I think we live in a society that is inundated with messages about EVERYTHING, including health and wellness. With so many experts scrambling for our attention, we’ve sub-consciously started filtering many of them out. That’s probably for the best in most cases, but there really is some good information out there that would serve us well to not only read, but implement. This morning’s conversation about my morning routine is just that. Staying hydrated is one of the single most powerful ways you can change your day, and your life, but if I title an article anything resembling “Stay Hydrated, or “Drink More Water to improve Your Life,” it would probably get skipped over. Why? Because everyone thinks they drink plenty of water already.
Dried Out Society
As it turns out, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and the effects can be devastating. When your body is dehydrated, your organs, mainly kidneys and liver, begin functioning less, which can allow bacteria and poisons to build up in your system. When that happens, you’ll feel sluggish and tired on a regular basis, and you’ll start to drink coffee or energy drinks to make up for it, which can cause more toxins to build up in your body and further stress your organs. Your heart, in particular, also has to start working harder to pump blood that is a little thicker than a well hydrated person, so your blood pressure may also increase. That’s a very dangerous cycle!
The impact and repercussions of dehydration are so significant, that many natural doctors “prescribe” higher water intake for many internal issues, like obesity, digestive issues, allergies and more, with astounding effects. What’s amazing, is that increasing water intake is one of the easiest ways to both cure illness, and prevent it, and it’s free (or cheap) in most cases.
Drink More Water
It’s that simple. Drink More Water! If all you do after reading this is increase your water intake by two 12 ounce glasses of water a day, that will be a victory. I am not advocating that you give up anything else you like to drink throughout the day. That’s a conversation for a different time. If you want to drink coffee (like me), drink it. Soda? It’s your choice. Juices? Have at it. I am not here to coach you on nutrition, there are experts for that. My goal is to set you up for powerful days of productivity so you can live the life of your dreams and you need water to do that. The reason I mention these other alternative beverage choices is so many people replace their water intake with other options. Drinking coffee, tea, soda, or juice, does not replace water intake. Nor does drinking beer, as I used to justify to my friends and doctors. In fact, while water is a main ingredient in many other beverages, the effects can actually cause dehydration and be counter productive to your mission.
My Water Routine
As easy as drinking water should be, it was actually a real challenge for me. I used to drink water only when I was thirsty, which science has proven as unhealthy, because if you wait for your body to tell you it’s thirsty, it’s already too late-you’re dehydrated. I also don’t always like the taste f water, AND sometimes when I drink it in the morning, on an empty stomach, I feel sick. Plus, how are you supposed to keep track of how much water you drink?
If you ask 1,000 experts how much water we should be drinking, you’ll likely get close to 1,000 different answers. Everyone has an opinion on this, and even the medical standard isn’t so standard. There are a lot of variables that come to play, like where you live (desert vs. coastal, etc), how active you are, your diet, your weight, and many more. So, the real answer is very individualized to you. Because I am relatively active, meaning I hike or do a quick workout every day, plus I run all over town running my business, I am in a high stress situation, weight 250 pounds, and have high blood pressure, my goal is to drink a minimum of 1 gallon of water a day, AND I actually aim for 1.5 gallons. It’s hard to do! But, when I do it consistently, I feel amazing! I recently started using Gallon Gear jug sleeves to help out a bit. It’s like having a man-purse for my keys and phone while I carry around my gallon jug. Check it out here.
Start the Day Right
The first thing I do in the morning is drink a full glass of 8-12 ounces of water. Then I continue on to a few more items on my routine list before drinking another glass. I will hammer out a few more items on my list and then I’ll have one more glass, which gives me 24-32 ounces of water intake in my first couple hours of the morning. This gives me more pep and energy than even three cups of coffee could offer, plus my mind is clear and calm. I then pace throughout the day to finish off my gallon.
Yes, there’s an App For That
There are actually quite a few apps out there that will help monitor your water intake with you. I chose to use HydroCoach, which is a free app that integrates with the Samsung Health app. I only actively used it for the first 10 days or so, and then the habit kicked in, and I do just fine without the tracking and reminders.