Not drinking enough water is something almost everyone is guilty of, and yet it seems like such a simple thing to do! I’m sure you’ve heard that our bodies are made up of 70% water, but that never really resonated with me until I realized how many benefits I could reap from upping my water intake. You can improve your complexion, strengthen your hair and nails, increase your metabolism and promote weight loss, reduce stress and fatigue, flush out all kinds of toxins, and even improve your immune system and ward off illnesses. All these benefits and more, just by turning on your tap!
And yet, it’s evidently so much more difficult to actually ensure you are getting your recommended daily water intake, since so few of us actually do! Whether that boils down to laziness, the good old “not having enough time” excuse, or just completely forgetting, most of us are running on a dehydrated system!
I made it a goal this year to drink more water, and have acquired many tricks along the way to help me in that process. I have compiled some of my favourite strategies in hopes that you will be able to also reap all the magnificent benefits of H20!
1. Set a Reminder on Your Phone
This is one of the simplest things you can do, and will ensure that you don’t forget to drink water throughout the day! Set as many alarms/reminders as you want, ideally every two-three hours or so, and as soon as your alarm goes off, drop what you are doing and drink a glass! There are also plenty of apps you can download which hep you keep track of how much water you are drinking throughout the day. One I just started using is Daily Water Free, available on the App Store. You can track how many glasses (or whatever unit of measurement you prefer to use) per day you are drinking, and schedule reminders throughout the day. The app also syncs your data to the Health app on your iPhone automatically.
Are you someone who likes to keep track of everything by hand/on paper? Check out this awesome planner page available for download in my Etsy shop, which includes space to check off each glass of water you drink per day! Download it once and print it off as many times as you like!
2. Buy a Nice Water Bottle
Of course, any excuse to go shopping is welcomed, right? I went out and bought myself a reusable water bottle to use specifically for this purpose. There are hundreds of options you can choose from just about everywhere, ranging from inexpensive to splurge-worthy. Mine cost about $8.00 at Winners (a Canadian store under the TJ Maxx umbrella). I really did notice myself absent-mindedly drinking MUCH more water than before once I did this. Not sure why this works, though… it just does! I suppose the artist in me is motivated by anything aesthetically pleasing!
3. Enhance Your Water With Fruits
Don’t like the taste of plain water? Problem solved! Simply cut up some fresh fruits (and/or veggies like cucumber!) and add them to your water! Feel free to experiment with different combinations of fruits, like apples, oranges, berries, watermelon, kiwi, grapes, limes, lemons, and more! We all know the multitude of benefits of drinking lemon water! You can even buy a water bottle with a built-in infuser, specially made for this purpose. As a bonus, how about this trick: add frozen fruit to your water in place of ice cubes to keep it cold!
You can also try flavoured water enhancers like Crystal Light or Mio, which add great flavours to your water, and make it seem more like you are drinking juice! Just err on the side of caution with these, as many of them contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which have a lot of unhealthy side effects.
4. Order Water at a Restaurant
This is another easy one! Instead of ordering pop, juice, or alcoholic drinks when you go out to eat, simply ask for a big glass of water! You’ll save money, and be making a healthier choice! Yes, the servers might scoff at you behind your back for being a cheap skate (trust me, having 10 tables in a row who order nothing but water is pretty frustrating as a server, since drinks are often the best way to rack up a tab), but if you’re at all worried about this, just leave them a nice tip to prove them wrong! 😉
Craving a bit of extra flavour? Ask for a lemon or lime wedge in your water as well. I’ve heard several people saying not to do this at restaurants, due to servers not following sanitary habits, but as a former bartender, I say go for it. There are so many horror stories out there to scare us into eating healthily these days, and I’m pretty sure this is just one of the ones with not much weight to it. In my entire restaurant career I never saw someone die or even get sick from ordering a glass of lemon water.
5. Drink Tea/Coffee
Maybe you’re thinking, “Yeah, ok, maybe one day when they invent water with caffeine in it!” Well, I’ll bet you didn’t ever consider that your morning cup of coffee counts towards your water intake, did you? That’s right, it’s merely a myth that these caffeinated beverages will dehydrate you! While making certain lifestyle changes (such as drinking more water, coincidentally) will eliminate your need to rely on caffeine to wake up in the mornings, sometimes, you just really want or need that cup of coffee or tea! However, caffeine does have certain other negative side-effects, so try to keep the caffeine intake to a minimum if you can. There are plenty of caffeine-free herbal teas around, or you can switch to decaf coffee later in the day if you’re cutting back on the caffeine. Regardless, this is another easy way to add to your water intake!
6. Keep A Bottle/Jug/Pitcher of Water By Your Bed/At Your Desk
Once I bought my new water bottle, and started keeping it on my desk, I noticed how much more water I was drinking automatically. Before I knew it my bottle would be empty as I’d just keep absent-mindedly sipping as I worked. If you’re feeling like getting up to get a glass of water each time you need to drink one is too much effort, keep a pitcher on or near your desk that you can refill your glass/bottle with as needed (Although you may find that you are getting up multiple times to empty your bladder anyways!).
Similarly, if you find that you often wake up in the night or in the morning with a scratchy throat, keeping some water on your bedside table will help with this!
7. Eat It!
That’s right, lots of fruits and vegetables contain plenty of water as well, including cucumbers, lettuce (like iceberg and romaine), watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes, and plenty of others! So if you’re eating plenty of fresh produce like this, you are automatically adding to your daily water intake!
If you have a blender or juicer, you can also make fresh smoothies or juices that taste absolutely delicious! If you’re stuck, you can check out some of my favourite juice recipes HERE!
What are some of your favourite ways to drink more water? Do you notice the benefits? Let me know!