Yesterday marked the first day of my 30 Day Drink-Up Summer Challenge.... focussing on revamping your relationship to beverages. If you missed Day One you can still join in the challenge and get involved here on the event page!
What better place to kick off than maximising our water intake!
Water is the elixir of life! Yet our water intake and liquid intake in general is often overlooked or undervalued by so many. In addition, we are a nation of coffee and tea addicts, and since caffeine acts as a diuretic this is even more reason to boost our water intake everyday.
It’s the first place I start with many of my clients when reviewing dietary habits… the small change that can make a huge impact. The key is consistency and creating habits so that they become automatic within our daily life. The tips below are my personal favourites cultivated over the last 18 months as I sought to take my liquid intake from an average of two litres, so an average of three to four litres each day.
At first you may find yourself going to the toilet more frequently, but very soon your body adjusts and so this is simply not an issue… no excuses (i've heard it a lot!)
1) Drink a litre of lemon water (or plain water) first thing in the morning
Fresh lemon infused water is a great boost for the digestive system, and drinking one litre first thing ensures you get your day off to a great start, gives peace of mind and takes the pressure off having to drink so much as the day goes on.
2) Only use large mugs and glasses
So many people have small cups and then proceed to fill them well below the top… no wonder so many people are falling short of requirements even if they are meeting the ‘8 glasses a day’ quota. Make sure your glass or mug is a big one and you’ll not go far wrong.
3) Buy a drinks bottle with an internal straw
This was a total game changer for me! Often when I am working at my computer and I’m ‘in the zone’, I forget to drink. Or (if I’m being completely honest) I’m sometimes too lazy or busy to take a few moments to stop what I am doing to have a sip from a glass. With my bottle I can simply pop the nozzle in my mouth as suck away without needing to use my hands or tiling my neck. This way I find I can easily drink half a litre in a matter of minutes without even realizing it. Using a big drinks bottle helps monitor intake too. Mine is 750ml and three of those plus a few mugs of hot lemon/herbal tea easily makes my daily quota.
4) Find your favourite flavours of herbal and fruit teas
Not everyone likes plain water. That’s totally understandable, but don’t let that deter you. Remember that all herbal teas without caffeine count as your water intake and many of these have additional health benefits of their own. My favorites are lemon and ginger or peppermint but find your own personal preference and build them into your daily routine. For many, drinking a mug of hot tea is a practice of mindfulness all in itself. Take a few moments of downtime every few hours and create a new ritual today!
5) Set a reminder on your phone
To create the habit of consistency, sometimes we simply need a bit of help to get us going. It’s easy to ‘forget’ in the beginning when building a new habit and so it’s no cop out to use your phone or an app to simply remind you until the habit becomes more ingrained. I had a client who set a reminder to go off at the start of her lunch break in the office that simply said ‘have you drunk 1 litre yet?’ She had another similar reminder set for dinner time in the evening.
Now it's your turn... What creative tips have worked for you to build the water habit?
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