Are you drinking water properly?

How many times have you been told to drink water? How many articles have you read stating the importance of drinking more water?

My month-long sprint of drinking more water usually ends because I can’t stand peeing all the time. Within 30 minutes I would pee clear liquid out, which meant that my body did not really absorb the water. “Drinking more water” did not really work for me, I found myself spending so much time peeing out water that eventually STOPPED drinking more liquids.

UNTIL I figured out how to drink water properly so that I could absorb it.

Drink water so that you can absorb it.

1) Drink luke warm or hot water instead of cold water.

Ice cold water can freeze the enzymes and fluids in your gut making it difficult for your body to digest food properly which then creates toxic buildup. The blood vessels can also constrict decreasing blood flow, so your organs don't get nutrients when they need them.

Luke warm to hot water encourages the natural flow, it boosts the body's metabolism rate and regulates the stomach acids. It increases the rate in flushing out toxins.

So avoid drinking cold water while eating food. When you drink cold water immediately after meals or along with a meal, your body spends a lot of energy in increasing its temperature. This slows the digestion process, which may cause indigestion.

As there are exceptions to every rule, here is what you need to bear in mind.

Avoid drinking warm water after exercise, your body temperature is already high post workout, drinking cold water will lower the temperature of your body.

Q:  Wait, are you taking away my ice cream?

A:  No, I am not taking away your ice cream. Life should be a joy with treats along the way. However, you need to understand that Ice cream is frozen and like ice cold water it can make decrease your metabolism. So avoid eating ice cream right after lunch. Eating ice cream late in the afternoon when it is still hot outside may be a better idea. In fall and winter, cold dairy in the evening can cause excess mucous buildup that can lead to cold, congestion, and cough.

2) Add a few things to increase absorption.

You can add a few specific ingredients that bind with the water molecules to increase absorption.

1) Add a pinch of unrefined mineral salt (not ordinary table salt)

2) Squeeze a little bit of lemon into your water.

3) Add pieces of fruits into your water for a few hours and let it infuse.

Q: Water is boring, can't I just drink diet sodas, juices, hot coffee or tea?

A:  No. Start with adding mineral salt or squeeze a lemon squeeze into your water. If you still cannot tolerate the taste, and you don't run the risk of diabetes, you can also drink infused water, SoulWater is a great option.

The fake sugar (diet drinks), large amounts of real sugar (juice), or caffeine (coffee /tea) make the body work hard to process so you're not getting immediate hydration to your cells. Sugar not used immediately will store as fat.  Increasing ANY liquid intake is NOT equal to increasing water intake.

3) Drink warm water the moment you wake up or on an empty stomach

You often use the bathroom first thing in the morning to flush out all the waste your body worked all night to package up. To make sure the body is clean, flush your body with warm water immediately after waking up. You don't want to be holding on to waste or marinating in your filth instead of eliminating it. Drink enough warm water at once to stimulate the proper bowel movement.

I keep an electric tea kettle close to my bed that I fill each night and  turn on when I wake up. Listen carefully to your body and adjust accordingly; you can slightly increase your early morning water intake if you're not having a morning bowel movement or you can decrease your intake if you experience any abdominal pain.

4) Drink half your body weight in water each day

It's quite simple; I weigh 120 pounds; half my body weight is 60 pounds so I would target drinking 60 ounces of water each day. I drink 12-16 oz of water right when I wake up so that means I have almost 44 oz left to drink during the day. Some people may have a high water retention due to an improper diet, I would encourage discussing your water intake with your doctor.

Q:  Shouldn't I just drink when I am thirsty?

A:  Most definitely, yes! However, we are so used to suppressing our urges; listening to our growling stomachs while at work, holding our pee until we get to that nice, clean bathroom not the yucky one at the gas station, etc that our thirst meter can be off. This is why experts give a guideline based on your own weight.  Once you regulate your water intake, you can let thirst be your guide.

5) Sip water with meals

When I first started drinking more water, I'd chug water at night because I kept falling short of my 2 jugs a day goal. I was happy I reached my goal but then I'd grumpily have to wake up in the night to pee. I never absorbed the water I chugged.

You should calmly sip your warm water even if you fall slightly short of your daily goal instead of chugging like a frat boy. Especially if you chug water with meals or after meals you are killing the digestive fire that is trying to process your food.

Instead drink water 30 minutes before a meal, this hydrates the stomach's lining so it can easily produce sufficient stomach acid you need to digest difficult foods. There is a fine balance. So avoid drinking a whole glass of water right before a meal (e.g. 5 minutes before) or you might dilute your stomach acid.

6) Sit down when you drink water

You eat sitting down to focus your body on digesting food. Give your body the same peace when you sip water.

7) Look for signs of hydration in your body.

In 1 month, you will see results. Check your hands and lips to see if they are less dry. Look at your face to see if blemishes are starting to clear. Assess the overall shine of your hair and skin. You might start to notice you feel less tired in the morning and have more energy to sustain yourself during the day. All good things, my friend. Welcome to the glorious world of hydration.

Happy hydrating, my thirsty friends!

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