Staying hydrated is important, crucial really, to your overall health. You can survive without food for weeks, but you can’t live without water or any fluid intake for more than a couple of days. And its benefits on the body are far more than you may even think. From your gut to your brain to your skin, hydration helps everything function better.
Why Hydration Is Important
Our bodies are made up of mostly water and we lose that water daily to sweat and even breath. So it’s our job to replenish the water we lose to ensure our bodies function as they should. You may not even notice some of
the most important effects hydration has on the body, such as helping muscle and brain function and regulating temperature and digestion. But there are more noticeable effects of improved hydration, too.
Drinking enough water can help keep you energized throughout the day, improve your reaction time, heal your headaches, and more.
The incredible health benefits can’t be refuted. So, how do you overcome the “boring” activity of drinking water? Here are ten simple tips for how to stay hydrated.
10 Tips On How To Stay Hydrated
1. Set A Goal
The level of water you should be consuming on a daily basis varies from person to person.
It is based on your activity, food intake, climate and so much more. For instance, if you are extremely active or live in an extremely hot or humid area, you should be drinking enough water to replenish the amount of water and electrolytes you sweat out.
A good place to start is with around 2.7 liters of water, or 91 fluid ounces, for women and around 3.7 liters of water, or 125 fl oz, for men as recommended by the Institute of Medicine. Challenging yourself to meet these numbers can be a great motivational tool to drink more water.
2. Keep Water Accessible
One of the easiest ways to up your water intake is to have it at the ready. You will be surprised how much more water you drink simply because you have it nearby. If it’s not at your desk, you may not ever think to get up and step away from your work for a drink. The same applies during a workout class, in the car, at the dinner table, by your bed, or wherever you spend your time. Keep water easily accessible in these places so you won’t have to go far when you need it.
3. Get A Reusable Water Bottle
What is one of the easiest ways to have water on you at all times? A reusable water bottle. Pick out a bottle that you will use. Reusable water bottle benefits vary. Maybe it’s because it’s beautiful, maybe it’s because it’s practical. Maybe it keeps your water ice cold or maybe it fits perfectly in your backpack. Whatever will make you want to reach for a bottle, pick that one. And take it with you everywhere. Better yet, invest in a few reusable water bottles to keep in the places you frequent most. This way, you won’t be in danger of losing or forgetting your only one. A reusable bottle will not only encourage you to drink more liquids but also is better for the environment. Plus, using a reusable water bottle makes tracking your water intake that much easier. And most importantly, don’t forget to clean your reusable water bottle!
4. Track Your Water Intake
How do you know if you’re well-hydrated unless you pay attention? Tracking your water intake is all about making you more aware of the amount of water, or lack thereof, you are consuming each day. But it can be fun, too! Use your water bottle to count your daily ounces. The minimum recommendation is that you should consume eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day. So, if you have a 16oz bottle, you should aim to fill, drink, and refill it at least four times a day. If you have a 25oz water bottle, try to finish it off three times. Remember, if it is hot out or you work out, try to consume a few more glasses that day.
You can also check your hydration level by using online tools and monitor your fluid intake with applications that allow you to track every bottle and check your progress. You can even start a friendly competition with peers to keep yourself accountable.
5. Set A Timer
Okay, you have a reusable water bottle, and it is sitting on your desk, but you still don’t reach for it as often as you should. What to do? Try setting a timer for every hour to remind you to give that bottle a sip. Use your phone, computer or calendar to nudge you to take a drink and it will become a habit in no time.
6. Make It Unconscious
There are other unique ways you can make drinking water a habit. Here are a few ideas:
- Drink a full glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning
- Take a drink of water every time you pick up your phone
- Drink water immediately after a workout
- Take a sip every time you sit down
- Drink water before you take the first bite of a meal
- Take a sip at every stoplight
If you do one or all of these actions often enough you will create a habit, and pretty soon, be drinking water without even thinking about it. Staying hydrated has never been so convenient!
7. Use A Straw
Many non-water drinkers have had more success when drinking water through a straw. It creates a vacuum that makes drinking liquid more efficient. Drinking through a straw is particularly helpful when participating in an active workout such as cycling or HIIT, driving, or any activity where you don’t want to divert your attention for long.
8. Eat Water-Rich Foods
When it comes to choosing foods that are high in water content think soups, smoothies, fruits and vegetables. During the summer months, when the weather is warm and you are losing more water to sweat, reach for more water-dense (and delicious) fruits and veggies such as watermelon, grapes, celery, tomatoes, and cucumbers. During the winter, reach for warm brothy soups and mugs full of tea to stay hydrated.
9. Consider Alternative Beverages
Good news! Sparkling water is hydrating. So, if flat water isn’t your style, reach for a bubbly option to stay hydrated. With all the brands and flavors out there, you have plenty of options to suit your taste. If you are sipping bubbly beverages out of your reusable water bottle, use caution when opening the lid as the airtight seal maintains the pressure required for all those bubbles.
Another delicious and hydrating alternative to plain water? Coconut water. The natural drink contains electrolytes that will replenish your system, making it a great choice if you just finished a workout, are outside in the heat all day, or anytime you sweat excessively.
Tea also counts as a hydrating beverage. If you have a hard time drinking water in the mornings or evenings, opt for a cup of tea. You can also add lemon, lavender or sticks of cinnamon to make it more interesting.
10. Make It Taste Good
No one said water has to be boring. Add flavor to your H20 with sweet fruit like strawberries and pineapple, citruses like lemon, lime, and oranges, or herbs like mint. To prepare for a hot summer day try filling an ice cube tray with foods such as these, add water and freeze. When you are ready for a cool and refreshing beverage, simply add a few ice cubes to a glass with water, sparkling or still, and you will have a hydrating and delicious drink.
A water filter can also improve the taste of your water. If you aren’t happy with the taste of your tap, consider investing in a filter. There are plenty of options out there from pitchers you can store in your fridge to unobtrusive contraptions you can add to your faucet. Both the filtered level and the temperature of your water can play a role in how much you enjoy it, so cater your water to your particular taste!
Do What Works For You
When it comes to staying hydrated, there are plenty of creative ways to do so, so tailor your plan to you! Whether you muscle your way through multiple liters a day, have several S’well water bottles on hand or choose to focus more on the foods you consume. These simple tips on how to stay hydrated are meant to encourage you in the right direction and give you plenty of tools to help get there on your own. Hopefully, they will help you see the powerful impact hydration can have on your body and mind. Cheers to a healthy, hydrated life!