Enlightened State

Self-Care Saturday: 5 Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated and Feel Great

Self-Care SaturdayMorgan VanekComment

I've been hearing about how important it is to drink water for a long time.  Unfortunately, I've never been a "water person." As a child, I just didn't understand why someone would choose to drink water when Kool-aid, soda, and sweet tea were options, as well.  Tap water tasted funny, and even when I had access to filtered or bottled water, it was never my first choice.  

After I left school, it started to hit me that one of the reasons I felt tired and sluggish so frequently might be because I was chronically dehydrated.  Could this explain why I often had stomach issues, headaches, and even skin breakouts? I wasn't sure, but I had to find out.  

I decided to drink more water and cut all those sugary drinks out of my diet (I knew they weren't exactly making me feel good). But to be honest, I failed. Several times. Those habits I had learned in childhood were really ingrained.  So I decided to make it a game, and I also decided to cheat.  My end goal was to be hydrated, and as long as I succeeded, I would call it a win.  

And you know what? Drinking more water actually made me feel great!  Now, I do my best to drink as much water as I can.  And when I catch myself reaching for a soda instead of a glass of water, I remember what a difference drinking water has made for my health. 

I still struggle to stay hydrated sometimes, but it's gotten a lot easier.  The five methods below have made my transition from a liquid sugar addict to a "water person" a lot easier, and I hope they help you, too!

1. Get a lightweight, 32-oz. water bottle

I once read an article where 42-year old actress Gabrielle Union said that her secret to awesome skin is drinking a gallon of water a day.  This might seem extreme, but if you've seen Gabrielle Union in the last few years, you'll know that her method works.  But carrying around a gallon jug of water all day would get a little bulky and inconvenient, so instead I invested in a 32-oz. water bottle from Victoria's Secret Pink.  It's cute and (more importantly) lightweight, so I don't mind carrying it everywhere, and I only have to fill it up four times to meet my daily goal.  This is an easy way to keep track of how much water you're drinking, and since it's so portable you can take a sip anytime you think of it.  

2. Download and use the Waterlogged app

If carrying around a water bottle isn't your thing, consider downloading the Waterlogged app.  It's free on the App Store, and it will help you set a daily goal for drinking water and keep track of how much you've had.  I use Waterlogged if I'm going to be somewhere that I can't tote my water bottle.  It's cute design, cheerful encouragement, and convenience make it a great option for hydrating iPhone users.  

3. Drink herbal tea

One thing I've struggled with pretty consistently is drinking water in the mornings.  I know how important it is for me to hydrate myself before I hit the afternoon slump, but there's something about the mornings that calls for a warm drink.  I used to down cups of coffee before switching to soda at lunch, but it made me jittery and I started drinking herbal tea instead.  I even leave out the sweeteners - many herbal teas are naturally sweet, like Lemon Ginger and Apple Chamomile.  By substituting tea for my third, fourth, and fifth cups of coffee, I am tricking myself into drinking water and reducing my sugar intake, making it a great option for me.  

4. Buy an infuser bottle and some fruit

If you're having a hard time getting on the water wagon because you think water tastes weird, you are not alone! I always felt the same way, but now that I'm used to the taste of water, I actually like it! If you're not quite there yet, pick up an inexpensive infuser bottle.  Cut up some fruit, place it in  the infuser, and fill up your bottle. If you let it sit in the fridge overnight, you'll get a stronger flavor, and you'll enjoy the hydration process more.  My favorite fruits to use in my infuser bottle  are strawberry and lemon (tastes like strawberry lemonade), and pineapple.  

5. When all else fails, chug

There are certain times, like when I'm drinking alcohol or about to go to bed, when I know I should be staying hydrated, but I often forget.  That glass of water on the table never looks as good as the beer that's right in front of me. When this happens, I find that it's easier to drink water quickly so that I can get it over with, and I'll try to finish a glass or two as fast as I can.  I do this as often as possible to trick myself into meeting my daily goal, which lets me focus on friends, work, or anything else that's not hydration-related.  

What are your tricks for staying hydrated? How do you make yourself feel great?

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