You discount the water content of solid foods
You’d be surprised to know that around 20% of our daily H20 intake actually comes from solid foods. A lot of this water comes from fruit and vegetables; cucumber is actually 96.7% water, and tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruits all contain more then 90% water. Unlike pure water, these foods are rich in nutrients and vitamins, so consider hydrating yourself through food alongside water.
You’re drinking more water than you need
The majority of healthy people will meet their hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide. If you’re forcing yourself to chug gallons of water, then you may end up drinking too much – yes, there is such a thing! It can cause hyponatremia, or water intoxication. Sodium levels in the blood become dangerously low, risking swelling in the brain, seizures and comas.
You’re avoiding caffeine unnecessarily
Many know that caffeine can boost your metabolism and increase focus but what many don’t know is that there is a huge myth about caffeine that just isn’t true. Many say that drinking caffeine causes you to excessively pee, but there is no evidence of dehydration in moderate daily coffee drinkers. So, don’t avoid the occasional cuppa! In fact, coffee is a great source of water.
You leave a glass on your night stand
If you leave a glass of water on your bedside table, you’ll be more inclined to drink it. That’s what it’s there for, right? Research has found, however, drinking too much water before bed increases your likelihood of disrupted sleep. Instead, start to taper off your fluid intake around three hours before bedtime, allowing your body to process it and urinate before you settle down.
You’re still drinking out of plastic bottles
We have said this a dozen times: stop drinking your water from plastic bottles! Not only is it extremely wasteful and not eco-friendly, but these bottles are often made out of Bisphenol A (BPA). Whilst BPA is safe in low levels, it has also been linked to possible health effects on the brain and even increased blood pressure. So, stay hydrated, but use a BPA-free refillable bottle!
You aren’t pairing water with lemon
Of course, throwing in lemons does give a little zing to your bland beverage, but it also helps you to lose weight! D-limonene is a powerful antioxidant that’s found in lemon peels, and it helps the body to get rid of inflammatory toxins. The vitamin C it provides also helps the body curb cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone that prompts your body to store fat.
You forget to grab a glass upon waking
If you aren’t drinking water in the morning, then your metabolism will take a hit. Whilst you’re sleeping, your body goes eight hours without fluids and your metabolic function slows down. Drinking 20 to 32 ounces of water shortly after waking up kickstarts your metabolism in order to convert calories into energy. Therefore, it is recommended you rehydrate your body before breakfast.
You don’t balance water and wine
Alcohol decreases the body’s production of anti-diuretic hormone, which is a compound that helps your body to stay hydrated. By your third round, the body will become increasingly dehydrated, making you sluggish and bloated. It not only makes you drunk but increases the severity of your hangovers. To limit this, it’s recommended that you drink tw0 glasses of water for each drink consumed.
You confuse hunger and thirst
There are so many reasons that you may feel hungry, and not drinking enough water is one of them. A study suggested that people respond inappropriately to thirst over 60% of the time, prioritising eating instead of drinking. This causes you to consume more calories than necessary so, next time when you crave a snack, try knocking back cup of water beforehand and wait 20 minutes.
You don’t steep it with green tea
Water is still water, even if you slap a teabag in it. To get more bang for your buck when trying to stay hydrated, opt for a green tea! Researchers have found that this leaf is particularly good at blasting flab due to its concentration of catechins, a group of antioxidative compounds that can increase the release of flab from fat cells. This then speeds up the liver’s fat-burning capacity.
Drinking iced tea
You might think that iced tea is a great way of being able to increase your water intake whilst making it taste a bit more fun, but this is actually sub optimal. Studies have revealed that you would need to drink around 20 bottles of iced tea in order to get the same amount of antioxidants from one cup of regular tea. Unfortunately, it’s often loaded with sugar too.
Not drinking enough water
It feels like an obvious one, but it’s always good to have a reminder. Water is such a wonderful antioxidant for your body and a great way of flushing your system. If you want to reap the full extent of these benefits, though, you need to ensure you’re drinking enough water each day. This is believed to work out to around two to three liters of water every day, at the absolute minimum.
Drinking excessive water during meals
Drinking more water with meals is something that can interfere with the digestion process. This is because drinking excessive water during meals can leave food undigested in the stomach, which can lead to conditions like heartburn and acid reflux. The best time for water consumption is around 30 minutes before mealtimes.
