Did you know that the average adult needs to drink roughly 3-4 liters of fluid each day? In addition, during exercise, it is common to lose 1-2 liters of sweat per hour! Water intake is one of the easiest things to overlook when establishing a healthy diet and can lead to overeating related to mistaking thirst for hunger. Here at Clean Eatz, we are confident that our portion-controlled meals and snacks are an excellent part of the big picture for optimal health! However, learning to blend our delicious meals and snacks with great hydration patterns is another step towards holistic wellness and self-care.
One of the most common barriers to fluid intake that I hear over and over as a dietitian is that people just don’t like plain water. To be honest, neither do I! But I have great news! You don’t have to drink just plain water. Any kind of drink can contribute to overall fluid intake. Having said that, finding a way to incorporate water as one of your fluid sources can promote a variety of health benefits, including:
- optimal metabolism
- skin health
- weight management
- normal blood pressure
- normal digestion
- vitamin absorption
- immune health
- regular heartbeat
- cognitive function
- exercise recovery
- high energy levels
- flushing toxins from the body
If plain water isn’t it for you, consider infusing your water with fruits, veggies or fresh herbs! Not only will this provide some flavor for your water, it can also add vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your diet! There is no wrong way to infuse your water and there are countless combinations to try! Here are some of my favorite infused water blends:
- strawberries + orange + lime
- watermelon + kiwi + lime
- mango + raspberries + fresh ginger
- blackberries + orange + fresh ginger
- honeydew + cucumber + fresh mint leaves
- blueberry + lemon + mango
Here are some helpful tips to get yourself focused on consistent fluid intake:
- Set realistic goals—both hourly achievement goals and a big goal for the entire day. This gives you the opportunity to acknowledge small successes along the way to your bigger goal. For example, if the goal is to complete 96 oz per day, you can set hourly goals of 12 oz.
- Set reminders for yourself on your phone or smart watch. We all need a little reminding when we are trying to establish a new pattern and these reminders will quickly become new consistent behaviors.
- Get yourself a fancy water bottle! We all like new things, right?! And there are so many versions to fit your personality and lifestyle. Plus, it can serve as a pre-incentive for taking a step towards improved health.
- Choose a water bottle that you can comfortably carry with you throughout the day. We’ve all heard the old saying, out of sight out of mind. Well, the goal is to keep it in sight!
- Choose foods that are high in fluid! This will contribute to your overall water intake for the day. Great examples include watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, berries, cucumbers, tomatoes and berries!
Crystal Zabka-Belsky, MS, RDN, CSSD, LMNT, LDN
Resident Dietitian, Clean Eatz Kitchen