Nurse Mia Ross is all about preventative medicine and she shares 4 tips to maximize your water intake:
Drinking water is an imperative addition to your daily health routine. As a preventative medicine nurse, I discuss the challenge of increasing water consumption with clients everyday. There are hydration habits you can adopt to maximize your water intake. Here are my personal quick tips:
START YOUR DAY WITH A GLASS OF WATER
What is the first thing you put into my body in the morning? It’s probably not water, but it should be. Even a small 4 oz glass of water on an empty stomach before your morning coffee/tea/breakfast can rehydrate cells from the night’s fast. If you knock out some of your daily water intake first thing, you won’t have to think about it as much throughout the day. I keep water by the bedside and drink 16 ounces before I do anything else.
EATING & DRINKING SHOULD BE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE
Are you drinking water while you eat? Again, probably a yes. Drinking and eating should be treated as mutually exclusive entities. Often we “wash down” partially chewed food with water and this forces the GI tract to work harder. When food is not chewed fully, it can slow down digestion and minimize nutritional uptake. For max nutrition, chew your food and remember that water is best absorbed on an empty stomach (another reason to drink it first thing in the morning).
YOUR WATER BOTTLE IS YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND
How are you getting water throughout the afternoon? The vessel you use to hydrate may be a direct reflection of how much water you’re drinking. Do you still have that old nalgene bottle from college? You may want to upgrade. Forget the plastic bottles (save your money for something better) and get yourself a sturdy, sleek, BPA and phthalate free bottle. It’s your new BFF. Would you ever forget your wallet/keys/smartphone when leaving the house? Now your water bottle is coming with you, too.
PAY ATTENTION TO QUANTITY
How many ounces are you drinking per day? The more, the merrier though sixty-four ounces is the minimum for a healthy adult. Remember, the more you weigh, the more you need. If you exercise, live in a hot climate, want your skin to be flawless, want to rid yourself of headaches, suffer from allergies, have joint pain or constipation you will need more. If you drink coffee or alcohol (dehydrating substances) you’ll need to add one 8-ounce glass of water for each serving. The Institute of Medicine determined that adequate water intake for men over 18 years is 3.7 liters (about 13 cups). Intake for women of the same demographic is 2.7 liters (about 9 cups) daily. You can view the IOM’s official report here.
Remember, your body is over 60% water and it is vital for life, so drink up. Cheers!