Skinny Girl Tip of the Week: Hydrate!
I know, you don’t need to hear this one because you’ve heard it over and over. Buuut I gotta tell you anyway. The good news? I want you to forget that myth that you have to drink 8 cups of water a day to be healthy. Think about it: We’re all different sizes, with different weights, diets, and activity levels. How could there possibly be one magic number for all of us? But it is still very important to get enough water.
Here are some reasons to stay hydrated:
1) Water carries nutrients throughout your body. It transports all of the vitamins and minerals from those calories. Let’s make those calories count!
2) Mild dehydration is the #1 cause of daytime fatigue (allaboutwater.org). So when it’s 2pm and you don’t have a reason to be sluggish but you are, it’s probably because you’re not getting enough water.
3) Water takes up space in your stomach! Translation: You’re likely to eat less calories if you’ve got some water taking up room.
4) Water keeps your body working like a well oiled machine. It keeps your metabolism up, your muscle working at max peformance (you can work out longer and more efficiently), and keeps your brain functioning.
5) Water is calorie free! If you reach for a bottle of water instead of a can of coke, even just once a day, you save 140 calories. Do it twice, and that’s almost 300!
So, if I don’t have to drink 8 cups a day, how much should I drink? Our body has lots of indicators for when we need some water, thirst being the best one. Again, if you’re feeling fatigued, down some H2O. Researchers also say that the need for hydration is often mistaken for hunger, so have some water before that snack and then see how you feel.
Also remember that there are lots of ways to get your ‘water’. While drinking plain water is definitely the best one (I drink about 3 16 oz bottles a day), sometimes you just get sick of water. It’s ok to switch it up for some tea or coffee. Of course if you add sweetener, you’re adding calories, but it still hydrates you. Juice is a good option, but I try to but the calories by adding some water or club soda. Another creative way to spruce up water is to add a few berries, slices of fruit or cucumber, or citrus wedges. Eating fruits and vegetables count toward your water consumption too! So does soup, and any other food containing a lot of liquid.
It’s important to remember that I am not a medical professional, I just read a lot, and I know what has worked for me. It’s also important to remember that there is such a thing as too much water (if you start feeling nauseous, time to back off.). So try to keep a cup or bottle close at all times, find what works for you, and enjoy!