Monthly Theme: Eating
This week’s word is Thirst
There is something unique about the earth you stand on. Life lives here. As you sit, stand or lie where you are existing at present let that soak in a minute. You are on the only planet in the universe that has life. You are part of that life. You exist because this planet has the perfect combination of conditions available to sustain life: warmth, gravity, air, and water. Consider for a moment how your body needs these things. Over these last few months we have considered them one at a time in ways that hopefully make us grateful to be alive.
Would it surprise you to know that you fight against the earth's efforts to produce life within you? Consider water for instance. Here it is. Waiting for you to take it in, to let it do its job of balancing your body's systems and functions. Yet, we often fail to take in adequate amounts of water for our body to perform at its best. Most of us wouldn't think of not eating when we are hungry. Why is it so much easier to not drink when we get thirsty?
About twenty years ago I attended an inspirational speech for office workers sponsored by our local Children's Hospital, my employer at the time. The speaker began his talk by pointing out this fact - office workers are chronically dehydrated. Throughout his talk, he made us all shout loudly over and over again, "DRINK MORE WATER!!!" It has always stuck with me. My family physician has a book on her desk in every exam room of her office titled You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty. Do you think that could sometimes be true for you?
Earth is holding out her most precious gift - water. You were made to live on a wet planet. Over half of your body is water. Without it, you suffer.
This week, try to receive the gift of life-giving water. Pay attention to your body and notice when it is trying to tell you it needs water. Experiment with ways to drink more water. If you have problems drinking water straight, as some people do, experiment with some of the suggestions offered below.
Ready? Shout it out with me now, friends. "DRINK MORE WATER!!!"
Quote of the Week
How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should) by Ciara Conlon
Water is the driving force of all nature. – Leonardo da Vinci
"Do you want a really simple way to improve your health and productivity? Here’s a free and easy way to stay healthy and get more done which doesn’t involve apps or planners, gyms or diets. Drink more water.
They say our bodies are made up of 70% water, so it goes without saying that we need to drink enough water to maintain a healthy balance. Most of us know we should drink more water — but do you remember the reasons why? Here are reminders of some of the many benefits of drinking water and how we can easily create the habit of consuming more water on a daily basis.
If the body gets dehydrated this means that each cell gets dehydrated and cannot perform to its optimum levels. Dehydration causes fatigue and lethargy, which will have a direct impact on your energy levels and performance. It isn’t just the cells in the body that are affected by the lack of water…the ones in the brain suffer too. Dehydration can also cause headaches, a common afternoon drawback for office workers. You may chalk up the headache down to stress, but try drinking more water throughout the day and you may be surprised at how many of these headaches it eliminates. You will also notice a lack of mental alertness if you haven’t been sipping at the water fountain throughout the day. Stay hydrated and you will be able to focus more and get more done.
Drinking water benefits our health in many ways. Water helps to flush toxins and waste products from our bodies. It aids our digestion and “keep us regular”. I have heard it said that it can help reduce the risks of heart attacks and cancers. Drinking water prevents dehydration, which can affect the cells negatively in so many ways. You cannot deny that your body feels happier and healthier each time you consume a glass of water.
It’s not just all health and productivity, as if that weren’t enough. You can look better too. Water is proven to help with weight loss. By improving your digestive system, fats will be eliminated from the body more efficiently. It also reduces appetite and eliminates thirst which can sometimes be confused with hunger. Water can also help to hydrate the skin and reduce the signs of aging. No more expensive anti-aging creams; water all the way."
Best Tips for Drinking More Water A Day
1. Add your own natural fruit juice for water flavouring. Adding a squeeze of lemon, orange or lime can add some flavour to your water and make it more appealing to drink.
TIP: Invest in a hand juicer to make this activity easier and less hassle. If you're unable to get hold of one, use concentrated juice drops.
2. Introduce spicy food to your diet. By eating more spice and hot foods you will naturally want to drink more water.
TIP: Only eat spicy foods if you can and its part of your diet. Also if you're not used to it do not eat very spicy food as can cause stomach upsets.
3. Use an App. There are some great water apps available for smartphones like Water Logged. These apps help you keep track of how much water you have consumed throughout the day and send you reminders to keep the water flowing.
TIP: Use Waterlogged for iPhone and Water Your Body for android.
4. Use a water filter jug. If you live in a hard water area, your water could have a funny taste. Using a filter will purify your water, making it fresh, clear and tasty.
TIP: You can buy a Brita filter jug or use one of these stylish eco-friendly reusable filters such as Soma water filters.
5. Buy a bottle of water and carry it with you. One of the main reasons that many of us don't drink enough fluids is because we don't have water with us. Keeping a bottle to hand to help keep you hydrated.
