We know drinking lots of water is important.
Even if we don't know all the scientific benefits and particular ins and outs of how water powers almost every cellular process in our body, we know it's pretty critical.
And yet, for way too many of us, drinking enough water each day is challenging.
Research on hydration for athletes has shown that even NCAA division 1 athletes don't get enough water.
The study found that when spot-checked randomly before practice, over half of the athletes tested were dehydrated, while an additional 13 percent were very dehydrated.
But what about us non-athletes? Does drinking more water really matter that much? (I mean, there's lots of water in beer, right?)
Yep, the benefits of drinking more water are actually quite awesome.
They help power digestive function, flush metabolic waste, can crush headaches (even migraines) and even helps us feel less tired.
Here are a few ways to get more water down:
1. Measure how much water you are drinking each day.
Change starts with awareness, and awareness starts with measuring.
You can buy one of those massive, bodybuilder-type water jugs and fill it up at the beginning of the day, and then you will see how much water you are drinking.
You can go a more detailed route and write out each glass of water you consume in a notebook or even your workout log.
Or, you can tape up a large water bottle with where you would like to be at specific times of the day (halfway done at 1:30 pm, for example).
If you want to change something, you start by measuring it.
2. Eat your water.
Most of us tend to focus on getting enough carbohydrates, proteins and fats over the course of the day.
This makes it tempting to forget about vegetables and fruits, which are not only loaded with vitamins and minerals that help power things in our bodies, but also contain a ton of water.
Strawberries, watermelon, cucumber, celery, radish, grapefruits and cantaloupe are all composed of about 90 percent water or higher, and for the most part, they don't taste awful.
3. Pre-load meals with water.
If you are looking to shed some weight, drinking water before your meals has been shown to help you do just that.
One study, which gave participants instructions to crush 16 ounces of water before each meal, found the water-consumers dropped about 4 pounds extra over 12 weeks compared to the control group.
Drinking a glass of water before each meal is a simple habit to adopt. While prepping or unwrapping your food, pour yourself a glass and down it.
4. Spice up the water drinking experience.
Boredom is boring. I get that looking at a glass of water doesn't exactly arouse excitement.
You can fancy up your H20 situation by adding sliced cucumber or strawberry into your water bottle.
Doing so will make it appear a little more aesthetically pleasing, turning your regular old tap water into “spa water,” which can be just the thing you need to keep you guzzling over the course of the day.
Drinking more water over the course of the day doesn't have to be such a struggle.
Simply by mixing up the experience, instituting some small new habits and by eating more water-laden fruits and veggies, you will not only insure that you are going to the bathroom more often, but you will also get all of the health benefits of being properly hydrated.