Water is an extremely important aspect of your diet that doesn’t often get the attention it deserves. Doctors recommend as much as two liters a day for a reason. It contributes to almost every aspect of bodily function, from the brain to the heart, to the gut and the muscles. It protects your spinal cord, helps remove waste, aids in digestion and brain function, and keeps your cardiovascular system healthy.
But some of us need help getting into the habit. Water is boring. Two liters is daunting. You simply don’t drink that much. Never fear. Read on for a list of ways you can make sure you’re getting your daily intake of water.
- Keep water close
The main thing that will get you drinking water is access. If you sit at a desk, have a bottle sitting next to your computer screen. Reaching for it every time you need a second to think will have you running through your bottle in no time. If you’re working out, make sure you have a bottle sitting next to your equipment.
Even better, have various bottles around. Leave them next to your food or other choice of drink, like tea or coffee. It will remind you to sip as you move around. Make sure to keep them within your line of sight.
- Infuse with flavor
Water is the basic flavor. No one will judge you for saying so. No one orders a water-flavored ice cream or water-flavored candy. If its good, it should taste of nothing, if brands mess around, it can be outright bad.
Make your water intake a fun experience with squash, or slices of fruits in your bottle. Or freeze some berries in ice cubes. Do what you need to do to reach for the water rather than the Coca Cola.
Experiment with infuser bottles, adding whatever flavors you fancy in the moment. Play with lemon, cucumber, mint, berries, citrus, watermelon. Or you can invest in some squash pods at your supermarket.
- Eat certain foods
You can gain all the benefits of drinking water as well as vital nutrients by making a few changes to your diet. Replace chips with slices of cucumber for a snack that is 95 per cent water. Dip them into hummus or make a chilled cucumber soup for a healthy, hydrating meal. Dip celery sticks in peanut butter or tuna salad to gain water and lose carbs if you’re a lover of breadsticks. Add watermelon to your salad for refreshing summer dish or get a potassium boost with a slice of cantaloupe. Treat yourself to some surprisingly hydrating strawberries with some cream or swap your bread bun for a leafy alternative like kale or lettuce. Add tomatoes and peppers to practically anything for a hydration boost.
There are also foods that will contribute to dehydration. Diets high in protein such as the Dukan diet and paleo diet are high in nitrogen which will be flushed out with extra fluids. The Keto diet and the Atkins diet also contribute to dehydration by cutting out or lowering carbs, this causes the body to release water by going into its glycogen storage.
- Drink tea and coffee
Yes, drink tea and coffee. Coffee is, after all, just water run through some delicious beans and tea is just the same with herbs. This article by DripDrop which asks “does coffee count as water” explains how it can count towards your daily water intake; you just need to be wary of the amount of caffeine being consumed. Coffee contains caffeine which increases urination and may increase dehydration if you’re about to work out. Replenishing your water intake without the bean element is important. And don’t think you’re safe with tea, which is also caffeinated, even if it’s rarely mentioned.
- There’s an app for that
If you want to take this to your phone, which is quickly becoming the best way people can hold themselves together, there’s an app for that. Track how much you’re drinking, set goals, and set reminders on your phone to keep your intake up.
Setting a goal will give you something to work towards and release some serotonin for the productivity. Instead of walking back and forth to the kitchen eight times, challenge yourself to get through a two-liter bottle by keeping it nearby – and watch as the bottle slowly empties. You can get a two-liter bottle and mark smaller, more manageable goals on the side. Mark lunchtime at the halfway mark, three quarters down by evening, etc.
You can also set reminders on your phone either with an app or by simply setting them up in your calendar or alarms. This will help you keep on track and make sure you get what you’re needing.
Download apps like MyFitnessPal or Plant Nanny to help you keep track of your water intake. Or invest in a FitBit or Apple Watch to personalize and track your hydration goals. There are also other water-tracking apps like Water Reminder, Waterlogged and Hydro Coach.
- Choose a water bottle that suits you
There are thousands of water bottles on the market. Some cheap, some not so much. There are water bottles that have a compartment for holding fruits to sweeten your water or are made of materials that will keep it cool or have goal markers down the side. It all depends on what appeals to you.
The H20Pal turns most bottles into a smart water bottle by sticking a tracker to your bottle base. It will monitor how much you are drinking and prompt you to take a sip via the app.
The Madefor subscription service offers you a water bottle in its introductions kit. Each time you drink a bottle’s worth in the day, you remove a bed for an old-fashioned but effective way of tracking your progress.
LifeFuels’ bottle has built-in recyclable flavor pods at the base. You can set the flavor and control how strong it is with the push of a button.
Uncommon Good’s bottle is also a Bluetooth speaker. What else needs to be said?