waterdroplet

3 busy mom strategies for staying hydrated

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by Lisa Byrne

Lisa is the bestselling author of Replenish and founder of WellGrounded Life. She's got a big-hearted vision of a world where moms are fully equipped to live calm, healthy, and vibrant lives. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three kids, and 110 pound yellow lab.

I find myself running so non-stop all day long that when I am finally crashing into bed at night, I’m parched. Sometimes I’ll down a couple glasses then, only to wake up throughout the night to use the bathroom– and the last thing a Mom needs is one more thing to wake her up!

I feel so much better when I am hydrated. My mind is clearer (one of the biggest culprits in brain fog is dehydration). I can manage my hunger and make better food choices when I’m hydrated (our minds have a hard time differentiating between the thirst and hunger signals). Every biochemical function in our bodies happens in the medium of water– so we simply need enough in order to keep running well.

Knowing all this didn’t change the challenge of getting enough water every day, though – so here are some strategies that have really helped me.

1. Set Up for Success.

I set four pint-sized glasses full of water on the kitchen counter the night before. They are ready for me from the moment I get up in the morning. This is beneficial for two reasons -

  • I am able to sip water throughout the day which is much better than gulping it down in one or two sittings, and
  • because they are right there in front of me I am reminded to take a swig now and then. No more having to remember to pour myself a glass throughout the day.

I cannot express how much this step has helped me– very often I finish all glasses by 2 in the afternoon, and then I get the added benefit of feeling like a superstar.

2. Let Your Snacks Hydrate You.

Another idea is the consider what kinds of foods you snack on all day. I was getting into the routine of eating mostly dry foods– lots of pretzels, crackers, popcorn, chips. These foods are not high in water content. Foods like fresh fruits and veggies are high in water content– which is one (of many) reasons they are so instrumental in a healthy diet and weight loss. Because I simply needed quick foods to eat during the day, I began setting up a snack tray the night before I went to bed. The next day I would have sliced, chopped, and bite-sized fruits and veggies available in the fridge when I needed to grab a munchie. I could connect this one strategy to a host of other wellness benefits – but staying hydrating is one of them.

My normal plate consists of one apple sliced, baby carrots, one cucumber sliced, berries (normally blueberries), one red pepper sliced and a couple broccoli florets. — Depending on what’s in the fridge, I sometimes rotate in grapes, cauliflower, pears, or oranges.

3. Spread Out Your Supplements.

I began using my vitamins as an additional way to hydrate. I split my vitamins into three piles and take them during the normal meal times of the day. Unfortunately, I don’t always succeed at getting all three meals in myself, but, I do sit my children down for breakfast, lunch and dinner- so I capitalize on this time to take my supplements. I make sure that each time I pour a large glass of water and drink it while taking the pills.

Sometimes when a message is heard too often it is easy for us to pass it over – but focusing on simple ways toward wellness often produces the most significant changes to our health.

Consider increasing your water intake today and observe if it impacts the way you feel.

Do you struggle with drinking enough water? What are some of the reasons you have a hard time getting enough in daily?

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Comments

  1. These are great tips! I also struggle in this area (I wonder how high the percentage is of moms who do!), and I love the idea of getting the water and fruit/veggie snacks ready the night before.

    One thing I do that helps me (although I’ve slacked lately) is to fill up my big Kleen Kanteen water bottle. I think it’s 32 oz., and it makes sipping through the day easy and convenient, keeps the water cold and doesn’t have to be refilled constantly.

    Mandi´s last blog post…Organizing Children’s Craft Supplies: Creating an Art Box to Simplify Craft Time

  2. Just a couple of weeks ago I started adding slices of lemons to a full bottle of water (around 1 litre) and drinking and refilling that throughout the day. I have found myself drinking around 3 bottles a day like this as I keep the bottle with me all the time and the lemon makes it tasty too :) Helps that I have a lemon tree in my back yard!

    Sarah Klass´s last blog post…My Christmas Card

  3. I absolutely agree – it’s so hard getting your water in. The reason for me is that often I may be running around and not have the time to stop at the bathroom (I know, bad excuse). Who wants to have to stop every five minutes when you’re out running errands?

    Oh – and I split up my vitamins too, I take some in the morning and some at night, especially the ones that tend to make me a little sick so that I can sleep it off. :)

    Tabitha (From Single to Married)´s last blog post…Going Down the List

    • @Tabitha,
      I completely understand the bathroom dilema :) This was especially hard for me when I was teaching in the classroom–some jobs (raising little ones included) make frequent trips to the potty that much harder!

