I used to have a really bad habit.
This habit left me sluggish, irritable, bloated and thirsty. It made my skin look dull, gave me headaches and brain fog and dry mouth.
My habit was…
Gasp! Not drinking enough water.
Now, maybe you’re thinking I made a big deal about nothing, but hear me out. Dehydration is serious!
We see people in the ER all the time for dehydration and other illnesses that are made worse by dehydration.
Did you know that 75% of us are chronically dehydrated? Dehydration can slow your metabolism by as much as 3 percent! That can equal up to an 8-pound weight gain per year, just from not drinking enough water! Now that’s motivation to drink water!
As a triathlete, if you’re not replenishing your fluid loss, you will have low energy, won’t recover as quickly and even be more sore because drinking enough water helps flush out all that lactic acid you build up during a tough training shesh.
Here’s a visual example from our garden:
This poor carrot was parched. The second picture is 10 minutes after being watered and the 3rd is 30 minutes after. If water makes this much of a difference in a plant, imagine the difference that it’s making on your body!
Water helps maintain proper muscle tone by giving muscles their natural ability to contract and by preventing dehydration. It also helps to prevent the sagging skin that usually follows weight loss – shrinking cells are buoyed by water, which plumps the skin and leaves it clear, healthy, and resilient.
BUT If you’re like me, you probably have a hard time drinking enough water throughout the day. Not only do I get busy and forget, but water is kinda… well… boring.
Here are a few things that have helped me get in my water quota:
1. Sparkling Water
I’ve been on a huge sparkling water kick lately and it’s been helping me SO MUCH. The carbonation helps me feel full and because it’s sparkling, I feel like I’m treating myself. I sometimes add a squeeze of lime or lemon. La Croix is an awesome option with lots of delicious flavors.
Our grocery store has some other great off-brand options too. Just make sure you get a sparkling water that doesn’t have any added sugar or sodium!
2. Coconut Water
During and after a workout, I hydrate with CocoHydro Sport coconut water. Coconut water has naturally occurring essential electrolytes and no added sugar like other sports drinks do. I even make popsicles out of it to enjoy on really hot days.
There’s this awesome iPhone app called iDrated. It makes tracking your water intake really fun. If it makes drinking water into a game for me, the $0.99 is totally worth it.
4. Treat yourself to a new water bottle
Get a new water bottle. For me, getting one of those tumbler cups with a straw motivates me to drink more water then when I use a normal cup. Whatever it takes…
Here are a few more tips to help you accomplish the feat of drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water:
– Make it convenient – keep a big, plastic, insulated water bottle full on your desk and reach for it all day.
-When you have a junk-food craving, down a glass of water immediately. You feel full quickly and avoid the calories, and it lets time pass till the craving fades.
– Don’t drink it all at once. Have one glass every hour on the hour while at work. When the work day is done your water quota is met.
–Freeze little bits of peeled lemons, limes, and oranges and use them in place of ice cubes – it’s refreshing and lemon water helps detox the body!
–Don’t allow yourself a diet soda until you’ve had two to four glasses of water. You will find that you won’t want the soda anymore or that just half a can is enough.
-Practice drinking from your water bottle while on your bike. For a long time, I didn’t drink water while biking because I was afraid and didn’t have confidence.
–Carry a small refillable water bottle at all times and drink during downtime; while waiting in a bank line, sitting on the train, etc.
–Bring a two-liter bottle of water to work and try to drink it all before you leave work. If you don’t finish, drink it in traffic on the way home – it’s like a race.
–Add drinking two glasses of water to your daily skincare regimen. Drink, cleanse, moisturize, etc., then drink again.
What are your tips to stay hydrated while training for a triathlon?