TIP: Once your plastic water bottle is empty refill it and keep it in the fridge.
6. Stay hydrated while you exercise. Being dehydrated when exercising can cause an increased risk of blood cots, as your blood will thicken and your blood vessels will become narrower. We all get thirsty whilst we are exercising because we are losing more water through sweat.
TIP: Remember to carry a bottle of water with you to sip during training, do not wait until you are back home. A good way to remember to do this is to take a sip after every exercise/set.
7. Drink water as your starter. When you are out for dinner a really easy way to drink more water is to have a glass before your meal. In many cases we are often just thirsty rather than hungry. This tip will help you stay hydrated as well as help you lose weight as you are eating less and drinking more.
TIP: This does not have to be when your eating out, you can incorporate this into your work day, lunch and evening meal.
8. Eat plenty of water rich foods. As mentioned above water doesn't just have to come from what we drink. You can stay hydrated by eating foods with a high water content, like cucumber, lettuce, melon and celery. These foods are healthy and will keep you fuller for longer.
TIP: Cut some water rich foods up to snack on during the day. They're healthy and assist in hitting your water targets (watermelon has 92% content of water).
9. Drink water on your nights out. A really great tip to drink more water is to substitute every other alcoholic drink on a night out with a glass of water. This is much healthier for your body and will save you from feeling horrible the next morning.
TIP: If this is too difficult in big groups at parties, make sure 2 hours before you go home you drink plenty of water to avoid being dehydrated the next day.
10. Drink a glass of water whilst you wait for your brew. When you are making a cup of coffee or tea and you're standing around waiting for the kettle to boil, grab a quick glass of water. This will counteract the effects of drinking caffeine, which is actually very dehydrating.
TIP: When going to get the milk for your hot drink, make sure you have a cold water jug in the fridge too. Grab it while you're getting the milk and pour a nice glass of water while the kettle boils.
11. Invest in a really nice re-useable bottle that you will actually use. Using a bottle that you will enjoy using will motivate you to carry on drinking throughout the day.
TIP: Buy a water bottle like this stunning stainless steel one, which is insulated to keep your water cold all day. If you're looking for a cheaper option, you can also buy pre-filtered bottles like these ones from Bobble.
12. Drink through a straw and keep sipping throughout the day. Melissa Harrison from BuzzFeed recommends using a fun straw to help you drink more water.
TIP: Buy a crazy straw to make sure you do this or buy a water bottle with a sip filter.
13. Try different types of water like, spring, mineral, sparking and flavoured water.
TIP: You can jazz up water with one of these variations. Remember, whatever helps to make water more enjoyable for you is a good thing.
14. Keep a bottle of water with you in the car and take a sip while you are stuck in traffic. Driving dehydrates us especially in the hot weather and with the air con that dries out the air.
TIP: On long car journeys make sure you set reminders on your phone as alerts to have a good drink of water every 30 minutes. In warm weather increase this to 15 minutes.
15. Replace your daily vitamin tablets with vitamin water drops for your drink. Take in all the essential vitamins and stay energised all day long.
TIP: If you're finding it hard to find or drink vitamin drops you can use effervescent versions that have to be taken in a full glass of water. This can be part of your daily morning routine.
16. Swap the sugary squashes, fruit juices and fizzy drinks for a glass of water. Reducing your sugar level will help in weight loss, diabetic management and help maintain healthy gums.
TIP: If you have a sweet tooth and want to add some flavour to your water try adding a water flavour enhancerwithout artificial sweeteners.
17. Keep an eye out for water coolers and stop for a quick drink.
TIP: Invest in an office water cooler machine if you don't have one. If this proves too expensive buy a desktop version.
18. Include water drinking into your daily routine. Drink 2 glasses of water in the morning and start the day how you wish to proceed.
TIP: Taking an effervescent vitamin like mentioned above can start this off. Also if you're taking any morning medication make sure you take them with a full glass of water not just a small amount.
19. Add deadlines to your water drinking. Aim to drink a certain amount by 10am, midday, 2pm and in the evening to make sure you hit your target, like this from LifeHacker (check out their image above).
TIP: Use a DIY water bottle with deadlines on so you know when and how to reach your targets during the day. In the evening, you can substitute cold water with a warm water drink to reach your goals.
20. Make a water wager with your friends and colleagues. Set goals and challenges on who can drink the most water (within reason and for health benefit). Making water drinking fun will encourage you to re-hydrate.
TIP: Pair off in teams and offer an incentive for the winner (i.e. whoever loses makes the coffee/tea for the next day).
21. Set a timer on your phone as a reminder to your top up your drink. This will act as a mental trigger and keep you continue drinking.
