Staying hydrated is essential for health, and as our bodies are made up of around 70% water it’s best to keep that level topped up.
Water has many functions in the body, including maintaining electrolyte balance, regulating blood pressure and body temperature, lubricating joints, and promoting healthy cells.
It’s very easy to become dehydrated without realizing it, so here are 12 ways to get more water into your system throughout the day.
1. Find Out Your Body’s Fluid Needs
64 ounces (8 cups) is recommended as the daily water intake goal, but this isn’t scientifically based.
Fluid needs depend a lot on how much activity you do, your location, health status, job, age, etc.
The National Academy of Medicine recommends that men drink 125 ounces per day, and women around 90 ounces per day, but for many people drinking when you feel thirsty will meet your fluid needs.
You will need more water if you work outside, live in a hot climate, or work out regularly.
2. Set A Goal
If you set a goal for your water intake, it’s easier to keep track of what you are drinking, as well as being motivating.
A goal could be to drink 960 ml of water per day, and if you record your progress it helps make it a habit as well as encouraging you to achieve your goals.
3. Get A Reusable Water Bottle
If you make it a habit to take a water bottle around with you, it becomes easier to get your daily quota of water.
Reusable water bottles make it easy to take anywhere, and if you have it handy on your desk or in your car, you will see it and be reminded to take a drink.
Reusable bottles are also helping you do your bit for the environment.
4. Create Reminders
If you have a smartphone or smartwatch, you can set reminders to drink more by using an app.
Set a reminder to finish your glass of water and get a refill every hour, or to take a few sips every 15 minutes.
Reminders are a great idea if you tend to be forgetful or busy.
5. Replace Unhealthy Drinks with Water
If you drink sports drinks and soda, consider replacing them with water.
These drinks are often loaded with extra sugars, and one 8 ounce cup of soda can put you over your healthy sugar intake limit for the day.
If your diet is high in sugar, you are at risk of becoming obese or of developing conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Drinking water instead of sugary drinks will also cut the amount of calories you consume, which is good if you want to lose weight.
6. Drink A Glass of Water Before A Meal
An easy way to increase the water you drink is to create the habit of drinking one glass of water before each meal.
Drinking a glass of water before eating can also help you discover whether you are hungry or simply thirsty.
If you are trying to cut calories, drinking a glass of water before a meal could help you eat fewer calories.
7. Buy A Water Filter
Most tap water in America is safe to drink, but if you are concerned about the water quality it may be a good idea to get a water filter.
You can buy filtration units for your whole house, or just a pitcher with a water filter built-in.
Filters like the pitcher or ones that attach directly to your faucet can reduce waterborne bacteria, lead, and arsenic in tap water to levels that are safe for drinking.
Filters are also more eco-friendly and less costly than buying bottled water.
8. Make Flavored Water
Sometimes water tastes a bit bland, and drinking lots of it can put you off. Adding fruit flavors to the water is a good idea, and you can buy an inexpensive fruit-infuser water bottle.
Good fruit combinations for an infusion are cucumber/lime, lemon, and strawberry/kiwi, but you can choose whatever fruits you like, or try adding fresh mint leaves.
You can buy water flavors in powder or liquid form, but many of these contain sugar, sweeteners, or other chemical additives, so check the label.
9. Aim to Drink One Glass of Water an Hour at Work
If you work for a standard eight hour shift, then if you drink one glass of water per hour you will have drunk 1,920 ml by the time you go home.
Fill your cup when you get to work, and whenever the clock hits the hour, drink the water that’s left and refill your cup.
10. Sip Water Throughout the Day
Consistently sipping on water during the day is an easy way of hydrating. It will also stop your mouth from drying out, and could help freshen your breath.
Have a glass or water bottle with water nearby, and sip some every few minutes.
11. Eat More Water-Rich Foods
A simple way of keeping your water intake up is to eat more foods that contain water.
Fruits and veggies that have a high water content include:
Lettuce – 96% water Celery – 95% water Zucchini – 95% water Cabbage – 92% water Watermelon – 91% water Cantaloupe – 90% water Honeydew melon – 90% water
12. Drink A Glass of Water Before Bed and When You Wake Up
Drink one glass of water before bed, and one when you wake up, and you have an easy way to boost your hydration levels.
Drinking water before bed can stop you from waking up with a dry mouth, and drinking water in the morning can help make you feel more alert.