We hear it all the time: Drink more water! And we all know we should drink more… but other than preventing a painful death from dehydration, drinking more water has some amazing benefits that can improve your life pretty quickly.
Why Should You Drink More Water?
- You will look better. Yes, it’s true. By being better hydrated, your skin gets that lovely glow, and it can even clear up minor imperfections. Whoo!
- You may fit your pants better. Seriously! By drinking more water, your body retains less. Maybe because it knows you will drink more soon?
- You may lose weight. A recent study of almost 20,000 people found that by only drinking ONE PERCENT more water a day, most people reduced their daily intake of not only calories, but also saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.[i]
- You will have more energy and be smarter. Alright, maybe not smarter. But even mild dehydration can make you feel tired and impair mood, memory and brain performance.[ii]
So now that you know why you should drink more water (to look and feel fantastic), how can you make sure you stay hydrated? After all, no one wants to give up their morning coffee for tap water. I am the Queen of tricking motivating myself to do things I don’t want to. Here are five hacks to drink more water that I have used myself.
5 Ways to Drink More Water
Tracking is a great visual tool to encourage yourself to do more of anything. You can see not only how you are doing that day, but also over time. Plus, if you track regularly, you might see patterns that change how you do things.
For example, maybe you see that you don’t hit your water goals on Mondays, and that is the day you are driving the kids to activities. The days you do hit your goals are the days you have your water bottle with you at home. This might help you remember to bring enough water (for everyone) on those busy days.
There are lots of ways to track your water habit: on a chart on the fridge, a spreadsheet, on the calendar… But my favourite for this is to use an App. If you use the app MyFitnessPal https://www.myfitnesspal.com already, you can track your water there. Alternatively, there are tons of drinking water apps available on the App Store.
I know a lot of planner-lovers (hellooo Bullet Journalists!), and people who believe that things only get done if you plan to do them. Planning can work for increasing your water intake as well. Have a look at your day, and see where adding water fits in. Some of these might work for you:
- Drink one small glass on the hour
- Drink one water bottle full between the times you eat
- Set an alarm for when you want to drink water, or use a water-drinking app to remind you
- Have a glass before/after you drop the kids off or run an errand
The trick here is to have some sort of consistency, so you don’t have a new water-plan every day. That would make the task so unmanageable and annoying that it might make you drink less water in the end.
Make it Fancy
Water can get boring for me, so this is my favourite way to trick myself into drinking more. I’m not a huge pop or juice drinker, but if you are, making fancy water might help you to increase your fluids without adding calories. Bonus! Simple ways to make your water taste better are:
- Use that Soda Stream that you got for Christmas last year, and make bubbly water. Yes, adding bubbles can make you bloated if you drink enough, but it is better than not drinking any!
- Drink herbal teas. There are so many flavours of decaffeinated tea out there, that there has to be one for you. I drink tea most often when it is cold out or in the evening; this year, I’ll be trying to make my own healthy iced teas too. I’ll let you know how that goes (if it ever warms up here… brrr).
- Add produce. We all know you can add citrus to your water, but have you tried herbs or vegetables? Some of my favourites are:
- Watermelon or Orange with Rosemary
- Citrus with mint
- Cucumber with mint or on its own
- Check out my whole list of yummy flavour ideas here!
Imagine what fresh produce you like, then add it to a big glass, top with ice, then water. The ice helps keep the floaties down. And if you really hate floaties in your drink, try a water bottle with built-in diffuser.
This is by far one of my favourite ways to drink more water, because it is easiest. Keep a cup in the bathroom, and slam a glass of water every time you pee. It’s easy to remember, because the cup is by the sink (you always wash your hands, right?), and because you’ll be drinking more water, you’ll pee more, so you’ll drink more water, and you will pee more…
Fill a large container with water, and finish it by the end of the day. This works well if you are at home all day, but not many people want to lug a giant jug of water around while running errands.If you need some inspiration, there is a lot out there; just google “Water Jug Challenge” for some ideas. Spoiler: it involves drinking a 4L milk jug of water a day.
No matter how you do it, drinking more water than you already do is bound to make you look and feel better. In fact I think I need to pour myself another glass! Which water drinking hack is your favourite?