Six creative ways to drink your two litres every day
I grew up drinking exactly zero glasses of water a day. Instead, I drank cordial, soft drink, and just stayed dehydrated for much of my young adult life.
When I was 22, a few weeks before my wedding, I decided it was time to like water. I filled a 500ml bottle and sipped it every few minutes. I peed a lot. I didn’t like the taste.
Then, a few people started mentioning how clear my skin looked. I had a bit more uptick in energy. Everyone thought it was pre-wedding excitement – but I know that it was simply that I was hydrated for the first time in my life!
I was a changed woman.
Water is one of those crucial elements of life, and our body just doesn’t function that well when we don’t have enough going in. Headaches, fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, poor sleep, and even low blood pressure are all symptoms of day-to-day dehydration.
If you’re not a water drinker, or you struggle to get your 2-3 litres in each day, have a look at my six big tips for incorporating more water painlessly, and creating a habit for life.
1. Always start your day with a glass of water.
Your sleeping hours are the longest stretch of time without any fluids going in, so before your morning tea or coffee, chug a big glass of water first. If you really want to ramp it up, sprinkle in some pink salt and squeeze in some lemon juice for an awesome detox/electrolyte drink.
2. Make mineral water your new best friend.
Soft drink is awful stuff that’s not doing you any favours, so enjoy a glass of flavoured fizzy water instead. Squeeze in lemon or lime juice, slices of ginger, cucumber or watermelon, or just enjoy plain with ice. It’s so refreshing, and feels like a treat that you can enjoy anytime guilt-free, and all counts towards your water intake.
3. Herbal tea, served all ways.
Herbal tea is another form of flavoured water, and you can serve it either hot or cold. These days, the variety of flavours is unreal; choose from combinations of fruit, black tea, green tea, chocolate, even a perky cup of chilli tea!
To make a delicious iced tea, steep your tea bag or leaves in room-temp water for five minutes, remove and fill the glass with ice. Sip through a straw. You can even make blended teas by popping the ingredients into a blender (chai with a squidge of raw honey is divine!).
4. Prep a jar of ginger ale concentrate.
To make, boil a couple of inches of sliced ginger in about two cups of water with the juice of a lemon and around ¼ cup pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup. Let it sit overnight and strain the next morning. Voila, you have a delicious ginger ale-inspired cordial to add to mineral water or plain water with ice!
5. Eat your water.
Some foods have a really high water content, so add more of these raw foods to your day to boost your water intake. Cucumber and zucchini are 95% water (crazy, right?), watermelon and grapefruit are about 92% water, and strawberries, cantaloupe and peaches are also really high on the list. Basically if you eat a salad (regular or fruit), you’re topping up your water stores as well as getting a huge nutrition boost.
6. Treat yourself to a new water bottle.
Ok, so this one isn’t all that sneaky, but it’s pure psychology at work! Buy a snazzy, new, big water bottle that you just love. Stainless steel bottles are the best type to get. Your water bottle is your best friend – take it everywhere, keep it full, and track how many times you refill it each day.
A final few tips:
- If you’re a non-water-drinker, start slow by upping your intake by 500 ml initially, and slowly increase it over the course of a week or two.
- Work out how many times you need to empty your bottle to hit your daily quota of water. Aim to drink two-thirds of your water before lunch, so you’ve got the rest of the busy afternoon to get through the final litre or so (and you won’t be peeing all night).
- Mark your water bottle with deadlines by using tape or rubber bands so you can track where you should be. This is a great strategy for those competitive types!
- Track your daily progress for two weeks, as well as how you’re feeling and what changes you’re noticing.
- You might go to the loo a lot in the beginning – that’s normal, and your body will work it out after a couple of days!
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