Growing up, I never thought much about the health benefits of drinking adequate amounts water. If I was thirsty, the norm would be to grab a glass of milk, pop, or juice. And when I say juice, know that it wasn’t the freshly-squeezed kind either… it was the kind you find in a tin can from the freezer section of the supermarket. Looking back, lack of water in my diet was likely a contributing factor to my child-onset asthma as well as significant weight gain during my tween years.

Drinking water is the number one step of detox as it flushes toxins out of vital organs in the body and carries nutrients to your cells. The benefits I’ve noticed from increasing my water intake range from headache prevention and clear skin to consistent bowel movements and weight maintenance. It’s important to begin the shift in making positive associations with this precious and vital substance.

1. Drink upon wakening
To kick-start your metabolism. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, the choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down. Room-temperature lemon water will aid in digestion, rid the body of toxins, and boost the immune system. A positive way to begin the day, if you ask me.

2. Start small
If you aren’t used to drinking the recommended amount of approx. 2L of water per day (although more may prove to be beneficial), it is wise to start small and gradually increase over time. Small glasses are more approachable and often seem less daunting than large water bottles.

3. Add extras
Foods like lemons, limes, cucumbers, chia seeds, and chlorophyll make great additions to plain ol’ water and also increase the health benefits, too!

4. Take regular water breaks
Even if you don’t necessarily feel thirsty. When your glass is almost empty, fill it right away. Dehydration, or the feeling of thirst, is your body’s last outward signal, indicating that you’re in need of H2O. Plus, if you sit all day for work, a walk to the water cooler to stretch your legs will help re-focus and re-energize.

5. Minimize diuretics
Things like alcohol and caffeine can cause the body to flush out important vitamins and minerals.

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