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One Small Change | Drinking more water

From more energy to glowing skin, the benefits of staying hydrated are many

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For many of us, the pandemic hasn't been great for our health and fitness level. If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed and discouraged we're here to help.

13 is ON YOUR SIDE with a new series "One Small Change" every Friday morning. We're encouraging you to make one easy change a week with big benefits, and 13 ON YOUR SIDE's Meredith TerHaar will do it with you.

Guiding us on this journey is Jessica Luepke, founder and co-owner of Valeo / Training in Holland.

This week, the one small change we’re talking about is the practice of drinking more water.

Why is staying properly hydrated so important?

  • Drinking water can: Give you more energy
  • Lubricate your joins and reduce muscle soreness
  • Give your skin a healthy glow
  • It’s a natural detox
  • Helps eliminate brain fog
  • Overall, just supports all of your body’s systems.

If your goal is to be at a healthy weight, studies show drinking water can make you feel fuller faster, can curb your cravings since we often mistake thirst for hunger, and can replace sugary drinks that make you pack on the pounds. Even more, having sips between bites can help you eat more slowly. Eating slowly is an anchor habit for those who want to lose weight or have better nutrition.

So, HOW MUCH water do we need for all of these good things to happen?

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water day.’ The truth is, while it’s a catchy recommendation, there’s really no science to support it and it can even be TOO much for people. The important thing is to find YOUR sweet spot. A general rule of thumb is, to aim for your urine to be clear or pale yellow. For most people, drinking a 2L worth of water, which is about 67 ounces, each day is excellent. If you’re exercising or in hot temperatures, up to 3-4L a day scattered throughout the day is recommended.

If drinking more water is a tough habit for you, we encourage you to practice attaching it to a habit you already do well.

Maybe that’s having a glass of water each time you brush your teeth.

Or having a glass before your morning coffee – this is one of our favorite tips, as it helps you wake up, hydrate from the night before and get your metabolism going for day.

Maybe you like your water ice cold or as we enter these winter months, you’ll find sipping on a mug of hot water with lemon and a little spicy cayenne pepper sprinkled in can be the perfect night cap.

Jessica loves carbonated water as an alternative to soda or beer as it provides the same ‘burn’ that other carbonated beverages do.

Adding lemon, lime or cucumbers or natural flavor drops can also help you enjoy your water.

And lastly, making water more convenient goes a long way. Find a cool water bottle you love that fits in your car’s cup holder or your purse or work bag so it’s always with you. Seeing it keeps it top of mind.

So, starting today, practice one small change: drinking more water. And, remember: practice makes progress.

Research shows accountability makes a big difference, so Meredith is going to post about how she's doing on social media-and we'd love to have you do the same. Share a picture of you and your water, and tag 13 ON YOUR SIDE on Instagram and Facebook or use #upwith13 on Twitter.

References:

  • https://www.precisionnutrition.com/water-and-weight-loss
  • Sizer, Frances and Ellie Whitney. Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies 11th edition. 2007. Thomson Higher Education, Belmont CA.
  • Boschmann M, Steiniger J, Franke G, Birkenfeld AL, Luft FC, Jordan J. Water drinking induces thermogenesis through osmosensitive mechanisms. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Aug;92(8):3334-7.

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