5 Tips to Drink More Water
When self-catheterizing, it is crucial to stay adequately hydrated for optimal body functioning and lower rates of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). Doctors recommend two to three liters of water a day, though most people drink much less. We understand that drinking enough water can be hard to remember, which is why we have created tips to help you drink more.
Why Hydration is Important
As you may already know, our bodies are made sixty percent of water, meaning we need water to function. Water sends nutrients to our cells, so with enough water, your bladder, heart, brain, and muscles are able to work properly. It is especially important for catheter users to drink enough water to prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI) since it helps flush bacteria from your bladder. Additionally, water can prevent constipation, and of course, dehydration.
Simply drinking enough water will help prevent feelings of dizziness, headaches, lethargy, dry skin and even seizures and UTIs. If you happen to be older, you may be prone to dehydration. According to Harvard’s Dr. Seifter, older people lose their ability to sense thirst as they age. Regardless of health or age, enough water intake is crucial, but especially if you are older and self-catheterizing. CompactCath cares about your water intake because it promotes bladder health and maintains other bodily functions.
Five Tips to Drink Enough Water
1. Goals and rewards can help
As mentioned above, you want to drink about two to three liters of water a day. If feeling hydrated isn’t enough of a motivator, try giving yourself rewards. If it is hard to go from less than a liter a day to two or three, maybe start a bit lower and work your way up somewhat slowly. Just remember the more you drink, the better you will feel.
2. Invest in a large reusable water bottle
Not only is this better for the environment, but it is also a particularly great option for people who are on the go a lot and forget to drink enough. By using a big water bottle, it can be easier to drink more. But even if you are at home, having a reusable water bottle around is an easy way to remember to increase your fluid intake.
Two to three liters may seem like an overwhelming amount to drink a day, so reminders can be helpful. A reminder can be something as subtle as just seeing a huge water bottle, cueing your brain that you have much more to drink. Convenience can be impactful so feel free to set bottles around your house. Some people may need more obvious reminders like a phone alarm. Post-its can also be helpful to stick around your house. Of course, the type of reminder that works for you depends on personal preference.
4. Don’t like the taste of water? Change the flavor up a bit
Some people are sensitive to the subtle flavor of water. If so, try a water filter. Another option to disguise the taste is adding your favorite fruit to your water. Coconut water is another great option for people who don’t like the taste of water. It has more electrolytes and tastes flavorful.
5. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink
Drinking should be a habit you develop, not just something you do when you realize you are thirsty. This can be especially true if you are older you may not sense thirst as you did when you were younger. It is also important to realize you may be confusing hunger with thirst, so before you bite into a large steak, try drinking water instead. If after drinking you still feel hungry, then bon appetit! Just remember that everyone’s brain can confuse hunger with thirst.
People may feel inclined to drink less to reduce the need to catheterize, but this can lead to UTIs. Nonetheless, adequate consumption of water is important to maintain a healthy bladder and body.
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Emerged out of Stanford as the brainchild of a team of physicians, mechanical engineers, and MBAs, CompactCath was FDA-cleared in 2014, holds six patents, was covered by CNN Money, won two grants (BioDesign Spectrum grant, LPCH Pediatric Innovation grant) and two iF product design awards (2016, 2017).
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