      Lisa Byrne´s last blog post…Me-Time Menu

  4. OK. Water is good. But what if you have a Diet Coke addication?

    alex´s last blog post…I love IKEA more than anyone, BUT …

  5. I agree with Mandi above. I fill my reusable water bottle every morning and try to refill about 2 or 3 times a day. When my little toddler needs a drink, I try to remind myself to drink alongside her.

    Like Alex above, I also love coffee and an occasional soda. If I give myself this treat, I try to accompany that drink with a glass of water. I do this in the evening if I have a glass of wine too. I find the more water I drink alongside the other beverage, the more satisfied I become and the less I need the other.

    Now off to drink some water. Nicole’s blogging at http://burningbushes.org/

  6. I agree with the double-fisting of water with soda or coffee. I suspect that this also might be better for your teeth. And as it’s impossible for me to keep cat’s paws out of water glasses, I also go with large, refillable bottles.

  7. I love the idea of filling glasses with water … I think I can use that idea in the workplace by taking the equivalent of 8 glasses with me in bottled water … thank you for the idea!

    Mary´s last blog post…A different idea for using your emergency fund …

  8. I really amped up my water drinking a few years ago when I became pregnant. I got one of those 32-oz. water bottles and drank from it all throughout the day, filling it a second time for a total of 64 oz. I felt great. I’ve slacked off a little now. I think it’s time to pull my water bottle back out. Thanks!

    Nicki at Domestic Cents´s last blog post…Welcome Home, Dinner’s In The Oven

  9. @Shylo, @Nicole: I think matching your water intake to your “other” beverage intake is a great way to start “tipping the balance” overall toward more straight water through the day…When I was in college I was addicted to Diet Cokes. When I decided to wean myself off artificial sweetners, I did it gradually- first by always drinking the same amount of water as diet coke (1 glass for 1 glass)…and then starting to drink more and more water everytime (1 glass to 1.5 glasses, ect)…there was just so much liquid I could take in and the cokes phased out!

    Lisa Byrne´s last blog post…Me-Time Menu

  10. So true! I lug a rubbermaid bottle with me everywhere. If I forget it, I won’t get enough water and I get terrible headaches.

    Avlor´s last blog post…Wii Fit and Blog to Fit Update #10

  11. Drinking more water – this is one of my ‘goals’ for 2009! So, in a word, yes! Drinking enough water is definitely a struggle for me.

    I’ve found that it helps if I use a straw – and if I drink the water at room temperature. It’s so cold right now – drinking anything with ice makes me feel cold all over! I can’t explain why the straw helps – other than to say that it is easier for me to drink more with the straw than without!!

  12. Thanks for the encouragement to drink more water…my husband is always getting on my case about this!! :)

    Sarah H.´s last blog post…Transform a room in less than 10 seconds

  13. I have slacked off lately on drinking water, I think because it is so cold outside that I reach for something warm, like coffee. But coffee, or anything with caffeine, will dehydrate you, not hydrate you. I have been feeling those effects I think, and need to step it up. Thanks for the encouragement.

    I work all day at an office, so I bring a cup to work that I just keep filled all day long, and sip from as I type or read for work. Making it an unconscious habit to drink throughout the day is the easiest way to get it done.

    Taylor at Household Management 101´s last blog post…Printable Grocery List For Families

  14. I agree with Ruth Ann – It has to be room temp, I hate ice cold water, even in summer.

    I have a 2 litre (67 fl oz i think) bottle I fill in the morning to last throughout the day.
    I love the snack idea, will start to do that too.

  15. Staying hydrated is soooo important. Some days late in the afternoon I will develop a headache only to realize that I have not had any water. A few minutes after I down a glass of water the headache will disappear. I purchased a large aluminum canteen and fill it twice a day to get my daily fill of water.

  16. I am a single father of a 2 year old who is my life. I actually have your sight bookmarked. Unfortunatly if people really need advice on how to drink water, I think the human race is in dire trouble.

  17. These are great tips – thank you!

  18. I agree it is hard to remember to get enough water some days. I appreciate all the helpful ideas both in the post and comments!