Drinking water when you’re not thirsty
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are drinking water is drinking when they aren’t thirsty. Drinking water when you aren’t thirsty can confuse your brain, and your body actually makes it more difficult for you to swallow when you aren’t thirsty. It can also put you at risk of hyponatremia, which means low sodium in your blood.
Consuming chilled water
Chilled water might seem like the go-to choice on a hot summer’s day but, according to some studies, water that is chilled can disturb digestive temperature and gastric juices. What’s more, chilled water contracts your blood vessels, which makes it harder for the body to digest. Stick to room temperature water, where possible.
Standing when drinking
Standing up when you are drinking can actually be problematic because this causes water to flow to the digestive system too fast. This means the nutrients from the water don’t get absorbed effectively. Drinking water in the seated position is more recommended as it relaxes muscles and helps you absorb water better.
Buying the wrong “type” of water
There is such a thing as buying the wrong type of water and this is generally the so-called healthy bottled waters you can buy in stores. The problem with these is that they are full of sugars and, if not calories, then other nasty artificial additives. Stick with the natural stuff, as these elements can make them as bad for you as soda.
Adding artificial flavorings
Make sure you avoid artificial flavoring bottles that claim to be a low-calorie way of flavoring your water. These tend to be full of sucralose, an artificial sweetener that is 1,000x sweeter than table sugar. This is going to turn your water into an unhealthy drink that’s going to adversely impact your health.
Thinking fruit and vegetables can replace water intake
Many people believe that consuming a large volume of succulent fruit and vegetables can replace water consumption, but this is not the case. Despite being rich in nutrients and holding some ability to boost your water intake, both need to be consumed alongside one another. Furthermore, some fruit and veg has been exposed to pesticides, so can have negative health impacts.
Gulping water down
Gulping water down too fast is something that can upset your stomach by giving you acid reflux and increase bloating. The best way of being able to drink water in the right way is to sip it slowly, which allows the water to mix with saliva, which allows you to absorb it better, and prevents discomfort caused by overconsumption.
Drinking contaminated water
Consuming contaminated water can cause a large variety of health issues and conditions, including things like vomiting, diarrhea, as well as more serious conditions such as cholera. Always ensure you drink safe, clean and filtered water at all times to protect your health.
Drinking the wrong fluids
Too many of us believe that drinking other fluids can replace drinking water, but this is actually not the case. Fluids such as tea, coffee, soda, and alcohol might contain water, but they can also be diuretic and actually remove fluid from your body, not to mention their added sugars and calories.
Not ordering water in a restaurant
When you are having a meal out at a restaurant, it’s easy to get caught up in ordering expensive drinks from the menu. However, you can enjoy refreshing free drinks by ordering water for the table free of charge and stay as hydrated as possible. Even if you’re tempted by a cocktail, always get a jug of water too.
Stale water can taste pretty gross. Picking up that class of water from a couple of days back that has been untouched might seem like a quick way to quench thirst, but it can have a pretty disgusting after taste or, worse still, could make you sick. Instead, go for a fresh glass to enjoy the benefits of fresh water at home.
Not drinking water when you’re tired
Most people don’t understand the true reach of water’s benefits, across the body and mind. When you’re tired or sluggish, sometimes the answer isn’t coffee! Water consumption is actually a great way of combatting tiredness, particularly in the afternoon. Dehydration drains energy levels, and sipping a glass can improve mental alertness by around 15%.
Adding sliced fruit
A lot of the time people like to add sliced fruit to their glass or jug of water in order to give it flavor. However, you need to be careful with this as it can lead to potentiall illnesses such as E.coli – spread by the skin of the fruit. What’s more, slicing fruit on the same board used to cut raw meat also spreads illness, so approach this hack with caution.
Not downing a full glass with medication
If you are on pill-based medication, taking them with a glass of water is a vital part of the process. Drinking the full glass with pills, rather than just a sip, stops the medicine getting stuck and helps your body absorb it better. It gives you the perfect opportunity to hydrate your body as well.
Water from rivers
Drinking “wild water” from streams and rivers might be something that seems appealing, provoking the thrill that comes with connecting with nature, but you need to be careful as it could be contaminated. Things like chemical spills, toxic plants, and animal discharge can pollute river water and make it dangerous, or even toxic, to drink.
