Often times when thinking about nutrition or a healthy lifestyle, the first thought that comes to mind includes a form of dieting or weight. However, there’s so much more to a healthy lifestyle than just weight and food. One common topic often overlooked is the importance of hydration. Adequate hydration is critical every day, and especially as the warmer weather develops. There are various fluids and water rich food items that count towards our hydration but today, we’ll focus specifically on water. Below are a few tips to hopefully help you improve your hydration.
Flavors can be life savers
You’ve likely heard of lemon flavored water, but have you heard of strawberry or mint flavored water? The options to flavor are endless and helps to take the bore out of plain water. If you don’t like lemon, don’t let that discourage you. Try to find a flavor that motivates you to drink. Some of my personal favorites include berries, oranges and cucumbers.
Decorate and insulate
Do you have one water bottle that you prefer over others? Whether the opening is just right or the metal straw is the perfect length, you have a connection. If not, I encourage you to pick a water bottle that you actually want to take around with you. Having a water bottle with you during the day will make it easier to constantly be sipping. Plus, you can readily fill up at water stations instead of drinking from plastic bottles. Consider the temperature you like when selecting a bottle as well. For instance, if you like ice cold water, be sure the bottle is well insulated. Picking a bottle to your liking will hopefully help to hydrate you.
From sunrise to sunset, avoid regrets
You have 24 hours everyday to get enough water in. Now of course, everyone’s schedule is very different and most of us are (hopefully) sleeping for a portion of the day. But something to work into any schedule is drinking a glass of water when you first wake up. Yes, even before any coffee or tea.
Try to set realistic goals for yourself about how much you want to finish by certain markers throughout the day. Hold yourself accountable. Sometimes, it helps to find a friend or family member who can check in on you and provide encouragement!
As with any nutrition topic, recommended hydration intake is personalized. Speak with your doctor and/or registered dietitian to help set a realistic and healthy hydration goal. Make time for yourself and invest in your health. As I tell my clients, be your own biggest advocate. Your health matters and a huge part of your health relies on your hydration. Now, let’s cheers to that (with water, of course).
Rayna McCann is a Clinical Registered Dietitian at a local hospital where she focuses on oncology nutrition. She also sees clients for private counseling through Laura Burak Nutrition. Follow her @HappilyHealthyAfter_RD.