The advice has varied over the years: drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day, drink enough so that your urine is clear, drink more when it is hot, when you’ve worked out or when you’ve eaten too much salt, drink half of your weight in ounces of water each day, … There is even a “hydration calculator” on about.com which will tell you how much water you should drink today based on your weight, exercise, pregnancy and breastfeeding status, weather, altitude and if you’re sick. Keep in mind, that certain illnesses and medications may require you to drink more or less water, check with your physician.
Each time I’ve asked my doctor how much water I should drink, he replies, “drink with you’re thirsty.” Even with this sage advice, it is hard for me to remember to have water around until I’m really thirsty or ready to eat.
I heard from a naturopath once that our bodies, largely comprised of water, are like sponges. If the sponge gets dry it will not soak in water as well as if it were already damp. This means that my “binge” water guzzling (I got this from my mom) is not doing the trick to keep me hydrated. I do notice that when I down 8 ounces all at once with gasping breaths to follow, I usually don’t feel hydrationally (Is that even a word?) satisfied.
Enter the solution. I was browsing at target one day. I love browsing at target, great way to procrastinate. And I saw these nifty 24 oz cups with a built in straw. I know these have been around for a while, but they really stood out to me. I remembered how much water I drank after a recent Starbucks trip where I got some ice water in a cup to-go. I decided to see if this would get me to drink more water or if it was just an excuse to buy something.
It worked. I love my cup with a straw! I really have been drinking more water in a steady stream to “keep my sponge moist.” We have a lemon tree in the backyard, so sometimes I’ll throw in a few slices. I also love putting a caffeine-free tea bag into my ice water. The flavor and antioxidants slowly seep in. You can leave the tea in all day as you refill your cup. The brew becomes more subtle with each refill, but continues to be refreshing. All hail to the straw cup!
What are your tricks for living healthy?