I have a confession. I HATE drinking water. I absolutely despise it. It tastes so boring and I’d much rather drink diet pepsi. Or diet mountain dew. Or crystal lite, coffee, or almost anything that has some sort of flavor… I know there are horrendous health hazards of diet soda and artificial sweeteners, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. There, I said it.
I know that, as a doctor, I am supposed to set a good example for my patients (and you, my readers!) and to live the life I encourage them to lead. I should tell you how delicious water is and how much I love drinking it. I would be lying through my diet Pepsi loving teeth.
What I can tell you is, even though I hate drinking water, I drink a gallon everyday. This started during my gallon/day water drinking challenge. I was blown away by the crazy ways it changed my body (read about it here!) There are incredible health benefits of drinking water, which far outweigh the lack in taste, and there are some tricks and games I use to help myself drink more water. It is my hope that, if you are like me and struggle to drink water, you can use the following information and tricks to help motivate yourself to drink more water.
When the body is growing, nutritional demands to each cell are increased. Since water is present in every cell, it helps carry nutrients to each cell. It is for this reason that, during periods of growth when nutritional demands are increased, we should increase our water consumption. This will help nutrients get to the growing cells. Water helps these people grow:
When we put our bodies through exercise, trauma, or the stresses of every day life, it needs resources to help repair it. Just as water helps deliver nutrients to our cells, it also helps clear the waste from our cells. Clearing this waste (ie. that painful lactic acid from working out, dead cells from normal wear-and tear) helps keep each cell happy, keeps us free of pain, and keeps our muscles functioning the way they should.
From joints and genitals, to mouth and intestines, water is essential in keeping these parts moving and healthy(1). Maintaining proper hydration helps maintain proper mucous and lubrication, which can help:
In a recent study, two groups of people were put on the same low calorie diet. The one group was instructed to drink 16 oz of water, 30 minutes before each meal, while the other group did not do anything before eating. At the end of the 12 week study, the group who drank water before their meals lost 4.5 pounds more than the group who ate the same exact foods (2). They lost 4.5 extra pounds just from drinking water!
Aside from reminding myself that I don’t want to look like a dried up raisin with dysfunctional genitalia and joints, I use the following to trick myself into drinking more water:
If you have any tips you use to help yourself drink more water, please comment below!