By: Emmi Buck
Other than “I should exercise more” the most common thing I hear people saying about their health is “I need to drink more water”. I myself am guilty of sometimes not drinking enough H2O, so I researched and tried some good ways to hydrate! Ideally you should drink half a gallon of water, or eight 8-ounce glasses per day. Another way to calculate how much you should be drinking is half your weight in ounces (i.e. a 200 lb. person should drink 100 ounces).
Proper hydration is a key component in overall health and wellness, just as much as diet and exercise. It can also help you achieve:
- Weight loss (your body retains water weight if you aren’t drinking the right daily amount, and when you are drinking the right amount – you have less food cravings and feel more full. It also boosts metabolism!)
- Healthier skin (less acne and/or dryness, smoother, less dull)
- Saving money! (water is usually free! Even if you choose bottled/filtered water, it’s STILL cheaper than that high sugar and fat-filled mocha or smoothie)
Here are 8 tips and tricks to get more agua goodness in your life:
1. Flavored Ice or Water – If drinking plain water bores you, add some additions to make it not-so-plain! Either freeze into flavored ice cubes, or add right into your water: berries, mini lemon wedges, fresh mint or basil, lime, cucumber slices, orange slices, or a cinnamon stick.
2. Cool and Clean Water Bottles – Having a snazzy looking bottle (I like S’well, Bobble, MiiR, and Lifefactory) will make it harder to forget it since it looks so great, and more likely to be used. Also, bottles that are really effective at keeping water cold or hot and are sturdy/useful (like Hydro Flask, Klean Kanteen, CamelBak for your backpack, or Nalgene) are more likely to inspire you to drink water. Most importantly – keep your water bottles clean! Swish 1 oz. of 3% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide around the bottle and it’s drinking rim / lid then rinse with water to ensure no yucky stuff gets on your bottle and to keep it smelling and tasting great!
3. Eat Your H20 – There are some foods that have a very high percentage of water in them like cucumber, which has almost 97% water content. They can help you stay hydrated, but don’t count them in your daily intake – just consider them a boost! Some extra watery foods include: cantaloupe, eggplant, watermelon, bell pepper, cucumber, pear, carrot, apple, strawberry, raw broccoli, iceberg lettuce (+ most other types of lettuce too), celery, and radishes (an amazing 95.3% water).
4. Be Careful with Substitutes – Just as I mentioned above with eating food high in water content, don’t count those are part of your daily minimum ounces – just like you shouldn’t count coffee, juice, smoothies, etc. Just because there is water in coffee doesn’t mean you should count it in your daily intake. When tracking your daily water consumption, just count the glasses of water!
5. Buddy System – Talk to a friend, family member, or coworker (or all of them for best results) and start a buddy system to remind each other to drink more water. Whether you and a colleague silently “cheers” your water bottles every hour in the office for a sip, or you have a group text with your cousins about how many ounces you drink daily – try to find a community of support to keep you accountable for good hydration. I actually have a buddy system with my dog! I keep his water bowl by my desk and when he drinks water (which is frequently) it reminds me to have a gulp too!
6. Pee Clear Rule – Pardon the potty talk, but this is important! I learned this one 6 years ago at Burning Man and have attempted to apply it to my daily life. If you aren’t peeing clear (your urine should not be dark), drink more water!
7. Treat Yo’ Self – It may seem very kindergarten, but find some method of tracking hydration goals and rewarding yourself if you reach them. Whether it’s gold star stickers on your daily planner that add up to a shopping spree, or some kind of goal tracking app that gives you digital points of badges – find something to motivate you to drink agua!
8. Car / Public Transportation Water – If you spend any amount of time in a car (or bus or BART, etc.), always bring your water! When unexpected (or expected) traffic occurs, you should never be left thirsty because car time is a great time to hydrate.