We all have the best intentions of drinking water. We make it our new years resolution and our goal for the week. We will even splurge on fancy water bottles made of stainless steel, glass or BPA-free plastic.
But no matter what we do, we can’t seem to get enough water in. We feel sluggish, our skin isn’t glowing, and we are foggy headed. We often don’t remember to drink or are too busy chugging coffee or tea to worry about plain old water.
The funny thing is, we also all know the benefits of staying hydrated with water. Staying hydrated leads to more natural energy (no need for 4 cups of coffee a day!), decreased hunger, weight maintenance, better looking skin and hair, naturally detoxing, and even sharper thinking.
We all also know that our bodies are made of mostly water, it’s the best beverage to quench our thirst, and has no calories, no sugars, nor any preservatives. All-in-all, the math adds up and it’s a win-win.
But then why is it such a chore to drink enough water?
Simply put, water can be boring.
But, that doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way!
Here are some tried and true tips to increase your hydration so that you can reap all the wonderful benefits water has to offer.
1. Set a Goal
This may sound redundant and you may even say to yourself “I’ve tried this whole goal thing before”. But this is different.
The key to setting this goal for yourself is to keep the actual water visible.
Start with a big container. This container can be a milk or juice container or a large pitcher. Keep it within eyesight, and keep it full of water. Whether that water container lives in your office, on your kitchen counter, or on your passenger seat in your car is up to you. But, the point is to have this as your reminder throughout the day.
Now comes the actual goal setting part.
Set a goal that each day that you will drink 1,2,3 or 10 of those water containers. Start small and work your way up. Use that large water container to refill your glasses and count how many times you fill that large container. This will give you an easy benchmark to see how well you are doing that day.
2. Add Flavor
Oftentimes water drinking can be such a chore because we are accustomed to flavoring.
Creating infused waters is a great way to make a delicious beverage that still provides all the benefits of plain water! Adding berries, herbs (such as mint, rosemary, or basil), cucumber, citrus, or melon can be a great way to shake up boring water and make you feel super fancy.
Infused waters will keep all day and just continue to get more delicious as the day goes on! On top of reaping the benefits that plain water has to offer, infused waters will also provide extra boosts in antioxidants and vitamins/minerals depending on your infusion ingredients. It’s a win win!
You can find containers that are specifically made for infusing, or you can make your own with just a large pitcher. Whatever works for you is great; continue to experiment with different flavors and combinations to find that award winning infusion recipe that leads you to chugging water all day long.
3. Keep it Cold
A really cold, icy glass of water is usually more appealing than a lukewarm glass. Adding ice to your water will create a tempting thirst quenching beverage that screams “drink me now”!
Especially in the summertime when temperatures are reaching ungodly highs, water is the perfect cool-down beverage.
Finding a travel water container that keeps your glass really cold is key. There are even some water cups that will keep ice frozen all day long.
You can even take this up a notch and create fun ice cubes. Using a similar approach to the infusions, freezing berries or herbs into ice cubes is a great way to add a hint of flavor without going overboard.
4. Use a Straw
Surprisingly, many people have much more success in drinking plenty of water when a straw is involved. By simply switching to drinking via straw, it is easier to finish your glass before you realize it’s gone.
In order to continue being environmentally conscious, grab either a reusable cup with a straw or just a reusable straw. And if you are worried about wrinkles, know that staying hydrated keeps your skin naturally plump and smooth. I don’t know about you, but I would rather chance having one or two wrinkles around my mouth while preventing other wrinkles all over.
5. Carry it With You
Keep your water nearby at all times. Bring it in the car, to work, to meetings, to the gym, to the mall, and everywhere in between. Think of your water bottle as an extension of your outfit (bonus points if it matches your clothes).
Having your water bottle around will eliminate any excuse not to drink. You will likely be surprised how often you are thirsty and go for your water bottle compared to how little you were drinking before it became part of your daily ensemble.
6. Use an App
Need to drink more water? There’s an app for that.
Countless companies have made apps that use creative ways for us to track our water intake. From apps that will donate a certain amount to charities when you drink water, to apps that encourage you to grow a beautiful rose bush based on your water intake, there’s an app answer for helping you stay hydrated.
Even if you are compelled by some friendly competition, there are apps where you can challenge your friends and colleagues to “water races”. There are great ways to get started with drinking more water and create the routine of H2O over anything else.
7. Create Reminders
Most of us function via virtual calendar these days. By creating reminders to ding as reminder to drink water throughout the day we can save ourselves any brainpower of thinking about water, just sit back an wait for the reminder.
Set these reminders each hour and be specific! If you want to drink 8 ounces per hour, add that into the pinging message. And be sure to set yourself up so that you have the water around.
The more of a chore it is to stop and drink water, the less likely you will follow through. So prepare a bit ahead of time, keep your glass full and chug when your phone reminds you to.
So much of our day-to-day practices are habitual. If you are finding yourself not drinking water currently, it’s all about changing that habit. Soon enough water will be all you want to drink! Setting yourself up for success is key to creating new habits. Making the new behavior easy, do-able, and actually fit in your lifestyle will make it much more likely to continue long-term. Plus keeping in mind how much better you will feel when you are hydrated will keep you going.
Whenever you are creating a new habit, start small. Don’t bite off more than you can chew no matter how tempting it is to go from zero to hundred in a day. When you are forming a new water habit, start with increasing your water intake by factors of 1 or 2. You will always have room to grow! Being realistic with where you are currently and taking steps to get to where you want to go long-term is exactly what will keep you hydrated and feeling great for years to come!