Drinking more water is something we all seem to aspire to, but never end up doing. There are just too many options and life is short enough that when you want a lemonade instead of a water with your Chick-fil-A, you get the lemonade. However, water continues to provide a multitude of benefits, especially for college students. And luckily, there are many ways to make sure we’re keeping properly hydrated.
But first, why is water so important?
More than 60 percent of the human body is made up of water, meaning that it’s super important to be constantly replenishing, especially when you have the lifestyle of a busy college student. Water is important for a healthy heart, muscles and skin and helps to cleanse your body of toxins. It also keeps your body cool and is apparently shown to have effects on students’ exam grades, which is reason enough to keep yourself extremely hydrated.
How to Hydrate:
1. Get an app.
One of the reasons a lot of people aren’t getting proper hydration is that they simply forget. However, this is a problem easily fixed. Apps like Daily Water, Waterlogged and iDrated allow you to track your water intake and set notifications that will remind you to hydrate throughout the day. There are also water tracking settings on Apple Health and on most Fitbits, so you have no excuse to “not remember to drink water.” If you’re out and about, WeTap Drinking Fountain Finder is an awesome app that will find you a drinking fountain to visit and replenish at.
2. Wake up to water.
I’m the first one to admit that I need my cup of coffee, but before I even get to that, I make sure to hydrate. After a long night’s sleep of six to eight hours (for some of us), it’s not unusual for your body to wake up already dehydrated. This is why it’s so important to replenish as soon as you wake up– it will get you going, and yes, help to energize you for the day. Your focus will be better. You’ll be fuller and therefore less likely to snack. The benefits go on and on. Why not start your day with a nice glass of H2O?
3. Keep a water bottle with you.
This one is no lie. If you have water with you, you’re more likely to drink it. Especially if you keep it out on your table or desk during lecture. Bored? Drink some water. Don’t want to get called on when the professor’s looking right at you? You guessed it, time to hydrate. It can also be really fun to research the different types of reusable bottles to find which one is best for you. If you need help getting started, here’s a guide on some brands that are popular amongst college students.
4. Eat water-dense fruits and vegetables.
If you find it difficult to trade sugary drinks for water, try adding more water-dense foods to your diet. This is not a complete replacement for drinking water, but it’s a good way to increase the amount of water you’re consuming. Water dense foods include strawberries, watermelons, grapefruits, cucumbers and tomatoes– all great snacks for when you need a little sustenance during a long day!
Hydration is such an underrated part of living a healthy lifestyle, especially for college students. To keep energy and mental focus up, it is integral to make sure you’re getting the water you need. We always hear that we need eight glasses a day, but to start assess how much water you currently drink, and try to increase little by little. If you want to know exactly how much your intake should be, check out Camelbak’s hydration calculator. Other than that, remember to take care of your body– it's the only one you have.