If you’re reading this post, then you already know that drinking enough water is an important component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. BUT, it may surprise you to learn that when you drink water is almost equally important. This is especially true for those of us who aren’t disciplined enough to consistently drink water at regular intervals throughout the day.
So, if you’re like me and not always or on top of your water intake, here are some simple guidelines to follow to help ensure that you hydrate at the most important times.
1. Drink Water After Waking Up Make this the first thing you do after getting up……before a cup of coffee. Try adding lemon for even more benefit. One or two glasses of water first thing in the morning activates internal organs and remove any toxins before your first meal of the day. You’ll feel more awake and refreshed too!
2. Drink Water 30 Minutes Before Meals One glass of water 30 minutes before a meal helps regulate digestion, curb your appetite and moisturize the stomach lining to better handle brittle and acidic foods.
3. Drink Water 1 Hour After Meals One glass of water an hour after the meal HELPS the body to absorb the nutrients you just ate, drinking water too soon after a meal will dilute the body’s digestive juices.
4. Drink Water When You’re Hungry
If you’re hungry between meals, drink a glass of water first to see if you’re dehydrated. Sometimes people think they’re hungry when they’re really just thirsty.
5. Drink Water Before, During and After Exercise
Hydrating before a workout will keep your body from drying out and feeling thirsty. Drink at least 12 ounces before a workout. Depending on the temperature, humidity and your body’s weight and fluid levels, you’ll need one to several servings of water to protect against dehydration during and after workouts. Following vigorous exercise, be mindful to drink enough water to replace fluids lost through perspiration.
6. Drink Water 30 Minutes Before a Shower or Bath
Showering or bathing is relaxing and helps lower blood pressure. Drinking water before will help to further thin your blood and dilate blood vessels.
7. Drink Water 30 Minutes Before Going to Bed
A glass of water before going to bed has many health benefits, including helping to avoid the thickening of the blood which can cause stroke or heart attack. Hydrating before bed also helps balance hormones, replenishes any fluid loss that can occur during the night, and reduces nighttime leg cramping.
8. Drink Water When You Feel Tired
A glass of water when you feel tired will help the brain to regain focus and the body feel energized. If you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep but still feel tired, you may be dehydrated; fatigue can be a sign of dehydration.
9. Drink Water When You’re Exposed to Germs
If you find yourself around someone who may be ill, drink more water than usual to help wash away germs and viruses that your body may have picked up. A well-hydrated body encourages bacterial and viral invaders to move along so they don’t settle and multiply in your system. The same holds true for when you’re sick, you need to drink plenty of fluids, including water, to get better.
10. Drink Water With Medicine
Water helps your kidneys flush out medicines so they go down smoothly. Do ensure you never take medicines with liquids other than water. Only water is safe with medicines as it doesn’t contain anything that can negatively affect how medicines are absorbed.
I have been so busy launching my company, H2wOw , that I’ve barely had time to blog. Between the business of the holiday season and the demands of starting a company, I’ve been a bit frazzled to say the least. From hosting family for Thanksgiving to the non-stop festivities that Hanukkah and Christmas brought (our family celebrates both), November and December felt like an iron man race to me……getting out holiday cards, baking cookies, bringing the kids to a slew of fun events, attending holiday parties and school events, making and buying the “perfect” gifts, staying up until the wee hours wrapping the gifts, recognizing the people in our lives that we appreciate (from the mailman to the kids’ teachers), traveling to see family, packing and unpacking, cooking special feasts, putting the tree and decorations up and taking them down, trying to capture it all, doing too much, staying up too late, remembering and appreciating the true meaning of it all and not getting caught up in the flurry, oh and trying to fit in the launch of H2wOw during any and every spare moment. The last two months have been exhausting and hectic but luckily the drudgery was also full of merriment, thankfulness, abundance and blessings. Nonetheless, as the December 31st finish line approached so did a sense of relief in knowing that the whirlwind was coming to (at least) a pause and that there would soon be a reprieve from the crazy pace, a chance to slowdown, reflect and set new intentions.
Waking up on January 1st always feels marvelous to me and 2015 was no exception. Although much carries over to this new day and new year, it still somehow feels like a clean slate, even if the slate is only a representation of my own attitude and outlook on life.
For the new year I was away with my family at a beach house we rented on Silver Strand Beach in Southern California. The beach is definitely my happy place. I love the smell of the air, sand between my toes, soothing sound of the ocean waves and beautiful ocean sunsets. I started each day of our getaway combing the beach for sea glass, an activity that I’ve always loved and has become incredibly cathartic in recent years. My husband and daughters enjoy it too and it’s become one of our sacred family rituals. At home we have a large glass jar that we collect all of our sea glass in. I know it’s a little hokey but this jar is full of fond memories and favorite places and brings me such joy.
