My mother sipped water all day. She always kept a plastic glass of ice cold water by her chair when she was in the living room and on the counter when she was in the kitchen. She insisted on cold water and made a face when the water turned “soupy” as she described! I can drink hot, tepid, or cold water—it does not matter. What mattered for my mother is she found a way to drink water, and I have as well.
Benefits of Drinking More Water
Although health experts do not agree on exactly how much water I should drink a day, they do agree on its important nutrients. Henry David Thoreau believed that water is the only drink for a wise man. Benefits include more energy, younger looking skin, better digestion, lubricated joints, normal temperature, and zero calories. By maintaining hydration, I may be less likely to have unclear thinking, mood changes, constipation, and kidney stones.
I start my day drinking eight ounces of water while swallowing two carbidopa/levodopa tabs and one Azilect tab. I have not always been diligent drinking lots of water. However, with Parkinson’s I got serious about my water intake after being advised to drink one cup of water with each round of meds. I decided on sixty-four ounces a day which equates to half my weight in ounces and also reflects the eight glasses a day philosophy.
Since I am a visual person, I created a system to help me remember to drink water. Each morning I fill a pitcher with thirty-two ounces of water and set it on the kitchen counter. I pour from that pitcher and refill as needed. After I take morning meds, I refill the glass and sip on it before breakfast. By the end of breakfast, I have had one-quarter of required water.
Tips To Drinking More Water
Go Funky or Formal—Select a drink container that is fun. Orange plastic, elegant crystal, a lid, or crazy straw, or not—whatever motivates you to use
Jazz It Up—Add a splash of lemon, orange, grape, or cranberry juice or a wedge of lemon, lime or orange, a sprig of mint, chunk of watermelon, or slice of cucumber
Keep It Cold—Add ice to water or toss in a few frozen berries
Set Goal—Decide on amount of water you want to drink and ease into it if necessary
Measure Drink Containers—Know how many ounces the containers hold, keeping in mind a one cup measuring cup holds eight ounces
Monitor Goal—Record your water intake and time until drinking the right amount is habitual or use an app such as waterlogged
Remind Self—Set alert on smartphone throughout the day to remind to drink if you tend to forget
Fill It Up—Fill your errand running, exercise, go to work bottle, never leave home without it
Order Water—Forget about ordering soda, fizzy drinks, or fruit juice when eating out
Drink Last Drop—Finish glass of water before leaving restaurant
After lunch, I review my water intake. If I had lunch out and drank water, I pour that amount from the pitcher on a plant. Am I on track to reach the goal? Since I work from home, I keep a glass of water at arm’s length and eye level at all times. If there is a lull in the afternoon, drinking a glass of cold water perks me up. The Mayo Clinic recommends having water at different milestones of the day such as when you get up, after you arrive to work, right before lunch, after you brush your teeth and so on. I am proof that approach works as some of my milestones are four pill popping opportunities scheduled four hours apart!
Question: What tips help you drink more water?