As a super-busy Mom of two very energetic boys 3 and 4 years old, plus two great step-kids who are with us the majority of the time, I barely have time to shower. So, self care has taken the back burner for this mama, unfortunately. But for me, something as simple as remembering to drink water takes a top spot on my list.
I greatly notice a difference in myself when I am skipping those ounces. This has all led me to begin the Livin Lotus venture, ‘“How can I drink more water?” I hated water. But as a new mom in 2015 who was breastfeeding, water was not only essential for myself but now my new little sidekick as well.
I started my search and came across the “gallon challenge”, marking up a jug of water with times and encouragement to keep on track with drinking your water! Brillant. But I surely wasn’t going to be carrying around, an infant (also 7 months pregnant – yes again) and a gallon of water each day! During all my research I realized, I was dehydrated most of the time! Several symptoms I was experiencing were directly linked to dehydration and I had no clue.
Luckily at the time my husband was employed with a kick ass “corporate swag” company and we were able to purchase these fabulous BPA free bottles in the prettiest, brightest colors. The bottle itself makes you want to fill up! The greatest thing of all, I was able to design and create my own idea, putting it directly onto the bottle. In the end we printed four total designs, three with a more feminine vibe in various colors. While our other was a more simple concept was a masculine design.
Why should you drink more water? Top 3 reasons
- The effects dehydration has on your energy level.
On average an adult brain is composed of 80% water. Explaining why hydration is so important for optimal brain performance.
When the flow of oxygen to the brain is impacted by dehydration the heart has to work harder to pump oxygen throughout your body. Explaining the feelings of tiredness, fatigue or low energy levels. And even the chance of increased fogginess and a decline in alert levels, which are all signs of possible dehydration.
TIP: Before that second coffee try 8 to 12 ounces of water first.
2. Aids in the removal of waste and toxins.
Ensuring you drink enough water, your kidney’s use this fluid in the process to rid your body of waste and other toxins.
Consequently, when your body is lacking in water consumption, and experiencing even mild dehydration, your kidneys don’t have an adequate amount of fluid needed to remove bodily waste and toxins efficiently.
‘In essence, the body would be holding in toxins instead of expelling them, as in required for proper health.’Amy Hess-Fischl, RD, CDE, of the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center
This greatly explains the connection with chronic constipation and dehydration. If you are experiencing dehydration, with an inadequate amount of water in your body to start, the large intestine absorbs water from your food waste.
TIP: Drink 8 ounces of water prior to meals, 30 minutes or so.
3. Increased daily water intake can aid in weight loss.
During any weight loss program there is plenty of focus on the importance of drinking adequate water to aid in your weight loss and for good reason – an increase in metabolic rate.
There have been studies conducted on this factor, such as, Franz-Volhard Clinical Research Center and Helios-Klinikum-Berlin, Medical Faculty of the Charité, Humboldt-University, D-13125 Berlin, Germany, who reported.
We can also say drinking water during certain times, such as first thing in the morning and 30 minutes or so before a meal can help with weight loss. This is due to an increased chance of feeling full, in turn consuming less food and so on, less calories.
In addition temperature can also play a part, since drinking cold water can aid in weight loss as your body needs to exert more energy to warm the water to body temperature.
TIP: Keep a bottle filled and nearby during your weight loss journey.
5. Moisture for your skin.
While this may be debated by some, it is also sworn by many – hydrated skin can result in less dryness, create a brighter complexion and reduce redness.
There is little research to declare this a myth, so I go with my personal experience. During a time frame of adequate hydration my skin seems firmer, and even the puffiness under my eyes is decreased. I see an overall visible improvement in my texture as well.
Our skin is the largest organ we have, made up of 64% water. “The international journal of cosmetic service, found drinking 2.25 liters of water everyday for four weeks altered skin density and thickness.”
In turn, hydrated skin, gives a more plump appearance, and elasticity, there is a less chance of cracking, and environmental particles creeping in that can result in irritation or blemishes. The skin minimizes the appearance of wrinkles, with it’s more “plump” appearance creating less visibility for wrinkles.
Several celebrities swear by water daily to improve skin from Gabrielle Union, who says…
“the best anti-aging secret weapon, is that in my mid-thirties I started drinking a gallon of water a day.”
TIP: Try it! Challenge yourself and decide.
