i’ve been participating this month in dani’s #100ozchallenge, a healthy pursuit challenge on twitter to - you guessed it - drink 100 or more ounces of water per day. of the 11 days i’ve participated, i’ve hit my goal of 100+ oz eight times. not too shabby!
typically, it’s recommended that you get 6-8 eight ounce servings of water a day, which adds up to just 48-64 oz. the mayo clinic suggests a bit more - but keep in mind, water makes up a lot of the food we eat and that counts toward their total recommendation, as well. a lot of people have trouble hitting that benchmark, so imagine my surprise when i got past 150oz. one day! before i get to the how, let’s touch on the why…
the health benefits of water are really fantastic. the best part? it’s not trendy or expensive or hard to get. it’s free, environmentally friendly if you use a re-usable water bottle, and crazy healthy. if you don’t mind a few extra bathroom breaks throughout the day, that is!
health benefits of water:
1) drinking water before/during/after meals can help you lose weight by keeping you fuller longer and therefore helping you to consume fewer calories (more on this in the tips!). lots of times your body confuses hunger for thirst and if you’re craving an afternoon snack, you might be just as satisfied by drinking a couple of glasses of water, waiting 15-20 minutes and realizing that your hunger has subsided. ALSO, by drinking water instead of sugary beverages, you’re saving calories for filling foods rather than drinking empty calories that won’t fill you up.
2) by the time you’re thirsty, they say you’re already dehydrated, so drinking lots of water regularly helps to keep you hydrated, healthy and energetic.
3) i’m finding it to be true, but who knows if it’s a coincidence - they say water is great for your complexion. avoiding breakouts and evening skin tone?! i’ll take it!
4) water helps to keep everything err - moving - throughout your body. this helps you to get rid of waste and toxins. you know how they always say to drink lots of fluids when you’re sick? this is for the same reason. it flushes out all the bad stuff much faster!
5) water’s sort of a cure-all. not REALLY a cure-ALL, but lots of ailments that we’re so quick to grab advil, caffeine, etc. for can be remedied by staying hydrated. crashing energy levels, headaches and more can often be fixed just by gulping some water.
6) water has been proven to lower people’s risk of cancer and heart disease. this might not be a DIRECT result of water - but linking together all of the other benefits of water (weight loss, hydration, cleansing, etc.) all help to decrease risk factors.
7) it gets you moving! i don’t know about you, but the bathroom and water dispenser (?) are about 1-2 minutes away from my desk, so every hour, whether i’m grabbing a refill or taking a bathroom break, i’m up out of my seat a couple of times and moving around for about five minutes. they say for every hour you are sitting at your desk and being sedentary, you should get up for at least five minutes and this really helps to accomplish that.
okay enough of that, we get it. water is great for you. now HOW can you gulp down that many ounces a day?! i’ll be honest. on days when i’m out and about, i struggle lots and those are the days that i didn’t reach my 100 oz goal. but days that i’m at the office? easy as pie. here are my tips…
1) drink with a straw! i find that any drink with a straw gets sipped down a lot faster for me. (read: alcoholic beverages + straw = bad news but water + straw = throwing back waterbottles in no time!) see below for a picture of how FUN straws can be ;)
2) get a water bottle. not only is this more environmentally friendly, but you can easily grab a water bottle that’s 20-32oz that you’ll only need to refill 4-5 times throughout the day, rather than getting up every 15 minutes to hunt down a little 4oz cup next to the water fountain.
3) drink with every meal/snack. especially if you’re trying to drink water to shed some pounds, i recommend drinking 16 or so ounces (2 cups or one bottle for me) with breakfast, one with a morning snack (or if you don’t have a snack, just between breakfast and lunch), one or two at lunch, one or two in the afternoon and one at dinner. all of a sudden, the day is over and you’ve met your goal!
4) stop drinking after dinner. this might seem counterintuitive, but unless you want to get up in the middle of the night while you’re trying to snooze, i wouldn’t drink much past 7pm. trust me on this one!
5) keep a tally. when i’m midway through the day and i realize all i have left to beat my goal is a couple of measly refills of my water bottle, it’s great motivation to keep chugging along (literally!). once you get in the habit of drinking this much water, it gets a lot less overwhelming and much easier. in all the health goals people set for themselves in the new year, this one is pretty darn attainable!
(okay, i probably wasn’t drinking water there, but hey. it was my birthday, gimme a break!)
let me know if you have any questions or concerns and if you’re interested in joining the challenge, just get drinking and start using the hashtag #100ozchallenge! i’m sure dani will welcome you to the challenge with open arms :)