Guest Post “On Drinking More Water” today from the lovely Alyssa Snow Callahan!
Greetings devout readers of the fabulous Savvy Sweet Potato blog! This is not Captain Cory, the Savvy Sweet Potato herself, but rather a friend/fellow grad student/life partner who is trying to venture into the realm of blogging. I’m Alyssa – it’s nice to meet you. Curtsy. Gosh, did I just curtsy? How embarrassing.
Anyway, I am going to leave the real cooking up to chef Cory because she knows her way around a kitchen and is a vision with a spatula. But I would like to share some tips, tricks, and motivation on my journey to be the healthiest me – mentally and physically. I think there are always ways we can improve our health, and I try to make small goals every week or so to adopt better habits, ditch unhealthy behaviors, or just get back on track. Any change I’ve ever made for my health has been gradual – one goal at a time – to really make it stick for the long term.
The goal I’ve been working on for the last couple weeks is to drink more water. It’s getting warmer outside and that only means one thing: I am going to start sweating more. Hopefully because I’m going to be more motivated to exercise outside in the beautiful sunshine, but also because I will be sitting in L.A. traffic with my back and legs sticking to my car seat. That’s right – I am a major perspiration station. And then when I finally get to where I need to go, I’m drinking massive quantities of coffee and not drinking water. (Note: Coffee counts as fluid, but the caffeine can also dehydrate you, so it’s not a good substitute for water. Trust me, I wish it were so.)
Realistically, we should all be drinking at least 8 glasses of fluid every day. (I’m talking tall glasses that are 8 oz. each.) This equates to 64 oz. or 0.5 gallon or 1.9 liters. And this is even if you aren’t exercising. (Sweating from exercise and heat increase your needs even more.) That’s a lot of water – but it’s completely doable, I promise.
Why start a devotion to H2O? Well, your body and brain are mostly water, and replenishing that water is not only necessary, but can also make you feel better. I think we all know that dehydration headache from long days in the sun or at the beach, so avoiding headaches is a good reason for me. Drinking water can also help boost your energy and stimulates your digestive, urinary, and immune systems. Some even say it keeps your skin looking so fresh and so clean clean and decreases hunger.
My cat bought this water bottle once and reuses it. He’s super cheap.
My main tactic is to set up benchmarks throughout the day and start drinking water early when I might otherwise rely solely on coffee. Here’s the schedule:
- Water Bottle #1 (0.8 liter): I drink this in the morning while I’m getting ready and on my commute. My goal is to finish it before getting to class at 8 or 9 a.m.
- Water Bottle #2 (1 liter): I refill my water bottle when I get to class or use another one I stashed in my car. This time, my goal is to finish it by mid-afternoon or when I get home, depending on my schedule that day.
- Water Bottle #3 (varies): I’ll also drink some water when I get home, with dinner, and/or after I work out.
My schedule aims high for drinking more than 2 liters of water, depending on my exercise schedule that day. Sometimes I don’t finish Water Bottle #2 and I drink more water at home. And that’s ok – it’s just a goal. I’ve found that making these benchmarks really help me.
Here are some other tips I’ve heard of or have been trying out:
- Always carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it at water fountains or the water cooler in your office. It makes meeting your goals so much easier and it’s better for the environment that buying plastic disposable bottles.
- If you have a hard time getting through a large water bottle, use a permanent marker to write goals on the side of the bottle. For example, on a 1-liter reusable bottle, write “8 am” with a hash mark about two inches below the top, then “9 am” about two inches below that, and continue until the bottom. On the other side, you can make goals for the afternoon to ensure you’re getting about 2 liters per day.
That plant is hogging all the fruit-infused water. Rude.
3. If you’re not stoked about the taste of plain water, flavor it by using a fruit infuser water bottle. Chop up some lemons, limes, strawberries, oranges, cucumbers, etc., drop them in the water bottle, fill ‘er up, and enjoy the sweetness. You an also make a large pitcher of cold water with fruit at home and take some on the go in that reusable water bottle you decided to start carrying around after reading Tip #1. Wink wink.
4. I haven’t been doing it lately, but I love love love to brew hot tea (like green tea or ginger tea), transfer it to a large pitcher, add ice and stevia, and chill it in the fridge for days of enjoyment to come. Because you know I’m not shelling out money for pre-packaged iced green tea that I can just make at home for a fraction of the price.
If you have any tips for the hydration nation, leave them in the comments. I’d love to try them.
Until next time, make sure to drink up that good H2O.
– Alyssa (a.k.a. Eccentric Eggplant. Hmmm. Still working on the pseudonym.)
Alyssa Snow Callahan is a Master’s student in Nutrition Science at Cal State L.A. Originally from New Hampshire, she earned her B.S. in Communication at Boston University. She loves running, hugs, and anything cute and fluffy. If you love cats and inspirational quotes, follow her on Instagram.