On New Year’s Day morning I went out for my daily beach walk and immediately spotted a big chunk of blue sea glass. I had been looking unsuccessfully for a blue piece for days so finding my first blue on this beautiful morning felt like a sign and a glorious way to start 2015. For those of you who collect sea glass, you know how special it is to find blue. To me it represented the start of a great year and the hope that my stars would align and all of my effort and hard work would begin to be rewarded. When I returned back to the house I grabbed my journal and headed to the deck to contemplate the things I wanted to work on in the coming year. I set the blue glass on the table in front of me and began to write.
Each year I try to be realistic with my resolutions, taking time to really consider what’s important, to question why it’s important and then to decide if it’s something I can truly commit to. I already prioritize a healthy lifestyle so the forever popular resolutions of new exercise routines and healthier diets are already habit for me — sure I could do better but there are other areas that need way more of a self commitment. I would love to resolve to make time each day for art or writing but I’m also nearly certain that after a few weeks I would fail at this. Time is already way too limited and any extra moments I have will be spent with my family or on my other passions of running, yoga, clean eating and cooking. After much thought I came up with the following three:
1.) A commitment to going to bed earlier and getting more sleep. For the past several years it seems my sleep has been slowly deteriorating (it’s no coincidence that this cycle began a little over six years ago when my first daughter was born). It has nothing to do with being restless or not being able to fall asleep — as soon as I allow my head to hit the pillow and my eyes to close I am down for the count. My issue is that there simply are not enough hours in the day and after dinner is done and the kids are in bed I get a second wind and feel as if I have been given a gift of uninterrupted time to get stuff done. Whether it’s editing photos, my Pinterest addiction, an episode of Orange is the New Black or work, one thing inevitably leads to another and before I know it it’s well after midnight before I’m even thinking about bed. I wake up at 6:00 AM feeling completely exhausted and then spend most of the day in a daze, whether it’s trying to be a patient mother, getting the most out of my workout or attempting to get quality work done, I’m unable to put my best self forward. Although the hours between 8:00 PM and my too-late bedtime feel wonderful and indulgent and like a free gift of time, the practical side of me knows that these late night hours are making my regular waking hours way less productive. So, my first goal for the new year is to get more sleep and to be in my bed by 10:00 PM and asleep by 10:30. In the short-term I expect to feel like I have way less time but my hope is that after a few weeks of an extra two hours of sleep, I will be able to function way better during the day and be much more focused and productive.
2.) Renew and Establish Deeper Connections Another thing that has deteriorated for me since having children but feels attainable to work on are my relationships outside of my immediate family. This includes both friendships and my larger extended family. I used to pride myself at being great at nurturing friendships and family. I was the planner who organized great trips to visit friends who had moved faraway and planned great holiday vacations with family. I was always thoughtful, calling my parents and grandparents regularly and sending nice notes and photos. I knew what was going on in my loved ones lives and felt connected. However, this has all changed so much over recent years and I am really ashamed at how I’ve put my friendships on the back burner. I haven’t made myself accessible to anyone beyond my immediate family. Once I got married and started my own family, I began to pour all of my love into these three people. And, while I believe these three amazing people do deserve most of me, I know that there is room to spread my wings a bit. This feels like a great year to make a concerted effort to rebuild deeper connections — my children are growing a bit older and not as reliant on me and the product I have been working on for three years has finally launched. Although I am still an extremely busy person, I can certainly find ways to fit in more regular phone calls, emails and texts. The face-to-face time and fabulous vacations may still need to wait but this shouldn’t stop me from connecting.
3.) Keeping Myself and My Family Hydrated, because this is something that I’m completely passionate about and I just launched a business around it!! As some of you may recall from my first blog post, https://momloveswater.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/keeping-my-kids-hydrated-with-water-packed-foods/, I once had to take my daughter, who was five at the time, to the emergency room because she was dehydrated. I had already noticed that she wasn’t drinking enough and had been doing my best to change this but being told by the ER doctor that her severe illness and immobility was due to dehydration gave me a fright and caused me to take this effort much more seriously. This wake up call was a big catalyst to my product launch and the reason I decided to center my blog around hydration and all things related to water. I too need to constantly stay aware of my fluid intake, if I don’t stay conscious of drinking, I can easily go a whole day with just my coffee in the morning, wondering why I have no energy (beyond lack of sleep). So, hydration is always on my mind and I track my water intake and love to add natural things like lemon and honey or H2wOw to make my water yummy and more interesting. Adding a little natural flavor to my water has really helped my whole family to enjoy water and drink much more of it. This year I plan to continue my hydration efforts and hope to help others along the way. One of my hopes for 2015 is to partner H2wOw with at least one refillable canteen company and launch a hydration campaign (even if it starts small).
So there you have it, after much contemplation (at least for the first two), these are the three things I want to work on in 2015. In a few months I will write a check-in post to let you know if I’m sticking with it and what kind of progress I’ve made. Happy New Year! I’ll be blogging later this week about adding Chia Seeds to still and sparkling water and how yummy it is with essential oils or H2wOw.