I already know. Some of y'all are like, "I know that drinking water is good for me. That doesn't mean I like it, so trying to convince me that I'm doing it wrong is asking for a lot." Sis, I hear you. It's not like drinking water is my favorite thing to do either. So much, in fact, that I oftentimes go with sparkling water with a splash of juice in it, just to get my daily quota in. Still, personal feelings don't change the fact that water consumption is oh so very necessary if you want to keep toxins out of your system, regulate your body temperature, keep your joints lubricated, produce saliva and lubrication, push oxygen throughout your organs, keep your skin healthy and so much more.
That's why it's not only important that you drink water but that you do it right. If you had absolutely no idea that there are a myriad of different ways to do it wrong, let me share 10 of 'em, along with how to correct these common mistakes—now.
1. Stop Drinking Bottled Water
Let's start with something that I'm thinking is a given, at this point (although I see A LOT of people do it so, maybe not). Bottled water—what I mean is water that comes from a plastic bottle—needs to be an absolute no-no. Aside from the fact that it is absolutely horrible for the environment (it's been reported that there will be somewhere around 30 million metric tons of plastic in the oceans, every year, by 2040), plastic oftentimes contains BPA (which is a synthetic compound known as bisphenol A) and other plastic toxins.
This can ultimately lead to all sorts of health-related issues including fertility problems, weight gain and even heart disease. Instead, you're much better off using a recyclable bottle. It lasts longer, there's no trash and it's so much better for your overall health and well-being.
2. Drink Less Cold Water
While I can certainly get down with the fact that drinking cold water can be really refreshing, when it's ice cold, it actually isn't all that great for you in the long run.
For one thing, if you heard somewhere that it boosts your metabolism, drinking cold water doesn't really do that any more than room temperature water does. Also, because it can restrict your blood vessels, cold water can make it harder to digest your food easily. Other challenges that it presents? It can decrease your heart rate, hinder your body from breaking down fat and even leave you constipated.
So yeah, water with a ton of ice in it isn't really the way to go. Room temperature water is your far better bet.
3. Leave the Lemon Slices Alone (When Eating Out)
If you're someone who's good for getting a couple of lemon slices in your water while you're out—yeah, you might wanna chill on that. There are many studies which indicate that as much as 70 percent of lemon slices have all kinds of nasty germs including bacteria, viruses and E. coli all over them. What about lemon slices at your crib? Well, that's an entirely different story.
If you drink it there, lemon water can help to detox your system, give you a boost of Vitamin C, freshen your breath, reduce your chances of getting kidney stones and even aid in your body's digestive process (especially if you have a glass, first thing in the morning). The reason why DIY lemon wedges are better is because you know what's going on with your knives, countertops and kitchens (and your hands). In restaurants? Not so much.
4. Use a Straw
If water isn't really one of your favorite things on the planet (again, I get it; I oftentimes say it's like drinking wet air) yet you want to amp up your water intake, try drinking it from a straw. Believe it or not, drinking liquid from a straw makes it easier to consume more of it. Hmph. Maybe that's why so many fast food joints want us to take as many straws as possible for those sodas, huh?
5. Have Some Water with Your Alcohol and Coffee
Two things that are diuretics are alcohol and coffee. This is why a lot of people can drink either (or both) and end up still being thirsty all of the time. If you check out the article, "10 Overlooked Signs That You're Dehydrated" on our site, you'll see several reasons why being dehydrated (75 percent of us are, by the way) is absolutely not a good look.
Yet what if you can't imagine a day without a glass of red wine or a couple of cups of java? At least balance things out a bit by following those with a glass of water. It can help to keep you hydrated. It can also reduce your chances of drinking more alcohol or coffee than you actually should.
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6. Drink a Full Glass with Your Vitamins or Medicine
Whether it's some sort of medicine that you've been prescribed or you're like me and you are all about getting some vitamins and supplements into your system on a daily basis, chase those down with a full glass of water.
If you're concerned that doing this will flush out what you just took in, first, one glass shouldn't be able to rock any kind of boat. And, as far as vitamins and supplements are concerned, many of them are water soluble which means that the water can actually help them to dissolve into your system easier/quicker.
7. Avoid Artificial Flavorings. Add Fruit Instead.
OK, so back to the wet air thing. There are plenty of products on the market that claim to make drinking water easier because they will add flavor to it. Uh-huh. What they don't tell you in the ads is all of the artificial flavors, colors and other chemicals that are in them too.
Water is supposed to free you of toxins, so it makes absolutely no sense to intentionally put things into it that will work against instead of for you. Your better bet would be to make some of your own infused water. Whatever fruits, veggies or herbs that you decide to go with will help to add nutrients to your water without all of the added fake drama.
8. Have a Couple of Glasses When You’re Tired
Question. What's the first food or drink that you reach for, whenever you are feeling completely worn out? If it's not water, chile, it should be.
The truth is a sign of being dehydrated if feeling like your energy levels are zapped. So, when you combat that with a glass or two of water, it can increase your brain functionality by as much as 14 percent. Since your brain is made up of around 80 percent water, that actually makes a lot of sense.
9. Know the Signs of When You’re Water Deprived
You might've heard somewhere before that if you wait until you're thirsty to drink water, you're already mildly dehydrated. And yes, there is a lot of truth in that. That's why it's smart to drink water throughout the day.
Just in case you're wondering what some not-so-obvious signs of water deprivation are, they include headaches, joint pain, dry skin, cravings for salty foods, stomach pain, dark urine and not urinating between 6-8 times a day (up to 10 if you're drinking water around the clock).
10. Drink Water at in the Morning Instead of at Night
To be honest with you, there isn't really a "bad" time of the day to drink water. However, if you've gotta choose, taking in 2-4 glasses, first thing in the morning is really wise. For one thing, waiting until nighttime could cause you to have to keep getting up and going to the bathroom. Also, consuming more in the morning is one of the best ways to kick your metabolism into high gear.
The reason why is because, when you're asleep, your metabolism slows down. So, when you drink water, it helps to get your metabolic processes going while aiding in burning fat in the process. Having some water in the morning is refreshing on some many levels. Tomorrow morning, why not give it a shot?
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