How to Overcome the Challenges of Staying Hydrated

Are you finding it challenging to drink more water?

While it may seem like a simple task, hydration can be difficult for those who haven’t formed the habit. But why do people struggle with something that seems so easy? In this article, we’ll explore the findings of a recent study that sheds light on this question.

In a study conducted by researchers from the University of Glasgow, 95 participants who reported drinking less than 1.2 litres (40 ounces) of water per day were recruited to examine the effectiveness of implementation intentions in increasing water consumption. The participants were divided into two groups: Group 1, who created implementation intentions to help them remember to drink water in specific situations, and Group 2, who agreed to drink three additional glasses of water per day without forming implementation intentions.

After five days, the participants who made implementation intentions consumed an average of 245 millimetres (8 ounces) more water than those who simply agreed to drink more water. However, it’s interesting to note that the implementers didn’t necessarily drink water more frequently throughout the day. Instead, many of them increased the volume of their pre-existing water intake. For example, someone might increase their typical morning intake from four ounces to eight ounces.

It’s important to highlight that the participants consumed more water, but the increase wasn’t solely attributed to the implementation intentions. To gain further insights, the researchers surveyed the participants to understand the reasons behind their water consumption habits.

These findings suggest that while implementation intentions can have a positive impact on increasing water intake, there may be other factors at play in influencing individuals’ hydration behaviours. Understanding the motivations and barriers behind drinking water can help individuals develop effective strategies for improving their hydration habits. 

Here are some practical tips to stay hydrated and overcome common challenges:

1. Set Implementation Intentions

Implementing intentions can be highly beneficial in overcoming barriers to success. Take a moment to envision the future you desire, such as staying hydrated throughout the day. Then, identify potential obstacles that may hinder your efforts, like forgetting to drink water or being too busy. Form “if/then” statements to tackle these obstacles head-on. For example:

    • If I forget to drink water, then I’ll set reminders on my phone or use an app to track my intake.
    • If I’m busy and distracted, then I’ll carry a water bottle with me wherever I go.

2. Use External Reminders

Sometimes, simply wanting to drink more water isn’t enough. Many people struggle to remember to stay hydrated. External reminders can be helpful in overcoming this challenge. Try these tactics to keep water consumption top of mind:

    • Keep a full water bottle in a visible location, such as your desk or bag, to serve as a constant reminder.
    • Place chopped fruits or infused water containers in the front of the fridge to make them easily accessible and tempting.
    • Leave sticky notes on unhealthy snack options, reminding you to choose water instead.
    • Set alarms or reminders on your smartphone to prompt regular water breaks throughout the day.

3. Focus on Preparation

Pouring a glass of water may seem simple, but it’s not always easy to prioritise amidst other activities. Before you can build the habit of drinking water, it’s essential to prepare and make it easily accessible. Consider these steps:

    • Fill up a large water bottle or jug first thing in the morning, so you have a readily available supply throughout the day.
    • Take a moment to prepare your water by adding a slice of lemon, cucumber, or mint to make it more refreshing and enticing.
    • Set aside a dedicated time, such as the evening or weekend, to prep your water bottles or infused water combinations for the next day.
    • Make hydration part of your routine by incorporating it into existing activities. For example, have a glass of water before each meal or whenever you brush your teeth.

Staying hydrated is an essential aspect of your overall well-being. By implementing these tips and making hydration a priority, you’ll be on your way to achieving optimal hydration and enjoying the numerous benefits it brings. Cheers to a hydrated and healthy you!


6 Effective Ways to Improve Your Immune System

Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against illnesses. It uses a system of chemicals and proteins in your body to fight off viruses, harmful bacteria, infections, and parasites. A stronger immune system means less chances of you getting sick.

Here are six ways to build and maintain a strong immune system:

1. Get Vitamin C.

The key to fighting infections is increasing your white cell count. Eating citrus fruits with vitamin C can help you gain an upper hand on infections. The body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C, so eat citrus fruits and those high in vitamin C, such as bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, papaya and kiwi fruit. Orange juice and supplements will also help.

2. Keep a healthy diet.

As with most things in your body, a healthy diet helps keep your immune system strong. A healthy diet means eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. This helps maintain your immune system homeostasis.

According to Dr. Lin, “When your body has sufficient amounts of the micronutrients found in these foods, it helps maintain your immune system homeostasis.”

3. Reduce stress level.

Whether stress comes on quickly or builds over time, it’s important to understand how chronic stress affects your health. Stress can potentially have a secondary impact on your immune system if it leads to sleep disturbances, a tendency to eat less healthy food, reduced water intake, less frequent exercise and more. Stress is different for everyone and the activities that help relieve it are too — for example, meditation, prayer or exercise.

4. Exercise regularly.

Exercise is one of the best ways to strengthen your immune system, especially as you age. From simple walking to tough-to-resist strength training, regular exercise can help keep you healthy and happy today and into the future. The recommended amount of moderate exercise such as walking is 150 minutes per week.

5. Get enough sleep.

Sleeping and immunity are closely tied. Getting adequate rest may strengthen your natural immunity. You may sleep more when sick to allow your immune system to better fight the illness. Adults should aim for 8 hours of sleep each night, teens need 8–10 hours, and younger children and infants up to 14 hours.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, the most important step is to establish regular sleeping hours: go to bed at the same time each day, and get up at the same time each day. This will establish your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.

Be mindful of your caffeine and alcohol intake, as they have negative effects on sleep. Avoid stimulating activities such as strenuous exercise and stressful tasks close to bedtime. Also limit screen time for at least an hour before bed as the blue light emitted from your phone, TV, and computer may disrupt your circadian rhythm.

6. Drink plenty of water.

Protecting your health is important because dehydration can cause headaches and hinder your physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, and heart and kidney function. These complications can increase your susceptibility to illness. You should drink enough fluid daily to make your urine pale yellow. Water is recommended because it’s free of calories, additives, and sugar. While tea and juice are also hydrating, it’s best to limit your intake of fruit juice and sweetened tea because of their high sugar contents.

As a general guideline you should drink when you’re thirsty and stop when you’re no longer thirsty. You may need more fluids if you exercise intensely, work outside, or live in a hot climate. Make sure you drink plenty during the day and limit fluids in the evening so you won’t need to go to the toilet many times at night.

Wrapping Up

Making lifestyle and dietary changes can strengthen your immune system, including reducing sugar intake, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, sleeping adequately, and managing stress. Healthy eating, exercise, lowering stress levels, and taking vitamins can keep your energy levels high and your immune system healthy.


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