drink water. For me, it's easiest to forget during the summer. Plans get crazy, it's hot, and I tend to dehydrate that much more easily. So I tossed together 5 simple tips to help boost your hydration habits...

1. Jump start your day.
Multiple articles cite that drinking more water jump starts your metabolism. Chug a nice cold glass of H2O first thing in the morning to refresh you and wake you up. Just do it before your body has a chance to realize what's going on.

2. Set benchmarks.
An old co-worker of mine set a resolution once to drink more water. To help motivate her, she used stickers and dry erase markers on her water bottle to set time benchmarks for how much she wanted to drink by a given time of day. It gave her goals, helped her hold herself accountable and form a healthy habit.

 3. Use a fun water bottle.
Yes, I know, I sound like a 5 year old, but seriously - aren't you more likely to use something you like? Walk into any sporting goods store, even Target, and you'll find 20+ options for water bottles. Plus - using a bottle you can reuse is good for the environment! Personally? I love my Nalgene (same as the one picture above). It comes almost everywhere with me. It holds 32 oz. of H2O, so I'm not constantly getting up to refill it, it's my favorite color, and it has a smaller mouth so I'm not spilling all over my graceful self. Just remember - BPA free, please.

4. Add flavor.
If you're not a big plain H2O fan, that's fine. There are so many ways to add flavor to your water to make it more enticing. I'm not a big crystal light fan, but some people love it. I would, however, suggest trying natural flavor enhancers like lemon or lime - even raspberries or cucumber. Or you can join the Nuun club and boost your electrolyte intake without the added sugar or carbs - try the tropical, it's my favorite (thus far).

Nuun, Cube1, Cube 2

5. Use a straw.
We're getting down to basics here, and I know straws are considered kind of a "girl thing", but seriously. Love them. I tend to drink more, faster when using a straw. Plus, they're fun.

Be smart, healthy and safe. Be knowledgeable about how much you're drinking and how hydrated (or dehydrated) you are at any given time. This recent article from Runner's World busts 8 common hydration myths and clarifies some common misconceptions.

Some more resources on hydration below:
Runner's Ultimate Guide to Hydration - Active
Running in Hot Weather - Women's Running
Tips for Running in Humidity  - Runner's World

Water? Soda water? Nuun? Milkshakes?

How do you remind yourself to stay hydrated? 

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