You probably already know you should drink more water. Being busy or bored by water can make it difficult to remember to drink enough, so it’s important to find ways around these challenges. Part of maintaining good health is finding ways to incorporate better habits into your day to day life. That may mean enlisting other people to help, or turning it into a game, or simply using the tools you have at your disposal to help you make it a part of your daily routine.
If you get sick frequently, have digestive issues, or always feel tired, those could be signs that you aren’t drinking enough water. Try these 15 tips for tricking yourself into drinking more water and see which ones work best for you!
1. Buy a reusable water bottle
Single-use plastic water bottles are bad for the environment and a waste of money if you have access to clean drinking water. Purchase a reusable water bottle to carry with you at all times so you can stay hydrated no matter where you go. Buying a stylish water bottle you like to look at will help you remember to take it with you. Or buy a few and match them to your outfits! At work or at home, place the bottle somewhere that it’s always in your line of vision and can serve as a reminder to drink whenever you see it.
2. Mark your bottle
If your water bottle will allow you to write on it with a dry erase marker, write your goals directly on your bottle. Draw lines every few inches, and mark them with times of the day, depending on how many ounces you want to drink each hour. After you drink the entire bottle, erase the times and start over.
3. Give your water the spa treatment
If you find plain water boring, you can naturally flavor your water with healthy options such as lemon, cucumber, or berries. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite. Watch out for powdered flavors, which can contain unhealthy additives such as artificial sweeteners.
Cut up your fruits and let them soak overnight if possible for the most flavor, then refill your water bottle when it’s half empty to retain some of the flavor. You can also buy a water bottle with a built-in fruit infuser to make it easier. Not only will you find yourself drinking more water, you’ll get the added benefit from all the antioxidants and vitamins in your fruit!
4. Set reminders on your phone
Nowadays, most of us always have our phones close at hand. Use yours to help you stay on track with your hydration goals. Using your calendar app, set regular reminders to drink.
Use language that relates to your overall health goals so that you aren’t just telling yourself to drink, you’re reminding yourself why it’s important and how it will help you move closer to your goals. For example, if you tend to snack in the middle of the afternoon, set an alert to remind yourself that thirst is often disguised as hunger, and drinking a big glass of water now may help you stay away from the chips in the break room later.
5. Use a water tracking app
If you want to go a step further with your mobile device, download an app that will not only give you reminders to drink, but also allow you to track your water intake. Multiple water apps are available that will allow you to set goals, schedule alerts, and even earn points for hitting your hydration targets.
6. Chug water when you wake up
It’s normal to feel dehydrated first thing in the morning. Your body hasn’t had any water in 8-10 hours, and you may feel sluggish or have a headache. Try keeping a water bottle next to your bed so you can drink it immediately after you wake up, or go straight to the bathroom and fill up your glass.
It may be tempting to turn on the coffee pot first thing in the morning, but coffee will only dehydrate you even further. Drink extra water before and after your coffee fix to make sure your body gets the hydration it needs.
7. Eat your water
Who says you always have to drink your water? Certain foods contain a very high water content, which means they can help contribute to your hydration goals.
Snack on foods such as cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruit throughout the day to add even more beneficial liquids into your diet.
8. Try a different kind of water
If you’re bored with tap water, try the sparkling variety! Mineral water or seltzer water can add a little pizzazz to your beverage without the added sugars of soda or other flavored drinks. But go easy on the carbonated water — it contains carbonic acid, which can damage tooth enamel.
9. Turn it into a competition
Most Americans are chronically dehydrated, so it’s not a bad idea to get your friends or coworkers to join you in your efforts to drink more water.
Set up a poster or dry erase board at work where you and your coworkers can keep track of how much water you drink. Give the winner each week some sort of reward, like the right to choose the lunch destination on Friday.
10. Balance your alcohol
Alcohol is very dehydrating, and dehydration is the the primary reason you feel hungover the morning after a big drinking session. Make sure you stay hydrated and reduce your risk of a hangover by drinking one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume.
11. Exercise more
Nothing puts you in the mood to drink water more than a good sweat session. Exercise causes you to sweat, and your body will naturally want to replace the water lost with more water. Whether you go to the gym or out for a run, take your water bottle with you. And don’t fall for the advertising gimmick that you need to refuel with a sugary sports drink — regular water does the trick just fine after exercise.
12. Treat yourself for meeting goals
We’re all motivated by incentives. Giving yourself a little reward for meeting your weekly water goals is a great way to stay motivated.
Keep good records throughout the week, either with an app or using your calendar or planner. If you’re successful in your hydration goals, you’ve earned a treat! Try to make it something not related to food. Buy yourself a new water bottle or workout tank. If you fail to meet your goal, give yourself a tiny punishment, like an extra set of squats at the gym (which will ultimately benefit you, too!)
13. Make your own ice pops
Popsicles are the perfect end to a summer day (or any day, for that matter). And by making your own, you’ll save yourself a lot of sugar and add to your water intake in the process.
All you need is water, a mold, and the fruit of your choice. Freeze for a few hours or overnight and you’ll have a delicious and healthy frozen treat.
14. Find a drinking buddy
You’re not alone in your desire to drink more water. Find a friend with the same goal and support each other in your efforts. Being accountable to someone else makes it a lot easier to stay on track, and by encouraging each other in your hydration goals, you’ll also be supporting each other in your larger health goals, whether that’s to lose weight, get fit, or eat a healthier diet.
Every day might not be successful, but having someone who will check on you could be the nudge you need in the right direction.
15. Learn to love it
Whether you’re working out, choosing healthier foods, or drinking more water, healthy behaviors often become addictive once you start to see the results. If you make a conscious effort to drink more water, you’ll start to love the changes you see in your energy level, your skin, and your overall wellness. Before long, drinking more water (and fewer sugary drinks like soda) will be a regular part of your daily routine as you move closer to your health and wellness goals.
Need help meeting your weight-loss and wellness goals? Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers offer personalized weight-loss plans with consistent, professional support to help you reach and maintain your goal weight. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation!
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on January 15, 2018