Most people suffer from a problem they aren’t even aware of – chronic dehydration. According to research, 4 out of 5 Americans are not consuming enough water on a daily basis. Drinking water is a healthy habit that is easily disregarded in favor of drinking more flavor-appealing liquids, such as juices or sugar sodas. However, drinking enough water every day is one of the main components of physical and emotional health and well-being. Not only is it crucial to overall health – the human body consists of more than 60% water, but staying hydrated is also packed with various amazing health benefits and can drastically improve your life.
The benefits of drinking a gallon of water a day:
improved skin health
Human skin contains large amounts of water and acts as a barrier to avoid the loss of liquids. When dehydrated, the human skin is significantly more prone to dryness and appearance of wrinkles, as well as significantly less resilient to outside stressors.
supplying the organs with oxygen
Our blood consists of water in more than 90%, and helps deliver oxygen, along with essential nutrients throughout our body.
body temperature regulation
Staying hydrated can ensure the proper functioning of the body’s natural cooling system – sweating. In order for the mechanism of perspiration to function well, it is important to stay hydrated.
better functioning of the metabolism and the digestive system overall
Not getting enough water on a daily basis can result in various digestive issues, constipation and overall increase in acidity of the stomach.
flushing toxins out of your body
Drinking enough water ensures proper functioning of kidneys, which in turn contributes to cleansing the body from toxins.
maintaining healthy blood pressure
Dehydration not only leads to elevated levels of sodium retention, but also leads to increased pressure in arteries, so it’s important to stay hydrated in order to lower blood pressure in a healthy way.
Drinking large amounts of water is one of the main pillars of sustainable weight loss. As it was mentioned above, staying hydrated boosts your metabolism, flushes the waste and helps your body to get rid of retained water. However, one of the water’s main contributions to weight loss consists in its ability to suppress appetite – staying hydrated can thus help you to consume less food.
reduced anxiety and stress
Dehydration is one of the main contributors to stress and fatigue. Not only your mood, but your cognitive abilities decrease when the body isn’t properly hydrated. Keeping a bottle of water around throughout the day can thus make you feel more relaxed and less stressed.
more energy throughout the day
Not getting enough water results in a poorer muscle performance and a feeling of fatigue throughout the day. It is important to stay hydrated not only while exercising, but also on regular low-activity days in order to avoid feeling tired.
preventing and relieving headaches
Constant headaches are one of the first symptoms of chronic dehydration. Not only does drinking water relieve an existing headache, it also prevents them from happening.
How many bottles of water is a gallon?
Carrying around a gallon of water is, at the very least, extremely inconvenient. It is recommended to carry around small water bottles and drink several of those throughout the day, or, ideally – purchase a reusable, refillable, BPA-free plastic water bottle. So how many bottles of water is a gallon? One gallon is equal to approximately 7 small 16.9 oz bottles of water, or 5 23.7 oz bottles, so it is advised to consume around 5-7 small bottles on a daily basis in order to stay hydrated and ensure the proper functioning of your body.
Understandably, for someone who is not used to consuming large amounts of water on a daily basis, the idea of drinking a gallon of water a day can be intimidating. However, there are ways to make the process significantly more enjoyable and easier for you.
Here’s a few tips as to how to drink a gallon of water a day:
Drink some water right when you wake up
It is the easiest to consume water on an empty stomach – that is when it comes with the least amount of effort. Not only does it allow you to drink more than you normally would, but it also suppresses your appetite right at the beginning of the day, and most importantly, is gives your metabolism a boost right when you wake up.
2. Add some flavor to your water
Although fruit juices and sugar sodas are more appealing than plain water, they contain significant amounts of sugar and do not have nearly as many positive health benefits as drinking water. However, there are other ways to enrich your water with flavor without sacrificing the healthy aspect of it. According to research, the water that has been enriched with nutrients absorbs better into the body. For instance, adding some berries or lemon into your water not only improves the taste, but also the retaining of the key nutrients in the body. There is room for experimentation as well – try adding orange slices to your water, or combining lemon and mint leaves, or even a little honey.
3. Have a glass of water every time you take a bathroom break
It is a good idea to drink a glass of water every time you take a bathroom break in order to rehydrate. It is also a good idea in terms of building a habit – linking your water intake to a certain activity will help you to build a healthy, long lasting habit. That way, eventually, you will remember to drink water every time you go to the bathroom.
4. Consider drinking sparkling water
If drinking plain, still water doesn’t sound appealing to you, there is a close alternative – sparkling water. It keeps you hydrated just as well as still water, but it also is said to be even more helpful than still water when it comes to digestion aid.
5. Give herbal tea a try
Drinking tea, especially herbal tea, is a great and an extremely hydrating alternative to drinking regular water. Not only does it rehydrate just as good as water does, but it is also packed with amazing health benefits. Tea leaves contain antioxidants, that prevent cell damage, keep us young and healthy. Drinking tea also may reduce the risk of heart-related disease, heart attack and stroke.
6. Drink a glass of water right before you go to bed
The easiest way to remind yourself to drink enough water is keeping a glass of water within your reach right before a certain activity you repeat every day, like waking up or going to bed. Keep a glass of water right next to your bed, or leave a note on your nightstand to remind you to stay hydrated.
7. Include higher water-content foods into your diet
According to research, a little less than a third of your daily water needs you receive from your food. There is a variety of fruits and vegetables that can be a great source of hydration for your body such as for example watermelon, cucumbers, strawberry, celery, oranges or lettuce.
8. Install an app that tracks your daily water intake
Another great tool at your disposal in keeping yourself hydrated is your smartphone. There are various apps available that track your daily water intake and send you a reminder to have a glass of water several times throughout the day. Having a reminder on your phone makes it easier to build a sustainable habit to stay hydrated every day.
9. Get a filter!
Drinking a gallon of water a day can eventually become a rather expensive everyday habit. In order to make it easier on your wallet, it can be a good idea to invest into a water filtration system that will make it easier (and cheaper) for you to have constant access to clean water.
10. Increase your water intake after exercising
It is recommended to replenish your water resources after an intense workout, due to a loss of water through sweating. A moderate workout can require up to a few glasses of water afterwards, while a more intense workout should be followed by, perhaps, a sports drink that can help you replace all the nutrients and water that you have lost while exercising.