Hydrate for Heart Health

Our bodies are about 60 percent water. Crazy, right? According to the American Heart Association, staying hydrated keeps your heart from having to work as hard because it helps it more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. But staying hydrated is something I have struggled with my whole life. I can go an entire day without a sip to drink (besides coffee, which causes you to lose more fluid) and have to make a conscious effort to drink water every day.

If you struggle with drinking enough water during the day, here are a few changes you can make toward meeting your daily water goal:

  1. Drink a full glass of water as soon as you wake up. I have to take my thyroid medication every morning and used to pop them in my mouth and swallow without ANY water. Now, I fill my entire glass and drink it down.
  2. Try to drink a glass of water before each meal. Numerous studies have shown that you consume fewer calories when you do this, which means weight loss!
  3. If you think water is so “blah” because there’s no taste to it, add your own flavor. Lemon juice and orange slices can really help. I have a Citrus essential oil that I occasionally add and it’s made a huge difference. Try cucumber or mint and let it steep overnight in the fridge.
  4. Use an app to remind you! I just downloaded an app for my iPhone that alerts me to get up and get some water. If you don’t want to do that, set alerts on your phone. On the plus side, this also gets you moving! Too much sitting at your desk is not good for your body, so this counts as a double good for you.
  5. Take a water bottle or tumbler to work with you or to run errands so you always have it nearby. My tumbler is twice as big as any cup I grab from my work kitchen, and I’m not using disposable items. Win-win for me and the environment!
  6. Opt for water when you eat out. I do this about 95 percent of the time. My guilty pleasure is sweet tea. I’m a southern girl, after all. I stay away from sodas entirely.
  7. Cocktail, water, cocktail, water. A friend of mine alternates a glass of water for each alcoholic drink she has when she goes out. She’s brilliant. Not only are you getting more water, but you’re not getting wasted and are avoiding a nasty hangover the next day.

Shannon Steffee is a magazine editor by day, and a mom, health nut, and music lover by night. In her spare time, she enjoys writing about health-related topics and sharing her personal experience with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and gluten-free eating. You can find her on Twitter: @ShanSteffee. She is based in Orlando.

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