Not monitoring urine color
The color of your urine can actually tell you a lot about your water consumption habits. For examples, if you notice that your urine has taken on a darker color, it can be a key sign of dehydration, letting you know that you need to start upping your water consumption on a daily basis.
Drinking only filtered water
Filtered water is an important choice for helping you to enjoy clean and healthy water, but sticking to only filtered water can equally be a mistake. In filtering your water, you can also remove some important minerals and nutrients that are beneficial to your health and well-being, providing your tap water is safe, as standard.
Not hydrating before exercise
If you are hitting the gym for a workout session, it is important to make sure you are correctly energized. This means you need to avoid dehydration at all costs. Many people drink water whilst they work out due to obvious thirst, but increased hydration in the periods before and afterwards is vital for preparation and muscle repair.
Taking a drink right after exercise
After a gym or workout session you will likely be very tired and dehydrated – both of which mean that you’ll be craving water. However, if you too much drink water right before or during exercise, gulping it down in large quantities as opposed to sipping, it can contribute to muscle cramps and stitches, as well as general discomfort.
Ignoring salt intake
Sodium intake is a big part of any Western diet, pretty much everything you consume will have traces of salt in it. What you need to do is to be able to balance out your salt intake with your water intake. This means making sure you are consuming enough water to be able to balance the two and allow an excess of either to be released through the urine.
Overlooking the importance of hydration for your skin
There are so many things that can help you to improve your appearance and one of the best ways to do this is to drink more water. Keeping yourself hydrated is going to have a huge impact on your skin and appearance. This is why you need to stop overlooking this part of the process, as skincare begins before you even invest in any products.
Viewing water as boring
A lot of people view water as a boring drink, but this is actually a huge mistake. In reality, water can be highly diverse and interesting depending upon what you do with it. Flavoured or herb infused water is a great way of adding depth and dimension to the flavor profile.
Ignoring carbonated water
When people think about drinking water it is predominantly still water from the tap or bottle. Carbonated water is actually a great choice that you can enjoy and make the most of when trying to consume more water, if you want to change things up. It’s something a little different and many people consider it more refreshing in hot climates.
Not realising the importance of water for productivity
Water has so many vital benefits for you, your mind and body. One of the key ones, that many people tend to overlook, is its place in boosting productivity. If you’re looking to perform better at work, upping your water intake is one of the simplest ways you can achieve this. It’s a quick, easy and free way to improve your professional life, or side hustle.
Using water filters that have expired
Filtering your water to keep it clean is really important, something many households overlook. Before you rush to take out that years old, forgotten water filter from the back of your cupboard, however, you need to be aware that water filters often have an expiry date. Using one that has already expired has an inverse affect on your health and is worse than regular tap water.
Not topping up following fluid loss
If you have been ill, particularly if you have suffered with symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, it can lead to an increased need for water, to replace the fluid lost. Even with other illnesses, water will help to flush out any harmful infections lingering in your system. In both circumstances, you really need to amp up your water intake in order to make a speedy, and full, recovery.
Not hydrating whilst breast feeding
Breastfeeding mothers need to produce a lot of breast milk in order to nourish their babies. The amount of liquid you consume directly correlates to the amount of breast milk you are able to produce, which is why remaining hydrated is essential for you both. Water is, obviously, the easiest and most effective way of achieving this.
One of the most common mistakes that you might be making when it comes to drinking water is ignoring signs of thirst. Feeling thirsty is your body’s way of telling you that you need to have a drink, and you need to listen and make sure you stay hydrated.
Not carrying a reusable bottle
As we mentioned before, using a plastic bottle is not advisable, but what’s even worse is not carrying a reusable bottle. First off, carrying a reusable bottle encourages regular hydration, and secondly it helps you to look after the environment as well.
Not knowing what your daily water intake needs are
It’s important that you are familiar with your body’s daily water intake needs, so you can be sure you are getting the right volume. There is no definitive amount that you should be consuming, but it is believed that you should be drinking between three and four liters of water per day.
Not adjusting for climate
Something that is easy to overlook when you are drinking water is not taking steps to adjust for climate. In hot and humid weather, you will require more water than normal, so this is something you need to keep in mind when refuelling for the day. Increasing your water intake is almost always a good thing, but especially following a shift in temperature.
