How I Hydrate

**Written August 26th, 2018**


**I mention a few products in this post but am not sponsored by any of them. I’ll link each one at the end!**
I’ve never had the greatest skin.
In fact, my skin has always been difficult. For years, my normal baseline state was at least one or two breakouts at all times.
When I began cleaning up my diet a year and a half ago, I saw pretty evident changes in my skin. For me, removing dairy products not only helped my digestion but immensely helped my skin.
But that didn’t last very long.
At this point, I had tried what I thought had been everything. I wasn’t eating dairy, I was using top-notch skincare products, taking vitamins, exfoliating once a week, etc. I grew extremely frustrated. What was left? What expensive miracle product would I need to purchase to answer my problems once and for all?
It turns out, I didn’t need a miracle product at all. It wasn’t even expensive…because it was free.
I can’t believe I had gone so long focusing on my diet while neglecting my waterintake. In hindsight I understand the two to go hand-in-hand. A few months ago I dramatically upped my water intake. I’d read dozens of articles on skincare (all of which noted hydration was important), but I had always thought I was drinking a good amount of water and therefore dismissed it completely.
When I actually took the time to evaluate my water intake, I realized I wasn’t drinking nearly as much as I should have been. I tucked away my 18 oz. water bottle in the back of my kitchen cabinet and ordered a 40 oz. one instead.
Carrying around this massive water bottle has changed everything for me. While it’s bulky and can actually get heavy when completely filled, it’s well worth the investment. I now make it a goal to drink 3-4 full water bottles each day. This usually puts me between 120-160 oz each day. It sounds like an absolute TON but for me, this works!
I love this water bottle because it’s perfect for my on-the-go lifestyle. During the school year I’m on campus most of the day and prefer not to use the school’s water fountains (they’re not filtered). I fill up a giant bottle and it lasts me until I can get home again to refill!
It’s been about three months of consistently drinking this much water and my skin has been FEELING it. I used to get extremely red and break out by my chin and on my temples. This summer my skin has truly cleared up. Of course I still break out on occasion but that tends to be either around my period (hi hormones!) or if I eat foods my body isn’t used to on a daily basis (which is well worth a breakout or two!).
While more water is great, the quality of the water you’re drinking is also crucial to your overall health. For over a year now I’ve been using a portable water filter to filter the water I drink every day. At home and at school I have a huge glass jug that I fill with tap water and drop a filter into. I usually let this container filter overnight (or at least 2-3 hours if I refill it during the day). If I’m away from home and don’t have access to this filtered water supply, I just take the pod in my water bottle. That way, I can fill up using any water and it will filter it just the same! Investing in these portable filters has changed everything for me. When I drink filtered water, not only can I taste the difference, I also feel more energized and alert.  May sound like a stretch, but this is what I’ve personally found!
Along with my improved skin condition, my energy levels are not only higher but more consistent. I don’t find I have an afternoon crash on the days that I’m drinking more water. Staying hydrated, especially in the hour right before a workout, keeps me energized and prepared to move.
This all being said, what is my advice when it comes to hydration? Here’s a quick run-down:
  • Invest in a large reusable water bottle.Having a large water bottle on hand at all times has given me the incentive of drinking more water throughout the day. Personally I set some goals for myself (such as finishing an entire bottle before 11 AM, finishing one by the end of my workout, etc). I honestly feel accomplished every time I finish a bottle!
  • Invest in portable water filters.Drinking filtered water is like eating organic foods in that the quality of the product really can influence the benefit you reap from it. Unlike organic foods, however, a portable filter is less pricey in the long run! I change mine every 3-4 months. Tap water can potentially contain pollutants and metals (such as arsenic and aluminum- this one has been linked with skin problems). That’s not to say all tap water is completely tainted. You can get your water tested at Home Depot by getting a testing kit and sending in a sample!
  • Include hydrating foods in your diet.Fruit tends to be shamed to an extent in the health and wellness Instagram space, but if it works for you and your body, go for it! My favorites are cantaloupe and strawberries. Snacking on these is not only tasty but also super hydrating! Same goes for veggies (cucumbers and celery are two favorites).
  • Drink more green juice. It’s funny, I didn’t actually start drinking green juice until early this summer. I was pretty sick and couldn’t taste/smell anything for days because I was so congested. I figured it was the perfect time to get into the habit of juicing because I wouldn’t die from the taste. Turns out I kept it up after I got better and I (surprisingly) really enjoyed it! I’ve made my own juice in my VitaMix (I don’t have a juicer) but sometimes I’ll treat myself to a green juice at my local natural foods market. My go-to is usually a combination of celery, parsley, lemon, apple, and cucumber. Super hydrating and my skin and body always feel great after!
The list is short and sweet because staying hydrated isn’t too hard if you’re conscious of your efforts! It’s so easy forget your water bottle at home, to resort to unfiltered tap water, or to forget to drink especially when you’re not thirsty. If you push yourself to go one step further, to be mindful of the practice of drinking more water, you’ll find that it will become second nature. I’ll drink to that!
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