Drinking an adequate amount of water is an important health aspect for everyone. However, after sustaining a spinal cord injury making sure you drink enough water can help prevent serious health complications. Tiffiny Carlson, a quadriplegic, shares some of her secrets on how she manages to drink enough water.
“However, after a spinal cord injury (SCI), drinking water becomes much more important. It's not just about hydrating and feeling/looking better, it's about preventing bladder infections, bladder stones, and other urinary problems that come with using a catheter. Water goes from being a "health food" to medicine. It’s a godsend since it can flush your bladder, keeping it clean.”
Experiment With Different Water Temperatures
“One of the easiest ways to drink more water is to simply change the temperature of your water,” says Tiffiny. She states many quadriplegics like to drink hot water because it is difficult to drink cold water if your body runs cold. Make sure to get a microwave-safe mug and heat the water for no longer than 1 ½ minutes. Experiment with the water temperature to ensure it is the way you like it.
Fruit Infused Water
Fruit infused water is on trend right now, and while it might not be all that sugary and sweet tasting, it’s a healthier option for you. Tiffiny says there are some water bottles with infused fruit in them and some grocery stores even sell it.
Water Bottles That Track What You Drink
Tiffiny gives an example in her original post of a smart water bottle that tracks how much water you are drinking and sends notifications to your phone. But if you are not into all of that technology, Tiffiny suggests simply marking your water bottle with a line as a reminder of how much you should drink throughout the day. “You also can go the low-tech route and mark your water bottle (for how much water you want to drink by a certain time each day) by putting different colored strips of tape on the side of your bottle,” she says.
Drinking Water App
If you still want to the use the technology route but do not want to spend the money, Tiffiny lists some free apps that help track your water consumption. The apps can remind you when it is time to drink water. Check out her original post for details.
Tiffiny suggests turning tracking your water intake into a game. She says, “Many people challenge themselves to drink a full cup of water the first hour they’re awake, others try to drink a full cup of water before each meal. Making it a contest or game can be quite effective for anyone with a competitive side.”
“Certain foods have high amounts of water like fruit, vegetables and soups. Zucchini, watermelon, cucumber, and grapefruit are all high-water content foods. Try to work these into your diet whenever you can.”
Different Types of Water
There are many different types of water including mineral, spring, flavored (sugar-free for healthiest option) and sparkling. Go to the grocery store and try different types of water to find the one you prefer the most.
Drinking enough water can be a struggle. Tiffiny concludes by saying, “Don’t lose hope! I’ve known many newly-injured people tackle their non-water preference and win. It’s a mind game. If you set your mind to it, you can become that water-drinker everybody wants to be.”
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