Most people don't drink enough water. Here's how to sneak more into your day.
Whether you love drinking water or hate it, it’s fundamental to your health, making it vital to drink an adequate amount every day.
“Hydration is essential for so many functions in your body,” Amanda Beaver, wellness dietitian at Houston Methodist, told the hospital’s On Health blog. “Water helps support brain function, your heart pump blood to your muscles, regulate your body temperature, prevent constipation, and the list goes on.”
Drinking water reduces your chances of becoming dehydrated, which can have all sorts of negative effects on your health. Dehydration can impair your thinking and memory. It can also cause headaches, fatigue, changes in your mood, and constipation.
So what’s the right amount of water to drink? You’ve probably heard the recommendation to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but recent research suggests that this recommendation may be oversimplified.
Your own needs will vary based on your body size, activity level, and even certain medications you may take. Your healthcare provider can help you figure out the right amount for you.
Think you should be drinking more water? Here are seven tips to sneak more into your day.
1. Set an alert
If you find that you simply forget to drink water throughout the day, setting an alarm or alert on your phone is a great way to remind yourself. Whether it’s one alert in the morning or several throughout the day, the gentle nudge may be all you need to start sipping.
2. Keep a water bottle with you at all times
It’s easier to sip on water if you have a bottle with you at all times. Treat yourself to a sleek, new water bottle and keep it nearby while at home, in the car, or at work. That way, if you’re ever feeling a bit thirsty, it’s just an arm’s length away.
3. Make it part of your routine
It might help remembering to drink when you do it at specific times in the day. For example, try to drink a glass of water before each meal. You could also make a point to drink a glass right when you wake up or right before you brush your teeth.
4. Replace sugary drinks with water
If you’re a soda or juice lover, this might be a tough one, but replacing water for other beverages will easily help you hydrate more. (It’ll also reduce the amount of sugar and calories you consume!) If you’re still desperate for some bubbles, try sparkling water instead of still.
5. Flavor your water
Think water’s too boring? Spice it up! Stir in convenient flavor packets from the grocery store, or keep it natural by squeezing in some lemon or lime. Or throw some cucumbers, berries, and mint into a big pitcher of water and let the flavors infuse for spa-inspired hydration.
6. Drink tea
While water is still best, both hot and cold tea can contribute to hydration, especially if it’s decaffeinated. (Caffeine acts as a diuretic, which rids your body of water faster than normal.) So grab some decaffeinated, herbal tea to help with your hydration goals.
7. Eat your water
There are lots of foods (mostly fruits and vegetables) that are made up of a high percentage of water. Try cucumbers (which are 95% water!), melons, celery, tomatoes, lettuce, and apples. Of course, all that produce also happens to be very healthy — a win-win!
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