Every week, I see tweets and Facebook posts, and I overhear or am part of conversations about how challenging it is to drink enough water throughout the day. I admit this has boggled my mind. It has seemed fairly easy to me to reach my daily goal of “8 by 8.” That’s 8 glasses, 8 ounces each (for a total of 64 ounces).
But then I remember that it wasn’t always this effortless for me. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with Jax and constantly thirsty that I paid any attention at all to how much water I was drinking each day. And then after he was born and breastfeeding seemed like it would work out for us, I became fanatical about ensuring I drank 100 oz per day (I have no idea how or why I came up with that number).
Over nearly 3 years of breastfeeding, drinking tons of water each day became a habit. I typically don’t aim for 100 ounces daily anymore–at least not in the winter, but maybe on active summer days–but I am good at reaching 8 by 8 and I sometimes surprise myself by hitting 100 without even thinking about it.
Here’s how I do it:
I went to my favorite store (Target, duh!) and bought a cup with a lid and a straw in my favorite color (this one, if you’re curious). I fill up my green cup, which holds 20 ounces, once when I arrive at work each morning (or on weekends, I fill up with breakfast). I challenge myself to drink it by lunch at noon. After lunch, I fill up the green cup once more and challenge myself to drink it before I leave work at the end of the day. Then I merely have to drink another cup full of water between 5 and bedtime.
That brings my daily water intake up to 60 ounces. According to the Institute of Medicine, women should aim for approximately 9 cups of “total beverages” per day. That’s 72 ounces. Am I falling short by 12 ounces daily? Nope, because coffee counts toward that total. And goodness knows I drink at least 12 ounces of coffee (usually decaf, sometimes half caff) every morning. I often have an afternoon cup of herbal tea, as well.
Note: Food counts toward total water intake, but that’s factored into the amount recommended by the Institute of Medicine. (They suggest 2.7 L of fluid per day for women–2.2 L of which, or roughly 72 ounces, should be from beverages.)
If you’re not into the lack of flavor, try adding herbs and/or fruit to your water. There are so many awesome “recipes” for making your water more interesting over on Pinterest. I love to add a chunk of lemon to my water occasionally, and I fully intend to try out some more interesting flavor combinations this summer.
So there you have it. My advice, if you’re struggling to consume enough water, is to buy yourself a cup you love–consider it a fashion accessory! Then schedule fill-ups and treat them as self-care challenges. I bet you’ll feel more energetic and have fewer headaches! Come back & let me know!
Do you have any other tips for reaching your daily water intake?