I hope you never have to ask yourself this question. My point is this though: The more frequent you need to engage in an activity, the more important it is. You can hold your breath for some minutes before you pass out. Consequently, breathing is key to keeping our body alive.
Unlike breathing, drinking is a conscious act
You don’t need to think about breathing. You just do it. Drinking is different though. You’ve to deliberately take care of regular fluid intake. If you don’t, you’ll feel thirsty, dizzy and get a headache. I don’t want to go into details around what will happen thereafter. Dying out of thirst must be terrible. Usually, death sets in after only a few of days.
So, how do you not only avoid dehydration but fuel your body most effectively? First off, bear in mind that your body consists approximately 70% water. During activities, such as sports, sauna visits and hot climate – even sleep – you loose precious fluid, which you want to refill. Best case have always enough in store and thus avoid uncomfortable side-effects. The rule of thumb is keep your urine white. Yellow urine tells you that you need to drink more. Your detoxification organs (such as your liver and kidneys) as well as digestive tracks (especially your stomach) requires fluid to work properly. Eating is important, yet drinking is paramount. You can survive many weeks without eating (people even heal chronic conditions by fasting), but you’ll die after some days of no water intake.
What you need to drink in which amount
As for all things in life, quality and quantity are important. You want to cultivate healthy routines, and responsibly make exceptions for social reasons or quality of life. In terms of quality, I usually drink still water. Yet every now and then I have a glass of wine or another semi-healthy beverage. When it comes to quantity, I normally take three liters a day. Sometimes I drink less though because I simply forget it during busy days. So, how do you put your drinking stakes in the ground?
- Analyze the current state. Reflect upon yesterday. What did you drink? How much did you drink? Was that a typical day? If yes, write down the beverages and amounts. This approach might sound over-systemic, yet please follow me here. Awareness is the first step towards change.
- Define your target state. You want to shoot for at least two liters of healthy beverages. Again, quantity depends on your body weight, the climate zone you^re living in, your life-style (mind working out regularly) and other factors. What are “healthy beverages”? Those which hydrate your body plus provide nutrients. I’m generally recommending high-quality still water as your basic beverage. You want to complement with green tea and coconut water for instance.
- Switch into active gear. Assuming you’ve captured your current state on the left and your target state on the right side of the paper. Next, you want to write down the actions in the middle. They represent the bridge between where you’re and where you want to be. After you’ve done this, start changing your drinking habits immediately. Have a full glass of water always near to you. Bear the 100 days rule in mind: It takes only three months to cultivate healthy routines. Your body will be grateful.