Water is essential for life. Your body, which is about 70 percent water, requires it for digestion, circulation, respiration, heat regulation, brain function and excretion. Water helps boost your metabolism, reduce your hunger and increase energy level. Thirst is a poor indicator of hydration status, and waiting until you’re thirsty to drink means that you are already 1 to 2 percent dehydrated, which is significant. Staying hydrated throughout the day is the key to maintaining proper hydration status.
But what if you struggle getting in enough water? Maybe you’re too busy to drink or just don’t like the taste of water. Getting in your recommended 2 to 3 liters of water a day can be a challenge. Try out some of these proven strategies to help you boost your water intake.
If you find yourself so busy that you forget to drink enough water during the day, have a plan to help make it easier.
- Drink 8 ounces of water upon arising.
- Decaffeinated and herbal tea count toward your intake, so sip some tea for your morning beverage.
- Set an alarm on your phone or computer to go off at the top of every hour and drink 8 ounces each time it rings. By the end of an eight-hour workday, you will have consumed 64 ounces (about 2 liters).
Do you find the flavor of water to be, well, flavorless? Here are some of our favorite flavor enhancers that don’t any sugar or artificial flavors or colors.
- Add some zip with your favorite citrus fruit. A generous squeeze of lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit or tangerine will add flavor and a small amount of natural sugar from the fruit’s juice for a little boost.
- Make it minty. Muddle some fresh mint leaves in the bottom of your glass or water bottle. This will make your water refreshing as the essential oils in mint help to energize your body and brain.
- Invest in a water bottle with an infuser insert and fill it with berries. The fruit will flavor the water, while holding back any fruit or seeds from getting in the way when you drink.
Try experimenting with the temperature of your water.
- Some like it hot: Many people prefer warm or hot beverages like tea, especially on cold days. Green and herbal teas provide both flavor and immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Some like it cold: Ice cold water is refreshing and helpful during a workout when your core body temperature rises; drinking cold water can cool you down and extend your time to exhaustion. Place a water bottle in the freezer for an hour before exercising or fill your bottle with ice cubes and filtered water.
If you enjoy the texture of sparkling water, substitute it for regular water at any point during the day. Bottled sparkling water is relatively inexpensive, but watch out for those that contain added sugar. An alternative is to invest in a machine that makes carbonated water. These are often sold with sugary flavor enhancers, but be sure to enjoy it plain or add some flavor from lemon or lime juice.
Increasing your water intake can be easy with a little planning. Whether you have to set a reminder, add a flavor or alter the temperature, little tweaks can make a big difference in staying hydrated.