How to Drink More Water: 12 Tips for Staying Hydrated
The human body contains a lot of water. For adults, it’s up to 60%. For infants, it’s up to 75%.
With numbers like that, it’s clear there’s something special about H2O. That’s true. The reason there’s so much water in the human body is that it does so much.
Alongside keeping your electrolytes and blood pressure in check, it plays a hand in keeping your joints lubricated, your body temperature regulated, and your cell health optimal. Despite all these obvious benefits, many people find it difficult to drink enough water throughout the day.
With so many tasty drinks out there, it can be hard to get behind the bland flavor of bottled water. However, it’s essential to do so. Let’s take a look at 12 ways to improve water intake.
Get a water filter
For the most part – although certainly not everywhere – tap water in the United States is safe to
drink. That being said, you can also reduce the risk of drinking contaminated or unsafe water by buying a water filter. This can be something you put over the faucet or something you install throughout the entire home.
Or, it may involve getting an affordable water-filtering pitcher. Whatever the case, each filtration
solution does the job of reducing bacteria levels as well as any lead or arsenic that may cause a problem. In addition, filtered water tastes better.
Bring a water bottle everywhere
Although it may look odd at first, bringing a water bottle everywhere you go is a simple way to drink more water. Knowing that a water bottle is nearby can prevent you (even if only once) from stopping by the local store for soda or juice.
Whether you’re in school or work, keeping a water bottle by your side provides a visual reminder of your SMART goal. It also makes that goal easier to attain. Alongside all those benefits, a reusable water bottle is far better for the environment than a whole host of plastic bottles.
Pay attention to lifestyle and climate
Understanding your body’s need for water is the first step to drinking more of it. Many people are familiar with the advice to “drink 8 cups of water a day.” Although this is decent advice, it’s not necessarily true for everyone. Daily water intake depends on factors such as lifestyle, climate, and health factors.
With these factors in mind, many scientists recommend people drink more water. For men, that
means up to 125 ounces of water. For women, that’s up to 90 ounces. This means water from, well, water, as well as the water in foods.
Start small with daily goals
Rather than trying to make grand claims about how you’re going to radically change your water intake forever, start small by focusing on daily goals. The simple act of deciding on a goal can put the gears in motion.
Ideally, your daily water goals follow the SMART method. That means the goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. For example, start today with a 64-ounce per day goal. Track the progress to see how well you do. Then, increase it to 90 or 125 ounces if need be.
Use technology to set water reminders
Setting SMART goals and keeping a reusable water bottle are great ways to spark more water consumption. However, many people get so caught up with work or school that they forget their goals or overlook the water bottle. So, consider setting reminders for yourself.
Just as the alarm clock wakes you up in the morning, an app or alarm can give you “it’s time to drink some water” reminders. For some people, that may mean an hourly alarm to finish a glass of water. For others, a two-hour check-in to see how much water you’ve consumed.
Drink one glass each working hour
The 40-hour workweek is standard for most people in the United States. That means 8-hours a day, five days a week. This sort of regimented schedule provides a great way to increase your water consumption. All you have to do is drink one glass of water each hour.
At the end of the workday, you’ve consumed eight full glasses of water. To make it simple, you may want to drink the glass at the start of each hour. This method ensures that your hydration will stay the same during the day.
Drink water before daily activities
If you’re not too keen on having your smartphone beep every hour or two to remind you about drinking water, consider building reminders into daily activities. For example, most people eat three meals a day. Before each meal, drink a cup or two of water.
Although this won’t bring you up to the daily recommended intake, it will certainly help you get
there. Furthermore, it has the added benefit of reducing hunger. Oftentimes, when people think
they’re hungry, they’re really just thirsty. Filling up with some water can result in eating less.
Water before waking and sleeping
As we saw with the smartphone timers, meals, and 8-hour workdays, it helps to have regular reminders to drink water. Two of the easiest reminders are waking up and going to bed.
Whether you’re at work or have a day off, most people do both every single day.
So, create a habit of drinking a glass of water right after waking up and a glass of water right before going to bed. It can also kickstart alertness in the morning and prevent bad breath or dry mouth from developing while you sleep.
Add some fruit flavor to the water
One of the big brick walls that people run into when they want to up their water intake is that water isn’t that tasty. At the best of times – say, after running a marathon in a hot environment –it’s refreshing. Most of the time, however, it’s simply bland and functional.
If the taste is stopping you from drinking more water, consider buying a fruit-infuser bottle to add
a little extra flavor. Some of the more popular flavor combos include strawberry-kiwi, cucumber-lime, and plain old lemon. Mixing and matching any of these may lead to your own flavor discoveries.
Take sips during the day
Some people prefer a gulping approach to water intake. Each hour, they want to drink an entire glass and be done with it. Others prefer a sipping approach. They want a glass (or bottle) of water in easy sight all throughout the day.
This gives them a visual reminder to drink more water. Doing so not only keeps you properly hydrated but may also positively affect your breath by making it fresher. Even if you do choose this method, it’s still helpful to try to finish each glass within an hour to make sure you’re consuming enough.
Drink water by eating the right food
The daily recommended doses of 125 ounces for men and 90 ounces for women include all sources of water. Alongside drinking water from the tap, you can take in water through food.
Furthermore, most of the food with high water content is quite healthy.
For example, lettuce is up to 95% water. Other veggies with a high amount of water include celery, zucchini, and cabbage. As you might have guessed from the name, watermelon also has lots of water – up to 91%. Other water-dense fruits include cantaloupe and honeydew.
Swap out other drinks for water
People take in huge amounts of fluid throughout the day. Unfortunately, for most people, that fluid comes in the form of sodas, juices, and energy drinks full of added sugar. Although tasty, they aren’t the greatest for your health.
Substituting soda, juice, and energy drinks for water decreases your sugar intake – which can improve your sleep. On top of that, it lowers the total amount of calories you ingest, which can improve weight loss. Ideally, only 5% or so of your calories come from added sugar. Or, about one 8-ounce soda.