I’m a self-confessed hydraphobe (if that’s a real word…). As a kid, teenager and young adult I struggled to drink plain water and all I’d drink was juice or squash. A lot of squash.
Since getting back into fitness a few years ago I’ve trained myself to drink plain water because I know how much my body needed it. I started by using less squash and then switching to fresh fruit and mint until eventually plain water didn’t taste too bad.
Still, I struggled to drink more than about a litre each day because I wasn’t in the habit, even when I permanently had a water bottle on my desk. Over the last month I’ve not been able to exercise like I used to because of a low-key back injury so I’ve been making sure that my nutrition is on point to keep me feeling my best. Part of that has been my water consumption and I’ve been drinking at least 2 litres of water every day, sometimes more.
So, how have I felt?
Well, the first thing I noticed is that I’m peeing a whole lot more, at least every hour, maybe more. It’s fine when I’m at home but there’s been a few times where I’ve been out walking the dog and had to hotfoot it to the nearest cafe or pub. I thought my body might get used to it but so far it hasn’t and I live in fear of getting caught out and having to have a wild wee.
The second is that I’ve found it much easier to exercise self-control when it comes to how I eat because I feel full most of the time. If I feel hungry I try and have a drink to see if I’m actually just thirsty. Sometimes I am but if not then I eat something! I’ve also managed to go through my period without cramming all the sugar I can find into my face and the only thing I can pin it down to is my increased water consumption.
Thirdly, I got off a very late flight a couple of weeks ago after drinking close to 3 litres of water during the day. Having napped on the plane I would normally expect to walk off with my eyes stuck together, a dry mouth and feeling like death. This time however my eyes felt fresh, my skin didn’t feel dry and I felt awake and full of energy. Again, the water consumption was the only difference to other late flights I’d taken.
The last benefit I’ve noticed is that I feel like I have more energy overall. I’m not getting a mid-afternoon slump and I’m more focused when I sit down in front of my computer. I often struggle with getting distracted when I’m working but my brain seems to be more able to focus on one thing at a time.
Here are my top tips for increasing your water consumption, all of which have helped me!
1) If you don’t like the taste of water use fruit or herbs (lime & mint is my fave combo) to freshen up the taste
2) Keep a refillable water bottle on you at all times and as soon as it’s empty refill it
3) If you work at a desk keep the water bottle in clear view and every time your eyes settle on it have a drink
4) Don’t just sip at it, gulp a load down each time. You’ll soon find that if you do this then you might be able to drain a litre in 4-5 goes
5) If you’re in a restaurant always ask for tap water alongside any other drink you order and drain a couple of glasses before you start on your other drink
6) If someone offers you a drink while you wait for an appointment, ask for water and drink it there and then
7) Treat yourself to a water bottle that you like to drink out of and looks good. For example, I find it hard to gulp water from a standard water bottle. I prefer bottles with a cap or inbuilt straw so that’s what I always look for when I need a new one
What are your top tips on how to drink more water?