Thanks to the natural health experts at Bastyr University, who have generously sponsored this series, the fourth challenge of our Working on Wellness Series had us drinking more water in an effort to improve hydration. We committed to drinking the recommended 64 ounces of water per day for two weeks and here are the big takeaways.

Maria: This challenge was a revelation. Staying properly hydrated can be more complex than just drinking more water but that’s all it took for me. Like with anything we challenge ourselves with, I was hyper focused and vigilant about drinking my 64 ounces of water the first 11 days.

It was easy to stay motivated because I felt great, the most recognizable benefits being an increase in energy, less headaches and fatigue, and better mental clarity and focus.

All that came to a halt on day 12 when I fell off the wagon. I’d keep forgetting to bring water on errands, one distraction would lead to another, and I’d only end up drinking half of what I’d committed to. I’ve only kept up with it every other day since but it’s going to have to be something I keep working on because I can feel the difference on the days when I’m not taking in enough water. I accomplished a lot on my best days and plan to continue maintaining this goal for perpetuity.

Olivia: I’m so glad you had such great success with the challenge. While you started out strong with the challenge, it took me a little while to get into the swing of things. Just wanting to try and drink more water wasn’t working for me. I’d get distracted or lazy and wouldn’t listen to my body’s needs until much too late. Finally, I got online and did some research about tools that could help track my water intake or remind me to drink more. I downloaded the app Gulps on my iPhone which made a huge difference with reminders every 2 hours and an easy interface to record beverages throughout the day. It was a definite game changer with this challenge.  I immediately felt a difference, just like you I was more focused, energized, and my skin was looking better than ever. I’m still using the app and have no plan to delete it since hydration will always be an ongoing challenge.

Here are a few tips, tools, and resources to improve hydration:

Reusable water bottles are highly recommended. Size depends on preference. Smaller 16 ounce water bottles are easier for portability but a 32 ounce bottle simplifies the math. Drink it down by midday, refill, and you’ll be on track for the evening. Apply the same idea to drinking glasses at home. Use a pint glass, which is 16 ounces, and it’s easy to keep track of refilling only 4 times a day.

Download an app to set a hydration goal and track daily progress. Remembering to drink water throughout the day will become second nature in no time with a little nudge from technology. Try Gulps, availble on the Apple Store or Google Play. Use the app to select a goal number of ounces of water daily and how frequently to be reminded.

Brighten up water with sliced cucumber, muddled berries or herbs, and fresh citrus. For a bubbly option try seltzer water which is carbonated without added minerals so it’s still hydrating. Try these recipes for inspiration: Detoxifying Cranberry-Strawberry-Basil Refresher, Five Homemade Beverages to Detox and Boost Your Energy, Four Important Guidelines to Hydrate for Your Health.

About Our Sponsor

The nutrition faculty at Bastyr University is on a mission to support the local community through health and nutrition education. Bastyr University opened its campus in San Diego in 2012, while the main campus in Washington State recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Bastyr is a global leader in evidenced-based natural health education, and the local campus located in Sorrento Valley offers two nutrition degrees: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Culinary Arts (BSNCA) and Master of Science in Nutrition for Wellness (MSNW).

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About the Contributor
Maria Hesse
Maria Hesse is the executive editor and designer of Edible San Diego. Her interest in functional arts led to a degree in interior design, which inspires her passion to be an advocate for sustainable living through food. She enjoys balcony gardening and designing crochet patterns in her downtime. Find her @mariafromediblesd and @waysidestudiowest on Instagram.