Okay, I admit it.
I’m writing this blog post damn well knowing I don’t drink enough water.
Let’s look at this as a kick in the ass for both of us.
Right now my daily goal is about three litres but, to be honest, I get in about a litre unless I’m really pushing myself.
* grabs bottle of water and takes three huge gulps *
WHY DRINK MORE WATER?
The research is super clear about how beneficial water is in GENERAL, let alone how beneficial it is for the management of depression and anxiety.
This study in particular shows that drinking more plain water lowered anxiety and depression scores compared with those who drank less.
They states that “water facilitates signalling pathway and nutrients delivery to the brain, removes toxins and inflammatory markers and provides energy sources for (the) brain, and thereby improves brain function.”
That sounds important to me.
* starts chugging water *
As I looked into it some more, I found that two studies done by the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory show that even mild dehydration can change your energy levels, your mood and your ability to think clearly.
The fucked up part (for me anyway), is that this dehydration affected women in this study even more than it affected men.
For me personally, that hit home.
I know both genders face massive pressures and challenges but, for me, I’m thinking periods that cause massive mental blows AND now this? UGH. That’s harsh, bro.
I’m not taking away from men with depression. Just let me feel momentarily sorry for myself, please and thank you.
* BRB quick bathroom break needed due to all the water chugging *
Okay, I’m back.
HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU NEED?
Traditionally, it’s always been said that you need eight glasses of water a day. That’s pretty subjective in my eyes.
One of those researchers in the studies from the University of Connecticut I mentioned above says that the average person needs two litres of water per day for optimum health.
If you’ve had a lot of trouble getting in enough water on the regular, I recommend starting with something a bit more manageable – maybe a litre a day and up it by 250 mls every day until you’re up to the recommended amount.
* Takes one quick sip of water *
It’s pretty easy to tell if you’re hydrated enough. Basically it comes down to the colour of your tinkle (which is what I call urine because I think it sounds better to say, “I really need to tinkle” instead of “I could piss like a racehorse right about now”).
If your tinkle/urine/pee is a light yellowish almost clear colour, you’re sitting pretty. If it’s a dark yellow, we have a problem. The goal is to get your urine as light a colour as possible.
Side note, my husband wants me to remind you that your urine will naturally be a much darker colour first thing in the morning. That’s normal and no need to panic. Thanks Ryan!
Now don’t worry if it’s not completely clear the rest of the day either. That’s not the ultimate goal although it does feel pretty spectacular to get there.
The helpful thing about upping your water intake and having to monitor your urine colour is that you’ll get plenty of chances! YAY!
You’ll get going to the bathroom more times than you can count in the beginning. It’s actually pretty annoying but I promise your body will get used to it. You won’t be running to the bathroom every hour.
* Speaking of which…BRB *
HOW TO GET IN MORE WATER
This is the part of the post where I usually give you the tips I personally use to get the job done. In this case, however, I’m as much writing out what I SHOULD be doing as much as I am writing about what I AM doing.
I’m not perfect. Surprise!
Anyway, here are some tips for us both to get where we need to go:
Before I begin I just want to encourage you to use a water filter, reusable water cooler or, if that’s not possible, the largest bottles of water possible to minimize the use of single-use plastic products. Let’s not get ourselves healthy at the expense of the Earth. Plastic is shitty.
Buy multiple reusable water bottles and fill up your needed water intake for the day. Put them in the fridge (or on the counter if you’re weird like me and prefer room temperature water), so that you can see exactly how much you need to drink and how much you’ve already had to drink.
Set a timer. I’m a big fan of the timer. Set an alarm to go off at the top of every hour to remind you to quickly take a few gulps of water. The best kind is one that just beeps twice so that you don’t have to put off and physically reset the alarm. You don’t want something that’s a nuisance. You just want a quick reminder. If you’re hearing impaired, a little alarm connected with a light is perfect.
If you cannot stand the taste of plain water (which I believe is something you just need to eventually get over), try adding in some lemons, limes or cucumber. If you’re super desperate, use some Crystal Light. I’m not a huge fan of the artificial sweeteners and the food colouring in them, but getting in the water is more important than avoiding that stuff overall.
Drink a glass of water before any meal. This actually helps you in more ways than one. It hydrates of course, but it also aids in your digestion AND helps you eat less. If you’re trying to drop a few pounds like me, every little bit helps.
Okay, I think we have enough reasons to drink more water and some tips to get the ball rolling.
I’m going to chug the rest of this water bottle. I suggest you join me!