Get (and stay) hydrated, for an all-around healthier life!
Water is essential. You should be drinking plenty of it on a normal day– and even more on active days. But the unfortunate truth is, most of us don’t drink nearly enough on a regular basis. Good ol’ H2O maintains body fluids, hydrates muscles, keeps the digestive system moving, and even increases energy and focus. Water is also mother nature’s original appetite suppressant, filling the stomach to reduce overeating. If you want to reap all of these benefits (and more), you’ll definitely want to check out our 12 easy ways to increase your water intake throughout the day!
12 Easy Ways to Increase Your Water Intake
While the recommended water intake varies from person to person, a good goal to start with is eight, 8-ounce glasses per day. If you’re more active or live in a warm climate, you can drink up to a gallon, or more! No matter how much you decide to start with, the tips below can help you reach your water goal!
1. Water On the Go
When you’re running tons of errands or juggling job responsibilities, it’s difficult to remember to drink! Fill a water bottle up in the morning and keep it with you (and in sight) at all times. Whenever you look at it, take a swig! When you’re thirsty, it will be there waiting for you! When it’s empty, fill it up again and drink some more!
2. Drink Up Before Every Meal or Snack
One simple way to increase water intake is to create this healthy habit: before each meal, even breakfast or a snack, drink a half glass or full glass of water. Not only is this a fantastic way to stay hydrated, but it will also fill your belly and help you eat less at each meal.
3. Switch Up the Flavors.
4. Ice, Please!
Another way to flavor plain H2O is to get creative with ice cubes. Jazz up water with frozen clementine slices or with ice cubes made from a no-sugar-added juice, like pomegranate.
That said, some people have an easier time drinking water at room temperature. If you have a difficult time with cold beverages, give warmer water a try. You can still add fruit slices or juice.
5. Say “No” to Soda (and Other Sugary Beverages)
Whether your weakness is diet pop or regular soda, sipping these beverages can trigger weight gain—yes, even diet drinks! Why? It is believed that consuming artificial sweeteners may cause some people to crave sweets. Our advice? Banish ALL soda from the fridge so that you’re less likely to cave to temptation. Instead, reach for water or one of these water-based Healthy Alternatives to Diet Sodas.
Furthermore, many store-bought sports beverages contain excess sugar or artificial sweeteners. Replace them with plain water, or try this water-based, healthy Orange Sports Drink recipe.
6. Drink Through a Straw
Try drinking a full glass of water by sipping it, and then use a large milkshake-style straw to chug the next one. Which method allowed you to drink more water faster? Chances are good it was the latter! Grab a straw and take it with you everywhere you go, or buy a reusable cup that comes with one! If you are trying to eliminate plastics from your personal routine, there are many non-plastic and reusable straws on the market now. Just remember to clean them daily before reusing.
7. Eat Your Water.
Drinking H2O isn’t the only way to increase water intake. Tomatoes, watermelons, cucumbers, celery, green peppers, cauliflower, and spinach are all foods high in water content. Dig into a yummy Classic Cucumber and Tomato Salad for a double whammy of water-rich foods. Or, for a new twist, try pairing watermelon, tomatoes with fresh mozzarella cheese for a different take on an Italian Caprese!
8. Choose Carbonated Water.
Sparkling water gives you the same bubbly feel as soda, without the calories or artificial sweeteners. Refresh yourself with Healthy Lemon-Ginger Sparkling Water or natural Zingy Pink Grapefruit Soda.
9. Drink Unsweetened Tea.
Tea beverages consist of water flavored with herbs or fruits. In fact, green tea is a superfood known for its antioxidant power. This beverage is a much healthier option than soda or juice! If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may want to choose a decaf or herbal variety. And, keep in mind that caffeine is a diuretic, so factor that into your water consumption.
10. Dilute Juices.
Speaking of juice… Another way to increase water intake is to dilute the juice you drink. Adding water to no-added-sugar juice will reduce calories and help you boost water consumption. And the juice still provides a yummy flavor, too!
11. Alternate Your Beverages.
If you’re hooked on drinking soda or coffee, or frequently attend events where you’ll be drinking coffee or alcohol, try this tip. Each time you finish a non-water drink, make sure your next choice is a glass of water. This keeps consumption of not-so-healthy beverages down and water intake up.
This method can come in particularly handy on day’s like St. Patrick’s Day that are known for, well, over-consumption. Alcohol is also a diuretic. This means that alcoholic beverages will dehydrate you. So, a great way to combat dehydration is to use this method and drink a full glass of water between each adult beverage.
Check out 7 Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Try This Summer.
12. Set a Timer.
It sounds simple and may be silly, but when your schedule is packed it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Set reminders on your computer or smartphone to take regular water breaks. It’s not silly if it works!
Add a few of these tips to drink more water to your daily routine and see how easy it is to stay hydrated the healthy way.