  19. I read an article some where that said if you use a straw you are more likely to drink more water. As a busy mom (of 3) and a busy nurse (12 hour night shifts) I find this to be soooo true! The grown up “sippy cup” filled just after my coffee works best for me!

    Thanks for the reminder!

    Niffer´s last blog post…OOPS!

  20. @ruth ann, @niffer: I love the straw idea…I’ll have to remember that myself!

    Lisa Byrne´s last blog post…Me-Time Menu

  21. Oh my goodness, this is such a great post. I always find the most simple advice the best! I am HORRIBLE at drinking water, and like the poster above, my husband is also always on my case about it. I WANT to drink it, I just get so busy that I don’t even think about it until nighttime. Lately, (the last several weeks) I have been getting awful headaches every, single day. I started working out again and it has definitely helped, but I know that drinking more water is the other half of what would help me.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Kelli´s last blog post…iPod Magic

  22. Great tips! I shall start straightaway!

    I often forget to drink water throughout my hectic day. By the time I feel thirsty, I have to drink at least 4 cups before I really feel the water is making any difference to my thirst.

    Domesticgoddess´s last blog post…Bento #31 – Doggie Bento

  23. Loved the post–this is one of my goals for 2009 as well. I even made myself a little graph that I keep on the fridge to keep track. I often think I’ve drunk more water than I actually have. I can totally tell a difference in my health when I’m hydrated. I think clearer and seem to just function better when I’ve had enough water. Plus I snack less. If I’m tempted to eat something I shouldn’t, I make sure I’m caught up on my water–and often I don’t feel tempted anymore or if I still cheat a little, I eat less than I would have. I like the idea of the cut up veggies ready to go. Thanks.

    Dara´s last blog post…A Little Heat for January

  24. I’m a list maker and follower, so I’ve found that if I make six little boxes on my daily calendar representing 6 large glasses of water, then I can check them off as I drink them. Since I like to have everything on my list checked off, it motivates me to make sure that I drink all that I need to.

    kendra´s last blog post…7 Easy Tips for Organizing Your Babies Closet

  25. I needed this umph! Thanks!

    tara´s last blog post…uninspiring…but quite funny

  26. I had a tummy bug for the past two days and spent all of yesterday in bed being cared for by my wonderful husband.
    He kept bringing me sips of water and Gatorade throughout the day to make sure I wouldn’t get dehydrated from all my trips to the bathroom.
    It turns out being sick actually made me feel better! Spending the day getting tons of rest and fluids left me feeling the best I have in a long time when I woke up this morning.

    Sarah @ Ordinary Days´s last blog post…No, I Will Not Be Wearing Denim Jumpers Every Day

  27. Thanks for the post Lisa. It really struck a cord with me. I am so busy with the kids all day long that I often sit down after I finally get them to bed in the evening only to realize that I am thirsty and have hardly drank anything all day long.

    I am going to try your suggestion of leaving four glasses of water out so I know how much I am getting.

  28. I have the water built into my meal/fitness plans. I get 16 ounces of water blended with protein shake powder mid-morning. I fill a 32-ounce nalgene bottle and down it all during my workout. I have 16 ounces of herbal tea in the evening (at least an hour before bed time so it won’t keep me up). Anything else is in addition to that :)

    amber´s last blog post…Product Spotlight: Winter Relief Facial

  29. I’ve always struggled with this–for a long time I did not like water. Now I like it, but don’t drink nearly enough. I’m pregnant and try to remind myself the baby needs the water–that pushes me a little, but should push me more!

    I love the idea about preparing the veggies as snacks. I’ll have to try that.

    Mama Koala´s last blog post…Great Idea–Family Interviews!

  30. I always struggle with this; I’ll do well for a few days and then fall off the wagon again. It’s extremely hot right now (in Sydney), and yet I still seem to put off drinking more water… Great tips though!

    ejm´s last blog post…hope

  31. I really like the supplement idea…I take all mine at once. I’m going to try spreading them out like you suggested:)
    Thanks for the tip1

    Nikki´s last blog post…Presidential Prayer

  32. This was a fabulous post.

    Great reminders not only for busy moms ~ but for busy people who sit at a desk all day and don’t stay hydrated and don’t eat properly nourishing snacks.