TIP: Make goals that are realistic and achievable during the time that you can drink water.
22. Always re-fill your glass or water bottle. You are more likely to drink more if you see water in front of you rather than an empty glass.
TIP: Buy an inspiring glass water bottle or drinking glass. These ones look great to us.
23. Adding ice cubes to your water will help keep your drink refreshing and tasty. This is also a really good trick if you want to loose weight. Drinking cold water burns more calories, as your body needs to work harder to bring the water temperature up.
TIP: Buy a bag of pre-freezed ice and place into your drink during the day. If at the office you may need to improvise.
24. If you are a fruit juice lover and can't cut it out of your diet, try diluting it with water, this will count towards to your daily water intake and still be something sweet you will enjoy.
TIP: Buy concentrated fruit juice to limit your usage in water.
25. Have a glass of water after you have been to the lavatory. This will ensure you are replenishing the water you have just lost.
TIP: Before going to the toilet pour yourself a glass of water and leave it on your walkway back to your office/lounge. This makes it easier to pick up on your way through.
26. Reward yourself to hitting your water target. Get yourself a treat after a week of drinking your goal of water consumption a day.
TIP: After you have hit your water goals it is essential to reward yourself, no action worth doing is without reward.
27. Build up your water levels slowly. Increasing your water intake drastically might come as a shock to you and your body. Build up the amount you can drink slowly and increase it until to hit your target.
TIP: If you do not drink any water, start by drinking 1 glass a day (by using one of these tips) then go onto another tip and increase your consumption naturally.
28. Water is great for your skin. Adding water drinking to your skincare routine is a great way to remember to drink more and give your skin a healthy glow.
TIP: As part of your daily skincare routine drink a glass of water, keep a glass in the area you carry out this essential routine.
29. Play water-drinking games with your friends. We've all heard of beer pong, why not substitute this for water pong.
TIP: You can make this game more exciting by adding a few of your favourite natural water favouring drops, fruit or different waters (sparkling, flavoured, etc.)
30. Freeze little bits of lemon and lime or your favourite fruit and use these as ice cubes in your water for a refreshing summer time treat.
TIP: You can use all citrus fruits and even some vegetables.
31. Add fruit to your water. Fruit infusions are all the rage and by adding pieces of fruit to your water bottle/glass this can create a pleasant water drinking experience.
TIP: Invest in a fruit infusion bottle, which you can prepare and make up in the evening, place in the fridge and take to work the next day.
32. Keep a glass of water handy when you are at home, watching TV cooking dinner or searching the Internet. It is much easier to carry on drinking if it is next to you.
TIP: Make sure to keep the glass within arms reach and on at eye level.
33. Keep track of the amount of water you are drinking. Make a tick chart and record how many glasses of water you are drinking. This will help you track how many glasses you have to go.
TIP: Make a water consumption spreadsheet and tick it off as you go along. Or download a chart like the one above at www.creative-calenders.com.
34. Set yourself rules. I can't have another coffee or snack until I drink 2 more cups of water.
TIP: If you have difficulty with this rule, enforce a water buddy who will monitor and manage you.
35. Have a big glass of water at every transitional point of the day: When you Þrst get up, before you leave the house, when you sit down to work, before you go to lunchÉ
TIP: Make drinking water part of these milestones during the day; brush your teeth Ð glass of water, take vitamins/tablets Ð glass of water, at the gym Ð bottle of water and at night have a hot water based drink.
36. Eat ice lollies. Eating lollies during the warm summer months can not only quench your thirst but can also increase your water intake.
TIP: Make your own lollies from natural water enhancers to provide a sugar free summer treat for the whole family.
37. Cindy Dyson from Spark People talks about becoming a water connoisseur. Just like wine, you can become a connoisseur of water. There are a lot of different types of water on the market these days and to increase your enjoyment of water you can try these out to.
TIP: Try coconut water, almond water, and maple water during your next shopping trip and review them against your current water.
38. Infuse your water with herbs. You can use leaf herbs to enhance the flavour of water. Many people use mint to provide a subtle taste enhancing to their water consumption activity.
TIP: Mix fresh mint leaves with fruit to create your own infusion.
39. Drink hot water at night. Drinking hot water at night can soothe and relax you. By adding in flavour enhancers you can increase flavour of this.
TIP: Add lavender or honey/lemon to your water to increase your enjoyment. You can even use fruit based infused teas.
40. Drink hot water in the morning. Drinking hot water can also be done in the morning. This can aid digestion and with flavour enhancers can make the consumption of water more enjoyable.
TIP: Squeeze lemon/lime juice into a glass of hot water in the morning to boost your skin radiance for the day.”
For a deeper dive into the health benefits of water, visit:
Have a GREAT week!