Not drinking water at work
A common mistake a lot of people make is that they drink plenty of water at home, and not enough at work. During the working day you might have a busy and packed schedule, and this requires you to keep hydrated so you can remain energized and productive as much as possible. It’s important for brain function – and gives you those extra water bottle and toilet breaks!
Only drinking when you’re sweating
One of the biggest mistakes that people often make when it comes to drinking water is that they only drink when they’re sweating (or exercising!). However, it is also important to understand that your body also loses water through urine and respiration as well, so you need to keep well hydrated at all times.
Ignoring fluids when sick
When you are sick, the last thing you might feel like doing is drinking water but this is actually really important to be able to speed up the recovery process. You need to stay as hydrated as possible when you are unwell, as this is going to help you flush out all those toxins and return to your regular self.
Not drinking when traveling
Travel is one of the best ways to broaden your mind! Exploring the world can be a busy time – but you need to make sure you don’t lose sight of the essentials. Although you can’t drink the tap water in some countries, you still need to keep on top of your water intake. Air travel is also something that can dehydrate you, which is something to particularly keep in mind on long haul flights.
Overloading on electrolyte-enhanced water
Another potential mistake that a lot of people make when they drink water is that they consume too much electrolyte-enhanced water. This water infused with electrically-charged minerals such as sodium and calcium. Drinking too much of this can be potentially harmful to you, and it’s not conclusive that electrolytes provide any real benefit anyway.
Not monitoring symptoms of dehydration
It is important to try to monitor symptoms of dehydration, as these are the obvious, tell-tale signs that you need to increase your water intake. Among these symptoms include things like dry mouth, tiredness, and dark urine, and this is something you need to monitor and keep on top of by drinking more water.
Relying on hydration apps
An easy mistake to make when it comes to your water intake is the over-reliance on hydration apps. Yes, hydration apps can play a role in helping you to monitor how much water you’re consuming, but they are also not a one-size-fits-all approach. You need to think about your individual needs when you are drinking water – it’s better to do so in an intuitive, natural way.
Drinking bottled water past its expiry date
Drinking bottled water that is past its expiry date is something that can affect the taste and quality of the liquid. Not only that, but this could also lead to health issues as well. If you’ve got any leftover bottled water hiding in the back of your cupboard, even if it’s unopened, then you need to give it a double check before taking a swig.
Not accounting for your age
It is also important to make sure you account for your age when you are drinking water. When you get older, it might be the case that you become less aware of your thirst or do not feel the desire to drink quite so much. This can lead to you getting less water than you actually need, leading to potential additional health concerns.
Overdoing your water detox
There are plenty of mistakes that you can make when it comes to water intake, and overdoing your water detox is one of the biggest. Lemon and cucumber in your water is all well and good, a delicious way to encourage you to drink more, but too much of these elements can actually wind up harming the enamel on your teeth.
Relying on sports drinks for hydration
Sports drinks are popular for helping to improve performance and can give you a short-term energy boost when you need it the most. However, it is a mistake to do constantly opt for these rather than the natural stuff. They often contain artificial flavours and colors, and can never really replace the natural goodness of h20.
Overlooking tap water quality
Tap water at home is typically fine but, if you are traveling, you need to make sure you assess the quality of tap water before you take a sip. Some local tap water may contain minerals or contaminants that can be unsafe or might make you sick, so you need to be aware of this before diving in.
Not adjusting water intake during menstruation
During menstruation your hormones are going to fluctuate and they will also affect fluid needs as well. This is why it is so important to adjust your water intake in order to account for this and ease any unpleasant symptoms you may be experiencing. When you’re hydrated, your body is able to perform at its best and get through anything.
Not drinking enough before surgery
If you are due to have surgery, you need to make sure you are adequately hydrated according to the doctor’s instructions. If you are heading into your surgery with preoperative dehydration, it can complicate the recovery process. Have you or a loved one monitor your water intake, to ensure that you have drunk enough before your procedure.
Not ensuring safety
Ensuring your water intake is safe is super important as there are some harmful substances that can be found in certain types of water. Make sure your water source is safe and healthy and only drink from sources you trust, such as taps and coolers in established places, otherwise you risk running into some nasty health problems.
Drinking water immediately after brushing teeth
Another example of mistakes you might make when drinking water is that you are consuming water immediately after cleaning your teeth. This is an issue because it can wash all of the protective fluoride away from your teeth, and this means you undo all the work your toothpaste has done! Try and wait at least half an hour before gulping down that glass.