    Thank you so much for providing another reason to eat healthy!!

    bfs ~ “Mimi”´s last blog post…Wordless Wednesday

  33. Thanks for the reminder.

    Something new I’ve tried recently is really an attempt at weight loss and eating less, but I think it counts here too. If I feel hungry between meals, I require myself to drink a glass of water (at least 8 oz) and wait 15 minutes. If I’m still hungry, I’ll have a little snack. Also, before I eat a meal, I drink a glass of water. I feel full sooner and don’t eat as much.

    Lindsey´s last blog post…New Family Photo

  34. For those of you worried about the bathroom, I’ve found that this only lasts the first couple of days and then your body gets used to more water and has flushed out a lot of the toxins and you don’t have to go so much anymore. Don’t give up!

    • @Dena– That is absolutely true! Thanks for mentioning it…the bathroom trips really do lessen when you consistently up your water intake…but if you go back down for a period of time, and then up it again, you’ll get the same “spike” in bathroom trips until your body has adjusted. Great tip!

      Lisa Byrne´s last blog post…Me-Time Menu

  35. I stopped drinking as much water when we moved because the tap water tasted bad, I’ve found the extra couple bucks to get bottled water a huge help. We have a very small budget so I resisted buying water before but getter water that tastes good makes a big difference.

    Charlybu´s last blog post…Book Review: A Country Life, at Home in the English Countryside, by Roy Strong

  36. stopping by to say congrats on your Weblog nom!
    http://2009.bloggies.com/

    georgie´s last blog post…Peep Off

  37. What great suggestions, I especially LOVE the snack tray idea. I’ve heard of “snack boxes” for preschoolers to help w/ healthy snacks, but what a great way to get adults to eat healthier snacks by making them accessible. Thank you!

    Corinne´s last blog post…Not one of our better days

  38. I keep a bottle of water on my desk at all times and refill it when I finish it. As long as I don`t drink too much tea or coffee, I tend to go through 4-6 20 oz. bottles of water a day.

  39. What a great post! I am a big water drinker – at least 5 or 6 bottles a day. We get the Kirkland brand from Costco and because I must have them cold I am going to start by putting 5 on the top shelf of my fridge so I can visually see how much I am drinking.

    I definitely feel better both physically and mentally when I am getting all 5-6 bottles in. Thanks for the great reminder!

    Angie´s last blog post…Make your photos stand out, literally.

  40. avatar
    Adopted Parisian says:

    I have a “drinking buddy”… my husband! He “drinks” with me and we hold each other accountable with staying properly hydrated. :O)

  41. The fruit/veggie plate thing is a great idea! I will have to do that! As for drinking enough water, the one thing that has always helped me with that is to use a large, refillable plastic jug that has a straw (you drink more water w/o knowing it!). It was a life-saver while I was nursing my kids b/c I would get horrible head-aches while nursing if I wasn’t hydrated. The best jug I found was at Target in the camping section – it’s pink too! It held enough water that I only needed to fill it up twice in order to get the daily amount needed … but found that I fill it up more often than that! Yea!

  42. Staying hydrated is one of my biggest challenges. I keep a big cup of water on my desk at all times, and keep track of how many I drink a day. I read you need to drink half your weight in ounces of water so I try to keep track as best as possible.

    I also have cut out soda, coffee and caffinated tea since caffine makes you retain water.

  43. Boy, I really needed to read this today! I’m eight months pregnant and have been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks now. My doctor found through some tests that I was dehydrated so I’ve been paying much more attention to how much water I drink throughout the day. I’ve always been a big water drinker, but I have to admit that between keeping up with my 3-year old, running the house, and working, I’ve often let hours go by without realizing I needed a drink. It’s all too easy to do!

    Thanks for the helpful tips to get me back on my game. And I totally agree that drinking plenty of water really makes a difference in my energy level.

    Moltomom´s last blog post…Top Ten Reasons to Vote Us Your Favorite Mommy Blog

  44. I love these suggestions. I get water for my daughter and son every morning before school. My daughter drinks from a waterfountain so she just needs a little to get her on the bus till school. My son refuses to drink from the waterfountain so he carrys three bottles to school and leaves them in his locker. I ofter neglect myself and find that parch feeling on and off. My body signals thirst with a cough, it’s annoying so I drink to get rid of it. Thank God for body signals. Water is so important, I am grateful I do not have to drink from muddy water holes like many in third world countries.

    gypsychant´s last blog post…Fear of the deep; breath that is.

  45. avatar
    Ashley Deets says:

    Thanks for all the great tips! I’m new to the site & I love it!!

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