The month of December brings us so many emotions, from that holiday joy, happiness or disappointment when thinking of the last 11 months, to hope and excitement for a new year. After mentioning the importance of hydration and the water challenge in 5 Quick Tips to Living Your Best Healthy Life I got hyped on taking on this challenge myself. I am also currently in Beijing and have never experienced such dry/ cold air so I know I need to drink more water. What better way to accomplish a goal than with a good support system! Here’s a few things we should keep in mind:
Making a plan that works best for you is essential to your success during the challenge, this way you can set realistic goals so create something for your lifestyle and routine. I know it’s an eventful month filled with holiday parties but you can still manage to do this if you plan accordingly. I set up the challenge to do it only on the weekends because I am too busy during the weekdays like I’m sure most of you are and I’m out taking the subway, going from place to place so don’t have time to frequent the toilet or want to be using public restrooms. On the weekends I like to slow down and can have comfort in having my own toilet accessible.
2. CONSCIOUSLY DRINK UP
If you are not used to drinking a lot of water you will have to work harder during your hydrating weekends but that’s ok! The point of this is to get you to drink more water so don’t stress it! We want to meet the goal or come close to it, but feel free to set your own goal if you know your body can’t handle a gallon a day. You can plan on drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning then after your morning face wash, before and after meals, before bed, during workouts, and as your casual drink as you go on with your day. So yes this means you will have to carry water with you at all times!
3. TRACK SUCCESS
I will be doing my best to keep you motivated to drinking lots of water and we will have each other to make this fun! The best way you can keep track of how much water you’re drinking is to drink out of your gallon jug or use different sports water bottles you can keep on refilling. You can mark the hours and put motivation phrases on your gallons. I’ve found that apps like My Water & Waterlogged make it easy and are super helpful in keeping track of my intake, they have reminders, are informative and you can customize your goal and water bottle size.
It is important we listen to our bodies, acknowledge the changes we are experiencing and write down noticeable feelings and thoughts during the challenge because you want to know if this is something that works for you. Everybody is different. We must remain mindful, therefore recap each day with a journal entry on your phone notes, an app, or traditional journal where you have to actually write with a pen.
5. WHAT TYPE OF WATER?
You can use any clean filtered/ purified or mineral water, but of course the best would be alkaline for the highest antioxidants and better ph levels. You can choose your preference. I understand drinking plain water can get boring but it doesn’t have to be. Spice it up! Infuse your water with fruits and herbs. I keep it simple and just boil water and add a slice of lemon sometimes so it feels like I’m having tea. Plus drinking hot water is known to have powerful health benefits such as assisting in maintaining a healthy metabolism and sooth during menstrual cycles.
6. SWAP YOUR DRINK CHOICE
I know this can be a tough one for some of you but you have to swap those sweet juices/ sodas for water. Remember the goal is to drink MORE water. This will also include tea and coffee. If you absolutely need to have coffee or tea then minimize it to just 1 cup each day and don’t add any sweeteners. You also want to avoid or limit alcohol. 1-2 glasses of wine.
7. REWARD YOURSELF
Do things that make you happy and are fulfilling to you. This isn’t supposed to feel like a punishment it’s just a challenge and it can be difficult so treat yourself. At the end of the day when you have finished that entire gallon of love reward yourself with a sweet note telling yourself how proud you are, watching your favorite tv show, having a spoonful of your favorite nut butter, a warm cup of sleepy time anti-inflammatory turmeric milk or create your personal pampering night routine.
8. WATER POISONING IS REAL
It is rare but it can happen if you wash out your electrolytes and sodium levels drop rapidly. Make sure you don’t drink 0.8 liters in an hour. There are 3.8 L in a U.S. gallon and 4.5 in Canada/ U.K. If you have a medical condition or concerns consult with your doctor before taking on the challenge of drinking a gallon of water a day. With that said distribute consumption by drinking small portions throughout the day.
There’s so many promising benefits to drinking more water so I hope you will commit to the challenge this month and reap all those benefits!
I’m doing it for my skin & tummy! What has motivated you to take on this challenge?
Please make sure to tag me, your friends that need to get in hydration formation & #AGallonofLove when you share your journey to a more hydrated self!