In fierce opposition to the ADA’s National Nutrition Month, I’m doing my own advocacy with National REAL Nutrition Month. Throughout March, I’ll post ideas and tips for something you can do to improve your own health habits, along with stuff you can do to painlessly share what you know with the people you love. (All the posts thus far are right here, or click the “National REAL Nutrition Month” label below.)


I know! I know! Drinking water feels like kind of a “no, duh” idea… except ask yourself: how much water did you drink yesterday?

I’ll tell you how much I drank: 2 cups of coffee at the Cowboy Breakfast and three-quarters of the water bottle I keep on my desk, plus a cup of Natural Calm before bed. That seems like not quite enough.

But let’s focus on the positive. Instead of browbeating you, I’m going to woo you.

Here’s a list of lovely things water does for you:

Manages appetite: Thirst is a Faker McFakerson: it often masquerades itself as hunger. Drink plenty of water, and you’ll know when your hunger is real.

Helps skin glow: One of the many benefits of eating clean is glowing, healthy skin, and water plays a big part in keeping your skin looking dewy and fresh. 

Maintains digestive health: I don’t want to be indelicate, but we need fluids to help our awesome fuel sources move through our systems. Keep those pipes clean, if you know what I mean.

Banishes bloat: It’s counter-intuitive, but the more water you drink, the less you retain.

Fights heart attack: A six-year study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (May 2002) found that people who drank more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack than the 2-glass-a-day people. This kind of thing always makes me wonder if it wasn’t the test subjects other, associated good behavior that got that result, but whatever. Water is good for us, so I’m not arguing.

Delivers super-duper energy power: Your internal batteries will feel like they’re running down if you’re dehydrated from exercise, the weather, or simply being under-watered. Particularly on humid, hot days – and colder-than-normal days, too – it’s essential to drink water to replace fluids lost to sweat and the environment.

Hones bathroom-finding skills: I often joke that I can intuitively find the restroom in any public location. That’s because I usually drink so much water, I had to develop an internal Restroom Navigation System (RNS)™. Drop me in any amusement park, shopping mall, big box store, or foreign city, and I’ll find you a restroom within 90 seconds.

Tip For You
If you’re not a plain water drinker yet, now is an excellent time to start. Use the suggestions for Near & Dear below to help you make the transition.

If you’re already a plain water drinker like me – and, like me, forget sometimes to drink enough – I want you to carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go this weekend. And drink up!

Tip For Your Near & Dear
Giving up flavored drinks can be really difficult. Just ask anyone with a Diet Coke addiction! Or worse, an afternoon Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper habit.

The sugar. The flavor…. it can seem nearly impossible to give up.

So be gentle when you share the above list of cool stuff about water with your loved ones. Then offer an alternative to their sugary favorite that’s maybe not quite so austere as a sparkling glass of plain ‘ol water. You might try a nice fizzy water with slices of lemon and lime… or a lovely herbal tea, brewed and chilled, then served over ice with a mint leaf. There are lots of ideas for good herbal blends in this post; be sure to read the comments for more suggestions.

Eventually, you might lead your near & dear to water, but you can’t make them drink. (Sorry! I couldn’t stop myself.)

OMG. This is NOT Smudge. This is a random internet cat drinking water.
But how much does this look like our Smudge?!


The one, the only, the Smudge.

Smudge says: Drink your water!

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  • Leah says:

    I hate drinking plain water and struggle to get enough but when I went on my first Whole 30 and gave up Diet Coke, I discovered La Croix sparkling water. It's fizzy and comes in flavors like lemon, orange, and lime. No calories, no artificial sweeteners, nothing except natural flavor. I'm hooked now and it's frequently the only way I get water throughout the day.

  • Pensguys says:

    I learned to love my water plain when I started drinking out of a stainless steel water bottle. Not sure why/how, but it seems to make almost all plain water taste good.

  • Dawna says:

    OMG. The cat. The cat has convinced me to drink more water!

  • William's Girl says:

    thanks for the reminder. i am definitely slacking in this area and want to get back into heavy water consumption….

    this post has reignited my motivation!



  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Leah –> Glad to hear you traded in your Diet Coke for La Croix. And congratulations! I know that transition isn't an easy one.

    Pensguys –> Thanks for the tip. I'll have to try that.

    Dawna –> Smudge can be very persuasive.

    Jenn –> Me, too! Which is partly why I chose this topic… I noticed I haven't been hydrating enough lately. And now, I'm going to drink a big glass of water.

  • Melanie says:

    I just got into the "watercure" by Dr.Batmanghelidj (bonus points if you can pronounce his name!) – saw a Gandolf-esque kinda magical chiro while I was vacationing in upstate NY who told me my water/salt balance was way off and so I got back to my friend's place and Googled til I found what he was talking about:

    Basically, drink half your body weight in ounces of water (plus an extra 8-10 oz per caffeinated/alcoholic bevvy consumed) and add 1.5 tsp of unrefined sea salt for every quart…. from what I've read, top recommendation is to put the salt straight on your tongue and then drink water or vice versa but not to actually put the salt IN the water.. anyways….. this is what I'm experimenting with and seems to actually been helping.. we shall see..