Congratulations on making it to the end of another year!
We have arrived at the point in each year, where we begin to reflect on the outgoing year and look forward with hope and expectation to the year to come. This is usually when we begin entertaining the idea of making New Year’s Resolutions. We make declarations in earnest of what we are planning to do to improve our lives over the next year. If you are anything like me, you start out strong but it doesn’t take long before the busyness of life and the need to simplify as much as possible, begin to overshadow your good intentions. Before you know it, the plans for what you have resolved to do have dissolved.
This year can be different.
I’ve got a New Year’s Resolution for you that is uncomplicated, easy-to-implement, and won’t cost a lot of time or money, but can have tremendous impact on your health and wellness in this new year and beyond. As a matter of fact, paying attention to this area of your health can prove to be a powerful catalyst for other changes and can itself, bring unexpected transformation. Sticking to this resolution can initiate a cascade of changes in your body, such as, improving your skin’s appearance, supporting healthy blood sugar regulation, improving digestion, supporting your body’s natural healing processes, improving energy levels, supporting detoxification, and even reducing headaches and joint pain in some people. The list goes on.
Too Good to Be True?
If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not. If it sounds like I’m selling some kind of snake oil or supplement, I am not. What I am talking about is amping up something that you already do each day, or at least you should. This transformational New Year’s Resolution I am suggesting is that you commit to remaining properly hydrated each day.
According to the National Institute of Health, 75% of adults in the United States are chronically dehydrated (Taylor, 2022). Yes, that number is astounding when you consider how widely available water is to most Americans. While most of us are intentional about drinking some water each day, we generally underestimate how much we should drink daily and often over estimate how much water we actually consume. I have yet to encounter a client who drinks as much as water as they think they do each day.
Is it that big of a deal?
While we have heard all of our lives how important it is to drink water, I don’t think we understand the impact that being dehydrated can have on our health and well-being. Many of us are regularly experiencing early signs of dehydration but do not realize it. Some unexpected signs include fatigue, cravings, muscle cramps, anxiety, headaches or migraines, and brain fog. Some signs of chronic dehydration are heartburn, joint pain, back pain, constipation, and exercise asthma.
How Much is Enough?
Eight glasses of Eight ounces of water is the standard that most of us grew up hearing, but as lofty as that sounds, is it enough? According to a publication by the Harvard School of Public Health, the average man over 19 should be consuming approximately 104 ounces or 13 cups of water daily, while the average woman should be taking in around 72 ounces or 9 cups of water daily (Water, 2021). Keep in mind that this is an average amount of water to be consumed from all sources, including foods rich in water content and other beverages that are not high in sugars or chemical substances.
A person with a smaller frame who is in good health, is not very active, does not live in a hot and humid environment, or at a high altitude may not need as much to achieve proper hydration. Conversely, someone who has heat flashes or night sweats, deals with chronic ailments, drinks alcoholic beverages, or has a diet high in processed foods and refined sugars may require greater water intake. As you can see, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer. Each one of us has to consider our own unique circumstances and lifestyle and go from there.
How Do I Get Started?
The first thing you will want to do is consider the information above about daily recommended water intake and set a goal for the amount of water you want to be consuming daily by the end of the year. Next, find out how much water you are currently consuming each day. Keep note of when and how much water and other beverages you drink over the next 2-3 days. You can keep this record in a notebook or in the notes section on your phone. At the end of the 2-3 days, assess how much water you are consuming on average daily. Compare it to the amount of other beverages you are drinking daily, if any. Based on this information, you may need to adjust you end-of-year goal.
Once you have set a goal for where you want to be and have assessed where you are currently, you can begin setting step-up marks toward hitting your ultimate goal. For instance, if you are shooting for 74 ounces daily by the end of the year, but you are only averaging 16 ounces currently, your first goal can be to drink 32 ounces daily by the end of March. From there you can keep moving up incrementally until you attain your goal.
Keep in Mind
The goal is not to drink a bunch of water for the sake of drinking water. The goal is sufficient hydration for optimal wellness. With that in mind I want to share a couple of quick tips that will keep you on track.
Add electrolytes to your water
Water needs sodium to be properly absorbed by the body, so add a pinch of sea salt or mineral salt to you water
This may reduce trips to the bathroom
*DO NOT USE TABLE SALT
Find a water bottle that inspires you for this journey and take it with you EVERYWHERE you go
Keeping water accessible at all times will help you hit your daily goals
Sip on your water throughout the day, don’t gulp it down
Create your own Hydrating Fusion water
add lemon, lime, mint, cucumber, or berries to improve taste
Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink, sip all day
Take a sip at the first signs of a headache, feeling tired, anxious, or confused.
This year can be different
This easy-to-implement New Year's Resolution can revolutionize your health and amp up your wellness journey without adding a bunch of stress or costing a lot of time and money. Any time is a perfect time to get started, so even if you are reading this after the new year has begun, it is never too late to commit to hydrate!
Taylor K, Jones EB. Adult Dehydration. [Updated 2022 Oct 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555956/
Water. (2021, July 6). The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/water/