Did you know you could drink water the wrong way? Water is so simple—it is one of the oldest liquid substances on this earth! How could you have it the wrong way? Well, there is a lot of misinformation out there about good old H2O—information that says things like, “Drink as much of it as you can possibly stand,” “Never drink from the tap,” and “Only drink bottled.” You’ve likely dined with someone who has a lot of questions about the pitcher of water the restaurant serves, or very specific rules about their H2O. It’s great that they take care of their bodies, but they might be taking unnecessary precautions. Just as you have to be careful about what you eat and how you eat it, you need to be careful about your water intake. Here are 15 ways you’re drinking water wrong.
Waiting until you’re very thirsty
If you are desperately thirsty—to the point when you think you might faint without water and your mouth feels like a desert—then you’ve waited too long. When you feel that first hint of dehydration, have a sip of water.
Forcing yourself to drink
You also shouldn’t be forcing yourself to guzzle water all day long, even when you aren’t the tiniest bit thirsty. Your body has mechanisms in place—like thirst—to let you know when you need water. If you feel like your tummy is going to burst from water and you can’t stop peeing, you’re drinking too much.
If you don’t like the taste of water, have some tea. Also, get over it, and have some water. Adding sweetener to the stuff can make it dehydrating, and counteract its benefits.
Reusing water bottles
While reusing water bottles may feel like a money-saving way to cheat the system, you’re just cheating your body. Water bottles deteriorate over time, and their chemicals leak into your H2O. Drink one, and recycle it.
Drinking old car water
You definitely don’t want to drink a bottle of water that has sat in the hot car, formed condensation, and cooled down again. Even if it’s just a day old, the hot sun can have done damage to the plastic.
Drinking while you eat
It’s best to drink water thirty minutes or more away from meals. Consuming liquids with your food can interfere with your digestion.
Being finicky about the temperature
It doesn’t really matter what temperature your water is—your body will make use of it either way. Some people may tell you that you should only drink it at room temperature, but there isn’t conclusive evidence that that matters.
Chugging a bunch at once
Don’t chug a bunch of water once you’re thirsty, then go hours without touching the stuff. It’s best to drink a few ounces, regularly, throughout the day so your body has time to make use of it. If you chug too much at once, your organs won’t be able to keep up and you’ll just pee it out.
Keeping it by the bed
Since you’re almost totally still during the night, your body barely uses water you drink during that time. Sipping even the tiniest bit in the middle of the night will probably just cause our bladder to wake you, so don’t keep water by the bed.
Skipping mineral water
Mineral water comes from a (you guessed it) mineral-rich source, so have some of it from time to time, even if it’s a bit pricier than the other varieties.
Only having sparkling
You might think drinking only sparkling water is a way to get around drinking boring old water, but don’t forget that this form of H2O can have sodium. It’s not a lot of sodium, but if this is the only water you drink, that sodium can add up.
Believing the word “water” in the title
We all know there are plenty of bright and colorful beverages out there that claim to be some form of water. If it’s colorful, it isn’t water, and it likely has sugar and dyes that counteract the benefits of water.
Only having coconut water
Coconut water is definitely full of benefits, but it shouldn’t be your only source of hydration because, like sparkling water, and it does contain sodium.
Skipping the lemon
When your server asks if you want lemon in your water, yes you do! It boosts your immune system, is good for your skin, and can boost your metabolism.
Only drinking water
You can drink a variety of beverages to stay hydrated. Tea, milk, juice, and even soda can provide some hydration. You should primarily get your hydration from water, but don’t think you’re limited to bland H2O, either.