Isn’t it funny how some people love drinking water all day long, while others find hydrating to be a complete and utter drag? It’s just one of the many wild and wonderful ways in which everyone differs. But have you ever wondered how to drink more water? Whether you need to trick yourself into doing it or just want a few little mindfulness tips, we’ve got you covered.
There are many reasons why someone might struggle with staying hydrated. It could be that you are in a period of life when you’re feeling more scatterbrained than usual, or perhaps you don’t even realize that you’re dehydrated, or you simply don’t enjoy the taste. Regardless of the reason, it’s always a good idea to be aware of how much water we’re guzzling. Even being mildly dehydrated can deeply affect the body!
We’ve all heard the old adage about drinking eight cups of water a day, but according to the Mayo Clinic, that’s not quite accurate. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups a day for men and 11.5 cups a day for women. That’s quite a bit more! This makes knowing how to drink more water imperative, even if you’re someone who doesn’t mind it.
To get the full scoop on proper hydration and how to drink more water, we tapped a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and lactation consultant Sharon Arnold-Haier. Throughout her extensive work with both infants and individuals who are pre-conception, pregnant, and post-partum, she emphasizes the importance of proper hydration as part of maintaining health.
Scroll on to read some tips and tricks for how to drink more water!
It will disappoint many to know that mainlining coffee, juice, or seltzer is simply not enough when it comes to staying adequately hydrated. Arnold-Haier points out that “coffee is a diuretic and may have a dehydrating effect if consumed in excess.” Drinking a glass of water before and after a cup of coffee can mitigate those effects.
Juice, she explains, is essentially sugar water. “The water in juice will provide hydration, but I recommend consuming juice in moderation due to the high sugar content. The sugar from juice is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and can raise blood sugar to high levels in those with insulin resistance. Excessive sugar will be stored as fat if the body does not need to use it for energy.”
However, there are caveats! Pure vegetable juice (with no fruit juice added) can be a great beverage for those who prefer to hydrate with some flavor. Arnold-Haier’s personal favorite is sugar-free green juice. And when it comes to seltzer, well, it’s complicated. She states: “Seltzer should hydrate as well as pure water—however, some people drink less volume of seltzer vs. water because the carbonation fills up their stomach quickly.” And therein lies the rub!
So what can we do to prioritize drinking water during the day, especially when we’re busy with work?
“I like to make sure I drink a glass of water at certain points in the day when it is easy to remember. This includes right when I wake up, after lunch, before my afternoon pick-me-up drink, and after dinner. If you have a water cooler at work, fill your bottle right up when you get there and when you take bathroom breaks. Make sure you carry your water with you on the go. I am especially mindful about hydrating right when I wake up and after a workout.”
Pro tip: “It can be helpful to make note of what temperature you prefer your water as well. I personally like my water room temp and am more motivated to drink it at my preferred temperature.”
So why are some of us more apt to enjoy drinking water while others struggle to prioritize it? While nature vs. nurture definitely comes into play, Arnold-Haier believes it could partially be related to activity levels. “If you are more active during the day, you are more likely to feel thirsty.
Are there times in our lives when it’s especially important to mindfully hydrate?
We should always prioritize hydration, but Arnold-Hair reminds us that “hydration needs to increase in warm climates, with activity, and when you are nursing and pregnant. The color of your urine is a good indicator of hydration. (The ideal color is a pale yellow.”)
And while we all know that water is king, she mentions that “there are other interesting ways to hydrate like broths, unsweetened herbal teas, coconut water, fermented beverages, and fresh fruits and veggies.”
What products can we use to help remind us to drink water?
“I wear an Apple watch, and when it tells me to breathe I also use it as a reminder to take a few sips of water.” Arnold-Haier adds, “I also love water infusers. I like adding citrus to my water like grapefruit, lemon, orange, and lime because I am more motivated to drink with a little added flavor.” Who doesn’t love fancy spa water? You can buy one that lives in your fridge or that travels with you.
Want to get high tech? Check out the Hidrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle. This unique water bottle actually tracks your water intake. It’s Bluetooth-enabled and pairs with an accompanying app that helps you meet daily hydration goals. If you prefer something a bit more lo-fi, you’ll love the Life Bottle Time Marked Water Bottle. This BPA-free bottle is big enough to fit an entire day’s worth of hydration and has time markers to encourage timely consumption.
If the water from your tap or filter tastes a little funky, you’ll be much less inclined to drink with intention. It might be time to upgrade your filtration system. The Soma Water Filter is as aesthetically pleasing as it is effective. This shatterproof filter clarifies water with a filter made of activated coconut shell and carbon, protecting water from chlorine, mercury, zinc, copper, and icky tastes or smells.
If you’re looking to make a solid investment, the Royal Berkey Water Filter is the real deal. It sets the standard for water filters around the world and can be used for drinking water from the faucet or from challenging environments like wells, rivers, and lakes. You’ll definitely be motivated to drink some water once you have this beauty in your home.
Want to keep it simple? Add a faucet mount water filter to your sink. You won’t even have to reach into the fridge for fresh, filtered water—perfect if you’re a room temp water lover like Arnold-Haier.
Need more? Jazz up your water habit with new accessories:
Chime in with your own tips on how to drink more water in the comments!