25 Ways to Drink More Water
Let’s do a simple nonscientific test to see if you are dehydrated right now. Pinch the skin on the back of your hand. Does your skin spring back into shape, like a gymnast sticking a landing? Or does it take its sweet time spreading out and settling? If you answered the latter, it’s time to drink more water.
You’ve heard us say countless times the importance of hydration. That’s because it’s true! If you want to lose weight, you need to drink more water. If you exercise, you need to drink more water. If you want healthy skin, you need to drink more water.
Water comprises 70% of your body (and your brain is 90% water!). Your blood and every cell in your body are made almost entirely from water. Your ability to be alert, have properly functioning organs, and get the most from your workouts relates directly to how hydrated you are.
We get it. Drinking enough water to stay hydrated every day can be a daunting task. Here are 25 tips that will help. In the spirit of this article, how about pouring yourself a glass of water right now to sip as you read? (Go ahead, we’ll wait.)
1. Set a Daily Goal
Knowing is half the battle, right? We recommend drinking half your body weight — in ounces of water — every day. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, divide that by 2. Your magic number would be 90. That’s 90 ounces of water every day, a little more than 2.5 liters
2. Wake Up and Drink
Drink a glass — or two! — as soon as you wake up. You haven’t had any fluids for eight hours, so this could be the most dehydrated you will be all day. Try leaving a tall glass of water on your nightstand and drink it before you get out of bed.
3. Flavor Your Water
Not thrilled with the bland taste of water? Think it tastes like licking windows? You can give your water zing by adding a wedge of lemon, crushed mint leaves, sliced cucumbers, or strawberries.
4. Invest in a Vessel
We think drinking out of a glass is more appealing than swilling from a paper or Styrofoam cup. And it’s gentler to the environment. At home, designate a beautiful glass or pitcher that you’ll want to use frequently.
Buy several reusable water bottles that you can stash in your car, at work, in your gym bag, so you’re never far away from this precious liquid, no matter where you are. There are even water bottles that come with filters, so there’s no excuse not to drink more water!
5. Set Reminders
Set an alarm to remind you to drink every hour during the workday. When it goes off, get up, shake a leg, and take a stroll to the water cooler for a refill. You’ll fulfill your water quota by quitting time.
6. Replace Your, er, Water
Every time you go to the bathroom, replenish your body with a tall glass of water.
7. Pair It With Other Activities
Fill up your reusable water bottle before you walk your dog, check your email, or leave for work. Drink a glass of water before you brush your teeth or wash your face. Then, drink another glass when you’re done.
8. Sip While You Exercise
Dehydration can slow you down and zap your energy, making your cardio or weightlifting workout feel brutal. Your muscles need fluids to function fluidly, so be sure to drink more water. Hydrate before, during, and after exercise.
9. Drink a Glass Before Bed
If it doesn’t make you stumble to the bathroom in the middle of the night, drink a glass before catching some ZZZs to stay hydrated until morning. Or, try a soothing mug of hot water with lemon and a small drizzle of honey.
10. Replace Other Beverages With Water
How many ounces of soda, juice, coffee, or beer do you imbibe daily? Come on, be honest. If you regularly drink a venti latte and an orange soda, swap them for water.
That’s 32 ounces right there, not to mention the hundreds of calories eliminating those drinks will save you.
11. Drink When You Feel Hangry
If you feel a snack attack coming on, drink a glass of water, then wait 15 minutes. The body often misreads dehydration pangs as hunger.
A glass of water will replenish your body and help you feel satiated. If you are still hungry 15 minutes later, reach for a piece of fruit or a handful of raw nuts.
12. Drink Before You Eat
Drinking water before you eat will help you feel more satiated, and you will eat less. A study from the Virginia Tech Department of Nutrition suggests that drinking two glasses of water before (not during) each meal can significantly increase weight loss. Not only that, but the water drinkers in the study continued to lose weight and keep it off.
13. Eat Your Water
What? Yes. You can add even more hydration by eating water-packed fruits like melons, cucumbers, grapefruit, and celery.
14. Drink Before You Drink
Pace yourself in social gatherings by drinking water between alcoholic beverages. You’ll reduce your risk of a pounding hangover and help meet your daily water intake goals.
15. Turn It Into a Drinking Game
The next time you’re binging on The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, drink more water by doing a shot (or sip) every time a zombie gets dispatched, or someone gets stuck with a sword.
16. Use an App to Track Your Progress
There’s an app for that: If you’re not a fan of setting an alarm, then download an app that will track your progress, and help you see the big picture when it comes to your daily water consumption.
17. Make It Bubbly
If you’re a soda drinker and crave a fizzy refreshment, consider sparkling mineral water flavored with fruit, or invest in a SodaStream to have a constant supply of bubbly water at your fingertips.
18. Switch It Up
Not all of your H2O has to be room temperature or loaded with ice. Mix it up — serve warm water with lemon or brew a cup of herbal tea.
19. Invest in a Filter
If you’re not a fan of tap water, get a water pitcher with a filter for a clean, refreshing taste.
20. Create a “Water Savings Account”
Put a glass jar in the kitchen and add a quarter (or dollar) to the pot every time you drink a glass of water. Before you know it, you may have enough to take a vacation! Or, you know, dinner at your favorite restaurant.
21. Suck It Up
Some people find that they take bigger gulps or drink faster when drinking through a straw. If you want to drink more water, pop a paper straw or a reusable metal or glass straw in your next glass.
22. Eat Spicy Foods
23. Swap In Water for Juice
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to cut calories while you drink more water. Make the transition to H2O by filling your glass halfway with juice and filling the rest with flat or sparkling water. Once you get used to this, try using only 1/4 juice.
24. Make It a Competition
Invite your friends or office mates to participate in a water challenge with you. Set a goal of how much water each person will drink per day, then keep score. The people who skip the most glasses of water have to buy lunch.
25. When In Doubt, Drink
Many common complaints, including headache and constipation, can be alleviated by downing a tall glass of water.
How much water to you need?
Everyone has different hydration needs based on weight, exercise intensity, kidney function, climate, and other stuff. If you live in Death Valley, for example, you’ll want to add a few more glasses of water.
Pay attention to how your body feels when it is properly hydrated and use that as a cue.
Now that you know how much you need, it’s time to track how much you are actually getting. Measure how many ounces your glass or bottle holds and figure out many times you’ll need to refill it during the day.
What else does water do?
Aside from quenching your thirst, water performs a lot of other important duties, including:
- regulating body temperature
- flushing wastes out of the body
- lubricating joints
- digesting food via the saliva in the mouth to the gastric juice in the stomach
- transporting nutrients to cells throughout the body via the bloodstream
So, get drinking ASAP!