This week here in Western Pennsylvania, they are calling for this whole week to be in the upper ’90’s. So today and Wednesday, I’m going to give you some tips to help you to stay hydrated. 

Everyone knows that water is an important part of taking good care of yourself, due to the dangers of dehydration, and the many benefits it provides you. However, it is all too common to not drink enough water during the day, whether because you don’t enjoy it, you don’t think you have the time, or you simply forget. 

When you get enough water during the day, it can help with:

  • Improving your skin, hair, and nails
  • Relieving headaches
  • Reducing muscle cramps
  • Helping to flush out your body
  • Improving weight loss efforts
  • Giving you more energy

Today I’m going to go over some of the different ways you can increase your water intake daily, as well as how to remind yourself it’s time to drink more.

  1. Drink Water Before Every Meal

The first tip for drinking more water on a regular basis is simple – just have a full glass of water before each meal and snack you consume, including before your morning cup of coffee. This is one of those simple reminders that allows you to drink more water, without really having to think too much about it. Train your mind to know that if you are going to put anything into your body, whether it is your breakfast or a late-night treat, you have to drink 8 ounces of water first.

This provides multiple benefits. First, of course, it reminds you to drink another glass of water. It’s also going to help your food digest a little better. Plus, it prevents you from overeating since the water helps to fill you up a little. It’s not uncommon to think you are hungry, when in fact you are thirsty. If you are no longer hungry after the full glass of water, wait a bit before eating.

You should also try to drink a glass of water before or after every other beverage you consume. If you want a can of soda with lunch, force yourself to drink the same amount of water as well.

  1. Make Your Own Infused or Flavored Water

A common problem people have with drinking water isn’t that they don’t remember to drink it, but they’re just not interested in it. This is when you have some other options. You don’t necessarily have to drink just plain filtered or tap water all day, every day. There are many ways to add flavor to your water and make it more interesting, without piling on the sugar and calories. These are just a few ways that I love to change up plain old water.

The Simple Method

If you are short on time and just want a super quick way to add flavor to your water, go with the lemon water. All you need to do is add a few lemon wedges into your water, squeezing in the juice first, then putting the wedges in it. Lemons have a lot of tart juice, so this will flavor your water quickly and easily. You can also try a mixture of lemon and lime or use other juicy fruits like grapefruit.

Fruit or Vegetable Infused Water

When you are willing to spend more time on your water, you can use other fruits, vegetables, and even herbs to flavor this water. This is called infused water, since it is a longer infusing process. You aren’t just flavoring your water with these ingredients, but adding more nutrients from the produce and herbs.

To make infused water, you should have a glass pitcher and access to filtered water preferably. Prepare your fruits, veggies, and herbs depending on what they are. Berries should be sliced so you can access the juice inside, fruits with hard skin should be peeled first. Veggies should also be peeled and chopped. Muddle your herbs to release the oils and flavors.

Add the ingredients to the bottom of the pitcher, cover with ice, then add your water. Let it sit in the refrigerator for as long as you can before drinking it, which really allows those flavors and nutrients to come through.

  1. Choose a Cup You Love to Use

Do you want to encourage yourself to drink more water? It’s all in the cup! If you use boring water bottles you don’t like, then you probably won’t drink as much water as you should. A good way to have fun with your water and remember to bring the bottle everywhere with you is to choose a water bottle that works best for you.

This might mean the overall look and color of it, or the ease of holding onto it while walking. There are so many small details in a water bottle that determine if it’s a good fit or not. For example, if you drive a lot, you want it to fit perfectly in your cup holder. On the other hand, if you bike for exercise, you may want it to have a tight lid, but one that is easy to pop off when drinking while riding.

Try out a few different cups until you feel like you have found the one that is perfect for you. Also, try to find one with a straw. Using a straw really helps you to drink more water. Why? When you use a straw, you’re more likely to swallow more at a time than when you sip directly from the bottle. Also, drinking water from a straw makes it more accessible. You’re more likely to actually sip your water during a meeting or a Zoom call if you have a straw than if you have to open a bottle every time you drink.

  1. Refill Your Cup as Soon as it’s Empty

Another little trick for drinking more water is to refill your water bottle as soon as it’s empty. This will ensure that you always have a full bottle when you need to take another sip and also gets you moving periodically throughout the day.

  1. Limit Other Drinks You Consume 

Another little trick for drinking more water is to reduce all of the other drinks you consume. This doesn’t mean drinking water 100 percent of the time and never having a cup of coffee, tea, juice or pop again. But, it does help to reduce them, so that when you are thirsty, you go for water instead. This eventually increases your water intake simply because you are going for water when you feel a thirst, and not other beverages.

Wednesday, I will go into more ways for you to up your water intake.

Come join my Facebook Group. I give more tips and recipes over at the Easy Gluten-Free Community. A private group, but always free to join.