As winter approaches, you may find yourself reaching for coffee, tea, and cocoa to stay warm. A warm beverage is an automatic relaxer for me. But these hot beverages often contain caffeine or sugar that dehydrate you, so it’s especially important to remember to drink straight H20 this time of year. Here are a couple of reasons to reach for the water bottle today.
1. Fight Fatigue
A few months ago I mentioned to my friend Andria that I was feeling sluggish despite getting solid sleep each night. She immediately asked about my water intake, and I had to admit I had been slacking. The Mayo Clinic lists fatigue as one of the primary symptoms of dehydration in adults. Water may not replace a good night’s sleep, but it can help you maintain good energy throughout the day.
2. Improve your mood
Recent studies have proven that “even mild hydration can alter a person’s mood, energy level, and ability to think clearly.” When our environment or lifestyle becomes frenzied or stressed (holidays, anyone?) we are more prone to take on the stress and feel the negative effects. Drinking water is an easy way to buffer yourself against the hustle and bustle of the season. Not only can it help improve your mood, you can get an extra dose of happiness knowing that you are doing something good for yourself.
3. Boost digestion
You’ve probably heard that gut health is related to mental health, and good digestion is key to overall health. Drinking water can help get things moving naturally and effectively. The folks at Buzzfeed increased their water intake for a month, and the impacts on their digestion were undeniable. Check out the video We Tried the 30 Day Water Challenge.
4. Minimize dryness
Raise your dry, itchy hand of you apply more lotion in the winter! I sure do. Drinking water combats dryness from the inside, making your skin more supple and your entire body more comfortable.
5. Silence cravings
Holiday food isn’t known for its nutrition, and colder temps, shorter days, and holiday stress can all lead to overeating and the accompanying feelings of sluggishness. Drinking water to minimize cravings is a great way to help keep your eating in check. The next time you’re feeling peckish,promise yourself you’ll down a glass of water first. You may find you don’t need that extra cookie after all.
6. Add a moment of mindfulness
I saved one of my favorite reasons to drink water for last, and that is the opportunity for mindfulness. Any activity that causes you to pause, think about how you’re feeling, and proceed with thoughtfuless is an exercise in mindfulness, and drinking water can be just that. Before each sip, take a deep breath. Drink slowly, noticing every sensation that comes with it. Take another deep breath after the sip. Name any emotion that arises. Then proceed with your day! Even walking to the water fountain to fill your cup can be mindful. Use it as a break from the busyness and stress and you may find yourself better to handle it all!