We have all been told that hydration is important – here are 8 ways to not only remember, but to encourage you to drink more water.
Hydration is important regardless of the season. Water is needed throughout the body to function properly as it plays a role in metabolism, digestion, temperature regulation, cellular function, and much more. We have likely all experienced some sign of dehydration before. Early dehydration can cause us to feel lethargic, hungry, or thirsty, causing headaches, dry skin, and chapped lips. In advanced dehydration, signs may include feeling dizzy/lightheaded, sleepy, or confused, and can cause rapid breathing and heart rate.
How Much Water Do I Need to Drink?
The general rule of thumb is to consume eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. While this is a good baseline, it is also important to take into account your activity level, climate, digestion, medications, health conditions, etc. You will need more fluids if you exercise or work a very active job. If you are sweating or active throughout the day it is important to consume enough water and water-containing foods throughout the day. If you need an easy way to assess your hydration status, pay attention to the color of your urine. If you are well-hydrated it should be a pale clear yellow. If you are dehydrated, the darker the urine which indicates you need to consume more water.
10 Ways to Remember To Drink Water
1. Set hourly reminders/alarms
Set an hourly reminder or alarm on your phone to encourage you to drink more water. Even better for those of you with a smartwatch as you don’t have to be near your phone to be reminded. You can set up reminders within the calendar app or clock app that repeat daily. Either way is a great option as it allows you to customize the notifications. For example, you could name your alarm/notification “hydration time” or “take a drink.” Remembering to drink fluids is essential as the best way to keep hydrated and avoid dehydration is to consume water before you feel thirsty.
2. Drink Out of a Clear Container
This allows you to see just how much you have already consumed and how much more you have left. For those that are visual people, it provides gentle motivation to consume enough fluids throughout the day.
3. Keep water wherever you frequent
Ideally, we would have a water bottle with us at all times. For simplicity, I recommend keeping water wherever you are most frequently. For example, I keep a water bottle on my nightstand, in my office, in my bag, car, and gym/gym bag. This helps me to have access to water at all times even if I forget the one I carry with me someplace. Figure out locations around your home and throughout your typical schedule that are best for you.
4. Track How Much You Drink
Most people are task or goal-oriented and by keeping track of how much you have consumed throughout the day, it is gratifying to be able to check a box or move your marker. Some people may prefer to keep track using a planner, an app on their phone, or simply by moving a rubber band/elastic on their water bottle. If you carry a bottle with you at all times, make marks on your water bottle to identify how many bottles you need to drink a day. When you have consumed a bottle, move the band accordingly. I have a 24-ounce bottle I use and I aim to drink 96 ounces a day. Each mark represents one 24-ounce bottle. So, I have four marks on my bottle and I will move the elastic down a mark to show how much more I need to drink that day.
5. Use a reusable straw
Drinking from a straw makes it more accessible and convenient to take a sip. You may find that by using a straw you will drink more water without even thinking about it simply due to the ease of access. Personally, I recommend using reusable straws to be environment-friendly, but also wallet-friendly.
6. Jazz it up
Easy ways to make your water more interesting are by adding sliced lemons, limes, cucumber, mint, or your favorite fruits. There are also many natural and electrolyte-containing water enhancers to make your water more enticing to drink.
7. Drink Tea
While tea is not technically just water, simply brewing a nice cup of tea helps to provide you with some antioxidants and helps you to meet your fluid needs. If you like a nice cold drink it is beneficial if you plan ahead of time by brewing your desired tea and then placing it in the fridge to cool.
8. Set Time-specific goals
Set goals for how much water you want to drink by certain times of the day. This is another great way to help you track how much water you have consumed and how much more you have left before the day ends. Let’s take the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day for example my goal may be to consume an 8-ounce glass by 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m., and 10 p.m. The most important thing is to set goals that are realistic to your schedule.
Hydration is important for proper bodily function but it does not have to be another frustrating item on our daily to-do list but instead an easy and enjoyable aspect of daily life. Which tip did you find most helpful?
I hope you have a lovely day!
~ Madison Eran ~