You may have heard it from your Mom, or your doctor, or your favourite magazine, but drinking 64 oz of water a day just doesn’t seem like a priority in your busy college girl lifestyle. Besides, if you don’t feel thirsty, you probably aren’t dehydrated, right? Wrong. In fact, if you’ve spent enough years being dehydrated, your body just gets used to the fact that it needs to run on less-than-enough water, so you don’t even recognise that it’s a problem. Well I’m here to give you lots of motivation with a list of ways that drinking more water can improve your life, and some simple ways to increase your daily water intake until it becomes a healthy habit that’s part of your lifestyle.
How It Helps
Weight: You may have heard that drinking more water can help you lose weight, but how? Simply put, your organs needs water in order to run properly, and when they’re not getting enough water, they can’t work as efficiently to perform other tasks: like metabolising fat. Plus, if you’re dehydrated, your body can start storing water because it doesn’t know if you have access to a fresh supply. This extra water shows up on the scale as “water weight”. In fact, drinking the recommended 8 cups of water a day for just a week has helped some people shed as much as 5 lbs of water weight, and several inches off their body as the bloating goes down. It seems like everyone is trying to drop a lb or two as the warmer weather approaches, start a healthy eating and exercise routine by amping up your water intake and you may be surprised with the results.
Skin: When your body doesn’t have enough water, it sucks it out of the organ that needs it the least: your skin! This leaves your skin in one of two bad scenarios: either it gets dried-out, turning red, itchy, and flaky, or it goes it to panic-mode when it recognizes the dryness and starts to over-produce oil, leaving your skin greasy, and prone to acne. You can wash your skin all you like, but if you’re not getting enough water, your body’s natural response will always be to leave the skin to fend for itself, and no amount of external action can fix it. Drinking the recommended amount of water will leave your skin smooth and healthy, with that youthful “glow” that is so ideal.
Hair and Nails: This aspect I haven’t researched outside of personal experience, but I know the more water I drink, the healthier, shinier, and stronger my nails and hair are. I started focussing on increasing my water intake last summer and, like magic, my dry brittle nails and hair were smoother, shinier, and growing to amazing new lengths without splitting or breaking! If you compare with the knowledge of how water affects your skin, it makes sense: if you don’t have enough water to go around, your body isn’t going to waste any extra moisture on less-necessary (at least biologically) parts, like hair and nails. So, drink up for super-model tips and locks.
Energy: Even my boyfriend’s gamer little brother agreed, a bottle of water is way better than a Red Bull for pepping you up. If you stayed up late studying (or maybe partying) what your brain and body needs most is water to make up for the sleep you lost. Extra water helps your organs and systems move efficiently and quickly, allowing you to stay awake and alert, even in that 8 am class. Plus, unlike Red Bull or Starbucks, there is no water “crash”. Since caffeine actually dehydrates your body, you should swap it out (or at least pair it) with a bottle of water to keep your mind and body working at full force all day long. This is also my secret weapon for exams: even if you got enough sleep, if your brain begins to become dehydrated, your memory can slip making it almost impossible to remember the right equation, date, author, etc. Bring a big bottle of water with you to your exams and drink throughout the entire test to keep your brain working in top form.
How to Get More
This takes some time to get used to, especially if you’ve spent years conditioning your body and routine to survive on 1 or less glasses of water a day. As you increase your water intake, you will naturally find yourself taking more trips to the bathroom, but this decreases with time. Think of your body as a plant in a dried-out pot of soil: this first few times you water it, the water just trickles through the soil and out the bottom, but after time, the soil begins to absorb the water and can hold more of it without leaking. Start with just a few small steps and before you know it, 64 oz may not be enough to hold all the water you down in a single day.
Fill A Jug: This is my mom’s trick and it works well. She got a glass jug and measured out 64 oz (8 cups) of water into it, then marked on the jug how much that was. Now, every night, she fills the jug to the 64 oz line and puts it in the fridge. Throughout the next day she pours a glass of water from the jug until it’s all gone. Seeing it right in front of you every time you open the fridge can be a really helpful technique, especially if you’re a visual learner. You can visually see you’ve only drank half the recommended amount of water, and that encourages you to have another glass.
Bring a Bottle: This is so important for college girls, because we’re in and out of classrooms, workrooms, and dormrooms all day long, making it difficult to have access to water at all times. Invest in one or two cute, reusable water bottles. Fill them up every night and stick them in the fridge to throw in your bag the next morning. I find I won’t even feel thirsty, but sitting bored in class with my cute Pink water bottle staring me down makes me naturally drink more water. It’s a simple and practical solution for the girl on the go.
Swap out the Soda: Any time you go to have a drink of something other than water (juice, soft drinks, coffee, etc) force yourself to have a glass of water first. If, after you had your water you still want the other beverage, go ahead, but chances are you were just thirsty and weren’t really craving the drink you thought you were. In fact, you may now be craving another glass of water as opposed to that Hawaiian Punch. Remember that soft drinks and coffee, or any caffeinated beverage, dehydrate your body and actually make you more thirsty, so always counter a caffeinated drink with at least an equal amount of water.
Be a Mindless Drinker: When you’re watching TV, surfing YouTube, going to the movies, or out to dinner, it’s easy to not focus on what you’re putting in your body. Normally , this is a bad thing: read, eating an entire bag of chips before you realize you opened them. But, if you make sure to grab a tall glass or bottle of water before you sit down to veg, you’ll sip the water just as quickly as you would munch away on junk food, without even thinking. Sometimes, adding a straw helps, because it makes it easier to drink and, hey, it’s fun! Ordering water at a restaurant is a great way to get more water: restaurants typically dole out oversized glasses and keep refilling, you can get over half your recommended water in a single sitting. Plus, water is free, so your cheque will be a little lighter, too!
It takes time, but incorporating more water into your lifestyle is an essential part of your health and well-being (and your beauty, too!) Start with small increases and work your way up to 64 oz and beyond. Remember to increase your water intake even more if you’re exercising or spending a lot of time in the heat or sunlight. Don’t think of it as a chore, but part of your overall fitness, health, and beauty routine. Increase your water intake for your mind, body, and lifestyle…something every college girl should know.