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 your answer is the second one, you’re in need of some H2O.
You’ve heard us say hundreds of times how important it is to drink plenty of water. That’s because we can’t say it enough! If you want to lose weight, you need to drink water. If you exercise, you need to drink water. If you want healthy skin, you need to drink water.
Your body is comprised of 70% water (and your brain is 90% water!). Your blood and every cell in your body are made almost entirely from water. If you want to be alert, have organs that function properly, and get the most out of your workouts, you need to drink enough water.
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.)
The Amount You Need May Vary
Everyone has different hydration needs, based on weight, exercise intensity, kidney function, climate, and a bunch of 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.
25 Ways to Start Drinking More Water
Now that you know how much you need, it’s time to keep track of 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.
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 tasteless 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.
Here are 10 refreshing ways to flavor your next glass of water.
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!
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 when you 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
Being dehydrated can slow you down and zap your energy, making your cardio or weight lifting workout feel brutal. Your muscles need fluids to function fluidly, so be sure to 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 you catch 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 on a daily basis? 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. Dehydration pangs are often misread by the body 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, do a shot (or sip) of water 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 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 an unending 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. 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, this is an easy place to cut calories. Make the transition to drinking water by filling your glass halfway with juice, then 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.
Aside from quenching your thirst, water performs a lot of other important duties: It helps regulate our body temperature, flushes wastes out of the body, lubricates joints, helps digest our food, from the saliva in the mouth to the gastric juice in the stomach, and transports nutrients to cells throughout the body via the bloodstream.
So, get drinking ASAP!