As Americans, we may be drinking enough fluids, but the problem is we are not drinking enough water! In fact, studies have shown that American adults are only drinking 39 ounces of water on a given day! And our youth is drinking less than half this at 15 ounces each day. Most of us know we should drink more water. The main reason we don’t is threefold: we either forget, we don’t prepare adequately, or we get tired of it. Luckily, there are a few simple tips that you can use to get in all the water you need.
We usually think of water’s purpose being to help our body eliminate wastes. This is certainly important. However, water has an array of benefits from lubricating joints and protecting your spiral cord to regulating body temperature. This is why it’s so important to make sure you are getting plenty of water throughout the day.
10 Tips to Drink More Water
1. Drink a glass of water when you wake up.
Before you eat or drink anything else, start your day with a glass of water. This well help you stay hydrated all day long and knock out a few ounces before your day even begins! It also helps to bring focus to your water drinking goal at the beginning of the day. In fact, if you practice this one little habit, you’ll probably find yourself drinking more water all day long.
2. Bring a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE.
If there were one tip from this entire article that could make the biggest difference in maintaining hydration, then I think this would be it. It’s impossible to stay hydrated if you don’t have any water on you. And if you are away from the house or simply busy, it’s likely you won’t think to actually stop and get some water until it’s too late and you are already incredibly thirsty.
My husband and I are kind of water bottle hoarders. We love new water bottles, so we’ve tried out quite a few. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Zulu Glass Water Bottle – I’ve had this one for years and they are super sturdy. I’ve dropped it quite a few times and it’s always been fine with the exception of the time I dropped my first one out the door of a moving car. ?
- Hydroflask Water Bottle – We have a couple Hydroflask water bottles and love them! They keep the water cold (or hot) all day long, even in a hot car. Plus, they are sturdy and the paint doesn’t seem to chip like it does on some cheaper models. We have both a regular 21 oz water bottle like this and this huge 64 oz size that we use for day trips (You can also watch for flash sales on these at places like Dicks for 50% off.)
- Oggi Double Wall Stainless Steel Water Bottle – We had a couple of these and loved them for about a year. They keep the water temperature controlled just as well as Hydroflask and the size is great for fitting in the smaller car cup holders. Plus, they are reasonably priced; however, the paint did start chipping. I’m including them on this list because my Mom has also had hers the same amount of time and hers hasn’t chipped at all. It turns out she hand washes her water bottles. So, if you are like us (ahem, lazy?) and you throw them in the dishwasher, maybe go for something like the Hydroflask.
- S’ip by Swell – I like these because they are easy to find at local stores such as Target and come in fun patterns. I have a yoga one that really brightens my day. They also do a great job of keeping your water cool and the paint has not chipped at all.
3. Use your water bottle to gauge how much you are drinking throughout the day.
Knowing how many ounces your water bottle is and setting a goal for how many you will drink by certain time frames will help you to keep on track throughout the day and avoid trying to cram in all of your water in the evening. Because we all know how annoying it is to get up all night long and run to the bathroom.
For example, you could plan to drink 2 bottles before 2pm and 2 bottles after 2pm. If staying on track with water is something you really struggle with, you can even buy a special time-marked water bottle such as this one to help keep you on track throughout the day. Keep in mind you may find you need more than 64 oz water each day in which case these type of water bottles may not provide the guidance you need. In this case you could create your own and draw time lines on a water bottle yourself. However, for many Americans hitting even 64 oz of water each day would be nearly double what they are currently drinking!
4. Replace caffeinated/sugary beverages with water.
Studies have shown that the diuretic effect of caffeine varies by a few factors, such as the amount of caffeine you are consuming each day and your personal tolerance. Not to mention, many caffeinated beverages turn out to be sugary drinks as well, which can create a need for more water. You may find for example, that your 3 cups of coffee each day is leaving your more thirsty and perhaps replacing one of them with a bottle of water would help you feel more hydrated.
5. Use a water filter to produce better tasting, cleaner water.
Some water just tastes better than others. Yep, I’m a water snob. And, I like to know my water is clean as the quality of some city waters can be frightening. We use this Berkey Water Filter and I love knowing my water is free of contaminants such as arsenic and mercury and tastes good. If you travel frequently, sometimes finding a way to refill your water bottle with good tasting water can be difficult! And buying bottle after bottle may leave you less likely to drink what you should in an effort to save money. Last summer when we traveled throughout Europe I used a water bottle with a filter in it to make sure my tap water was clean. If you travel frequently this may work for you as well. I found that I drank more water knowing it was getting filtered and I didn’t have to buy numerous water bottles throughout the day.
6. Spice up your water.
Transition from juice or other sugary beverages to water by adding real fruit for flavor. You can use fresh fruit such as lemon slices, berries, or even cucumbers to flavor your water. You can juice/squeeze them into the water or simply drop the fruit into your bottle or pitcher and let it infuse.
If you find yourself getting tired of water and need more ideas check out this article on What to Drink When You Don’t Want Water by Jennifer Hunt, RD. She includes many other ways to add some spark to your water, as well as a few other beverages that you can enjoy guilt free along the way.
7. Save a few dollars (and your health) by ordering water when dining out.
Water beats sugary or artificially sweetened sodas and beverages any day! Not to mention, it’s usually free to order tap water in a restaurant. (Side Note: At least in the US. In Amsterdam they may charge you $3 for tap water. Not saying that happened to me, but yeah, that happened.) By drinking water along with your meals instead of other drinks you are helping to get in more water each day.
8. Use your phone to help track your water intake.
Set daily alarms on your phone to remind you to refill your water bottle. When the alarm goes off, make it a point to get up and refill your water bottle. Make sure you drink all of the water before your next alarm goes off!
Others may benefit from using a water tracking app for a short while. I am not a huge fan of tracking in general as I think it can feel tedious. However, it may be what you need, even if for just a couple of days. You can track water on many popular apps including Health on iPhones or the popular calorie counting app My Fitness Pal.
9. Use bathroom breaks as cue to drink more water.
Think of bathroom breaks as a time to “exchange your fluids” as my Dad would say. Try to associate an internal signal of rehydrating when you go to the bathroom. At work I try to use this time refill my water bottle as well and make sure I start drinking out of my fresh bottle.
10. Fill a large pitcher or jug before bed with your goal amount.
Make it part of your bedtime routine to fill a gallon jug or other pitcher with your daily water. Having your full amount set aside before you start the day will provide an effective visual for you all day long.
There is no better time to start drinking more water than right now. Water is cheap, easy to find, and possibly the single most important thing you can put in your body each day. When you drink more water you will find that you can think more clearly and feel better throughout the day. So, start today by filling up a water jug for tomorrow and enjoying a glass of water right now.
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