5. Prevents frequent headaches.
Headaches are a widespread cause of pain amongst the population, and the number one reason for missed work. Most types of headaches can be a sign of even mild dehydration, so before you grab the over-the-counter medications try upping your water intake regularly. Of course, there are possible underlying reasons for headaches but if you are already lacking in fluids, water is a good place to start.
In a study, conducted by National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK found a new type of headache specific to water-deprivation. The 34 subjects were placed into 2 groups based on the time taken to relieve their headache by drinking water: in 22 subjects, experienced total relief within 30 minutes by drinking 200 to 1500 mL, while 11 subjects needed 1 to 3 hours, and drinking 500 to 1000 mL, while only 1 subject required sleep in addition to the fluid intake.
TIP: Stay up on hydration, replenish after exercise.
Ways to get more water into your daily routine.
- Start your morning with 8 oz immediately – yes before you coffee.
An alternative to starting off with plain water; a night-time favorite as well, a warm or hot cup of water, mixed with 1 to 2 tbsp ACV (apple cider vinegar) a little squeeze of lemon, your choice of raw honey and a dash of cinnamon.
This is an incredibly beneficial way to begin the day. ACV carries limitless benefits, one quick positive is better digestion during the day. This is by balancing ph levels with its acidity, minimizing the chance of bloating and acid reflux.
2. Find yourself a favorite water bottle!
Our Livin Lotus bottles are marked with times and fun motivation quotes and design to keep you moving.
Fill this up the night prior and store it in the fridge so you don’t have to think twice about needing it. It’s right there, ready to go! You can add fruit for some infused water too, or even a few ounces of flavored seltzer water to combat that plain water taste.
3. Adding a straw (reuseable) to your bottle.
I’ve purchased several reusable straws to drop into my Livin Lotus bottle everyday. I find using a straw helps me drink more and faster through-out the day. The silicone bendy ones are great, as I can close up my bottle with no problem. The challenge of drinking 60 plus ounces a day has become much easier with this addition.
4. Aim to drink 8 ounces before each meal.
This will not only help you get those ounces in for the day but will help with digestion, and fill you up so there is less chance of overeating or bloating.
5. End your night with 8 more ounces.
I either do ice cold 8 ounces with a few ounces of flavored seltzer or another cup of warm/hot water and ACV.
Infused water recipes
- Strawberry and Kiwi
This is my favorite, and even my boys love this one. It’s also a great alternative to any fruit juices. You want to ensure the kiwi fruit has at least 24 hours to infuse for the most flavor. It is more of a mild flavor when soaked in water, nothing too overwhelming which is why I enjoy it most.
You want to peel the kiwi, slice up 1/2 and 2 large strawberries adding to 32 oz of fresh water (4 cups) and refrigerate.
2. Lemon Lime
A classic flavor to enjoy! A little goes a long way as these have a higher potency and flavor than others fruits.
Slice into thin slices and infused for 12 to 24 hours – you can do a few hours in the fridge if you’re in a rush. The intensity will just be less but still tasty.
I always mix with 32 ounces of water (a full Livin Lotus bottle)
3. Orange and Blueberry
This is a super yummy combination full of vitamin C and antioxidants. You need to squish, or slice the berries in half prior and add in thinly sliced oranges.
Ensure you wash fruit well, especially if not organic. Allow to infuse with 32 ounces of water for 12 to 24 hours in the fridge.
4. Blackberry and Mint
This mix is a great immune booster that is full of antioxidants. To make the most of this flavorful drink you want to crush the blackberries a little to allow the juices to infuse the most.
“Mint stimulates digestive enzymes, which help facilitate better absorption of nutrients from food. “
Adding in some mint is a great treat too since it helps curb cravings, tear these slightly to aid in the infusion process. You can add lemon, or keep without.
5. Cucumber and Citrus
This calls for some fresh, crisp thin slices of cucumber and a mix of citrus fruits, of your choice. I enjoy orange and lemon slices! For this recipe you can do about ¼ of each fruit and ¼ cucumber into 32 ounces of fresh water.
As always, wash well and choose organic if possible, but not necessary. Ensure the slices are thin for the best flavor and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
All of these recipes can be paired with various herbs like lavender, rosemary, mint and basil! There are plenty of other fresh herbs you can choose from as well, it’s your call and to your personal tastes.