Previously I’ve written about why we need to drink water, and the functions it plays in our bodies. As much as I’m an advocate that knowledge is power, sometimes knowledge isn’t enough. Over the years I have heard a plethora of reasons as to why people don’t drink water; with the most common reason being many peeps just don’t like water. Perhaps you grew up in a town where the water wasn’t the cleanest or the pipes made it taste nasty. Perhaps you were raised on soft drinks and juice, and your body expects drinks to be sweet. Or maybe you just think water is boring.
So, here I have written out five things you can do to water to try and increase your chances of getting enough in!
1. Warm it up
Cold water can feel aggressive to some. For some it hurts their teeth, for others it hurts their guts. Both reasons are enough to turn someone off drinking water and reach for coffee instead.
If you find drinking cold water feels harsh, try drinking warm water. It sounds so simple, but it can be a game changer. It doesn’t have to be a cup of tea, but a mug of warm, plain water may be your answer to hydration. There’s the cheeky bonus of using the time for the kettle to boil to do a quick away-from-the-computer stretch!
2. Make it herbal
It goes without saying that, as a Naturopath, I love herbal teas! Herbal teas have been used for their medicinal properties for eons, but I recommend herbal teas to peeps who have a “less-than-best” relationship with water. Yes, we all know the standard peppermint and chamomile, but there’s a whole world of teas out there for peeps to try. Have you tried the slightly tart hibiscus (rosella)? Or how about a cup of warming ginger? Or maybe even the soft flavours of lemon balm (Melissa) might tickle your taste buds.
Herbal teas, and even iced herbal teas are a great way to boost your water intake. I have two tips for using teas this way, firstly, make sure it’s a caffeine-free tea. Secondly, try to limit the sugars and sweeteners (even honey). The idea is to modify your taste buds, so they adapt to less sweet drinks.
3. Get bubbly
No, I’m not talking about replacing water with champagne! I’m talking about using soda water, also known as sparkling water, club soda, seltzer water, or fizzy water. Soda water is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide under pressure, resulting in the fffzzzzzzzz. Some peeps love it, others loath it. As an added bonus, the carbon dioxide can help in cases of acute anxiety; it decreases smooth muscle contractions, dilates blood vessels, and increase CO2 in individual who are rapid or shallow breathers.
4. Chill out with fruit
Frozen fruit instead of ice cubes is a game changer during warmer months! A tablespoon of frozen blueberries with a slice of lemon, or a sliced up frozen strawberry with some mint! Delicious! I find adding a small amount of frozen fruit can level up your water game mid-afternoon, when you’ve been drinking water all day to keep hydrated, but you just wanted something a lil extra.
It’s important to remember though, don’t use to much fruit! The idea to help transition you to drinking more water, not to keep craving sweet things. Also, make sure you chew the fruit as carbohydrate digestion beings in the mouth with salivary amylase.
5. Squeezin’ the juice
This is my final suggestion, and it’s only a last resort. I recommend this tip usually only for after training, or on hot days if younger clients (kids) have been running around all day. Adding a small amount of fruit juice to water can help with the sensation of really quenching your thirst, particularly if you’ve already drunk a lot of plain water or been out in the summers sun all day. A dash of salt can also help if you’ve been sweating a lot. I don’t recommend this for every day, as it’s not really training your taste buds to stop craving sweet things, and it’s adding in liquid calories to your day.
So, there you have it peeps. Five ways to level up your water drinking game. I invite you to spend the next week really looking at how much water you drink. Do you drink enough? Should you drink more? Are you drinking out of habit, or to meet thirst demands? If you’re a low water drinker, I challenge you to try one of the listed methods above to boost your intake.