4 Real-Life Benefits I Get From Being Hydrated
Yes, drinking enough water does make a difference.
I have never been very good at getting my water in. There are days at work where I drink so little water, I don’t use the bathroom at all.
I’m also 100% the type of person to dehydrate myself before flying. Even though flying exacerbates dehydration, I won’t hydrate beforehand. I hate using those awful, tiny airplane bathrooms.
I’m aware this type of behavior isn’t good for me or my body. But until recently, that was my relationship with drinking water.
We all know at this point that we’re supposed to get 64 oz of water a day, but does it make a difference?
In my opinion? Hell to the yes.
How I drink all my water
For the water strugglers out there, here’s the method I use to get my water in. Honestly, it’s a lot of setting your mind to it and making it happen.
I’ve built up to 96 oz and sometimes more if it’s hot or if I’ve worked out.
Here’s how I get each bottle in:
The first 24
I’ve got a pretty 24 oz reusable water bottle that I fill up each morning when I wake up. My main goal with this filling is drinking the whole thing before I leave for work. Sometimes that means I do end up chugging a good 16 oz of it.
This wasn’t easy at first, so if you’re not ready for 24 oz right off the bat, work your way up from 8 to 16 to 24 oz.
I refill my bottle before I head off to work and that one needs to be empty before I go to lunch. I keep it open on my desk between my two monitors so that it’s right in front of my face at all times.
My third bottle, as you can likely guess, goes down before I head out for the day. I refill my bottle before driving home so that I always have water with me in the car.
Final 24 and beyond
Once I’m home, I’ve gotta make sure I finish that last bottle before bed. If I’ve been working out, I get through these bottles faster.
Yesterday, I had a pilates class and easily worked through 5 bottles before bed.
Water tracking apps
There are tons of apps to help you track your water intake. This helps you remember what you’ve had so far today. They can also send you sweet to aggressive reminders to drink your water.
I currently use Waterlogged. It’s a simple app that allows you to set your own goal. You can also save up to 3 different pre-set water measurements to track. My primary one is my 24 oz bottle.
Now let’s talk about some of the benefits I’ve reaped from drinking my damn water.
Skin in the game
One of the first places I noticed a difference was in my skin.
My face is super soft now, softer than it’s been since I was a child.
It’s also helped massively reduce my keratosis pilaris. That’s those little red bumps some people have on their upper arms. I’ve had them since I was a pre-teen and could never get them to go away.
As a teen, these bumps used to haunt me. By the time I reached adulthood, I’d accepted that they were going to be there forever. And now they’re not really there at all.
The trick was right under my faucet the whole time — drinking water.
Being more hydrated gets me away from my desk more often. Yes, it’s usually because I have to pee.
I have a sedentary job, where it’s all too easy to sit for 4 straight hours and not take my eyes away from my computer screen. So it’s an appreciated break.
When I first started getting my water in, I felt like I had to pee every 30–45 minutes.
In case you’re worried about this, I’m grateful to say that it didn’t last. As my body adjusted to proper hydration, my bathroom breaks have become less frequent.
Granted, this is both a blessing and a curse.
I used to be the type of person who slept straight through the night. Now when I’m hydrated, I definitely have to get up once or twice in the middle of the night.
There’s nothing quite like stumbling into the bathroom at 3 a.m. with a full bladder.
I know there’s a lot of debate over how much water you really need. Bathroom breaks are a good way to tell if you’re drinking enough water.
If your pee is light yellow, you’re on the right track.
If it’s still pretty dark, up your water intake. If it’s coming out clear for the first week or so of getting 64 oz in, you may want to wait for your body to adjust. But if it’s over two weeks and it’s still clear, dial it back a few ounces at a time.
Hunger for thought
The most significant change I’ve noticed is that I’m not nearly as hungry as I thought I was.
Research shows that dehydration messes up your hunger signals and we very easily mistake being thirsty for being hungry.
It’s amazing to me how often I’ve eaten a snack or a meal because I was dehydrated.
Now that I’m drinking my water, I’m more aware of my actual hunger and it’s somewhat surprising. On an average day, I don’t want breakfast at all and won’t get hungry until after 12 p.m.
I don’t eat three meals a day anymore, typically two meals and a snack late in the afternoon is all I need.
I’m not depriving myself of anything. But I feel so much better now that I understand the difference between being hungry and thirsty.
I play with it a bit now too. If I start feeling hungry, I’ll drink a glass of water and wait for 5–10 minutes. The hunger usually goes away and then I know it wasn’t true hunger.
I’m not a cardiologist so I can’t speak to all the other heart-healthy benefits of drinking water. But, I do have a Fitbit with a heart rate monitor.
And what my Fitbit tells me is that drinking my water lowers my resting heart rate. With a lower resting heart rate, it means my heart has to do less work to pump blood through my body.
In my journey to hydration, I’ve had spells where I didn’t get my water in for a week or so. Looking at my Fitbit data, I can see it climb back up to where I started in the mid-70’s. When I start getting my water in again, it ticks back down to the low 60’s.
There are many benefits of hydration that I didn’t go over here. I wanted to focus on the things that I noticed in my day-to-day life. Changes that you might also see when you start drinking your water.
Now I see the real-life benefits of staying hydrated. Benefits like softer skin and getting up from my desk. Or being in tune with my hunger and lowering my resting heart rate.
These are benefits I enjoy having in my life and I’m much more likely to stay on top of getting my water in because of them.
If this post hasn’t made you go drink some water yet, now might be a good time. So get drinking and reap the benefits for yourself.