16 Easy Ways to Drink More Water Without Thinking About It
Sip every hour. Download apps. Add some fruit. These simple strategies will help you sip more H2O every day.
By now, everyone has heard that drinking water makes you healthier. But what if it could make you happier, too? Results of a new survey indicate that it just might.
Two thousand Americans were polled about their H2O habits, and of those who drank the most, two-thirds reported being "very happy," while only 21 percent of those who drank the least water said the same.
Despite the mental and physical benefits of being well-hydrated, however, many of us still aren't drinking enough. Survey respondents cited lack of thirst (44 percent), lack of time (34 percent) and plain old forgetfulness (33 percent) among their reasons for not filling up, but most were unaware of how much water they should even be drinking.
"Fluid needs vary depending on body weight, activity level, how much salt you consume, and how much fiber you eat, but the general goal is 64 ounces a day," says Isabel Maples, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
What's more, Maples says, as we age, the mechanism that triggers thirst gets less effective, so we may not crave water even when we're running low. Indeed, other research has concluded that thirst may not be the best indicator of hydration needs even under optimal circumstances, so your best bet if you want to stay hydrated (and happy) is to turn to external cues, rather than internal ones. Follow this list of tips to help you drink more water each day:
1. Drink with every meal.
Add a full glass in with snacks, too, and you'll likely meet your eight glass minimum by dinner.
2. Sip by the hour.
You should be draining a glass roughly every two hours. Set a timer if you need to.
3. Have a visual reminder.
Use a transparent water bottle, not an opaque one, and mark it with a Sharpie or tape so you can see your progress throughout the day.
4. Download an app.
A whole slew of smartphone apps can help you meet your hydration needs. We like Daily Water.
5. Spike it.
Nineteen percent of survey respondents said they don't like the taste of water. Add slices of fresh fruit like lemon or strawberries or even cucumber to your bottle, or opt for a naturally-flavored (and still calorie-free) product like Hint.
6. Carbonate it.
If the La Croix craze has taught us anything, it's that people love bubbles. Swap still for sparkling to make getting your liquid fix less boring. We like Waterloo's lightly effervescent flavors.
7. Filter it.
Sometimes the taste of tap is what turns people off, Maples says. Using a filter to get rid of trace minerals or impurities can make a world of difference.
8. Play with temperature.
Water doesn't have to be ice cold, and for people with sensitive teeth, that can be a turn-off. Try room temperature or heat it, and add lemon.
9. Sip with a fun straw.
Straws may have come under fire lately, but they can help you drink more. Something about sucking liquid through a wide bubble tea style or bendy straw just makes it feel like a treat instead of a chore. And if you're worried about the environment, try a reusable stainless steel one.
10. Get a high-tech water bottle.
11. Make it juicy.
Add a splash of 100% juice. "If you're drinking lemonade anyway, having it stretched to two cups instead of one is a plus," says Maples.
12. Play a drinking game.
Tell yourself that every time you get a text, you'll take a sip. Play with a friend for extra incentive.
13. Hydrate at happy hour.
Make it a rule that for every alcoholic drink you down, you'll chase it with one glass of water. Bonus: Properly hydrating can help you avoid a hangover the next day.
14. Freeze it.
If you can't stand drinking water, try eating it. Crunching or sucking on ice appeals to some people who don't like chugging glass after glass.
15. Brew it.
Tea, especially caffeine-free kinds, counts as water (often with an antioxidant kick). We like Tea Forte's single steep herbal teas.
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