Hydration is key — here are 12 Ways To Remember To Drink Water.
Hydration is important every day no matter how hot or cold the weather is. The beginning stages of dehydration can make you feel a little lethargic, may cause headaches, cause a feeling of “hunger” yet it’s thirst, dry skin, chapped lips, and constipation.
Water plays a role in metabolism, cellular membrane function, regulating our body temperature (sweating is a great example), aiding in digestion to break down foods, helps deliver oxygen throughout your entire working body, aids in digestion from saliva production (which also houses digestive enzymes), lubricates joints, helps our brains create hormones and neurotransmitters, keeps our mucosal membranes moist (think of your lung and digestive tissues), transports nutrients from our foods (especially water-soluble vitamins), and keeps our cells rejuvenated, reproducing, and surviving.
Focus the in-between meal time as your “hydration time”, sipping on hot tea, water, sparkling water so you’re focusing on drinking enough water.
One of my personal favorite tips I use daily is to take a large water bottle and put 3-4 rubber bands on it, each time you drink the full water bottle, take off a rubber band and repeat until all rubber bands are off the bottle. Each rubber band could represent 1 cup of water or 2 cups depending on if you’re drinking other beverages throughout the day.
How Much Water Do I Need?
The “golden rule” for the amount you should drink is 8-10 cups a day, but we’re all so different that a better guideline may be to start from the 10 cups a day, then adjust depending on your activity level, climate, digestion, etc.
You’ll need increased amounts if you exercise and sweat if you’re active throughout the day if you’re not eating enough water-containing foods, or if you eat a high fiber diet. Also, pay attention to the color of your urine – ideally, it should be pale yellow/clear, and if it’s dark yellow this is a good indicator you may need much more water.
Otherwise, chat with a licensed dietitian to help you figure that out. Side note, don’t forget foods also contain water — cucumbers, watermelon, lettuces, etc.
12 Ways To Remember To Drink Water
Here are creative ways and tips to stay hydrated throughout the day and to help remember to drink enough water throughout the day.
1. Use a colorful water bottle
There are so many fancy water bottles from the self-cleaning to the colorful, to the more simple camper-style water bottles. Whatever resonates with you and your style, match your water bottle to it to encourage you to bring it around more and leave it in your sight.
Check out these brands to find one you like:
- Swell Bottle
- My Bkr
2. Hourly alarms
Set alarms on your phone that encourage you to drink more water. It can be as simple as naming your alarm “Hey, drink some water!”. Added bonus, if you’re trying to get more steps in that day you can name the alarm “Get up to grab a glass of water!” A gentle nudge is all you need.
3. Drinking out of a clear container
This can help you visualize how much water you have already consumed and how much more you have to go! Added bonus if you have sliced lemon instead for a little visual motivation and inspiration to sip.
4. Place water bottles wherever you frequent
For example, keeping a water bottle with you at all times, but for ease, keeping one in the car, one at the office, one in the gym bag, etc. can ensure that you have a water bottle wherever you go no matter if you accidentally leave one behind!
5. Make markings on your bottle
Mark dots or markings on your water bottle where each dot or marking represents a cup of water. If you put 8 dots on your water bottle or the goal amount of servings you want to drink in that bottle, then move a rubber band down the dots as you drink 1 cup.
6. Dress it up
Have you heard of our popular simply infused waters? Try this hack when you need to make your water more exciting by adding sliced lemons, limes, mint, etc. Make your own spa water to keep with you all day long!
We love the powdered electrolyte drink mixes by Everly. They’re made with natural and plant-based sweeteners, contain 100mg of electrolytes, both the Hydration and Belly Health mixes are caffeine-free and taste delicious! We love the Grape and Fruit Punch flavors the best.
Additionally, they’re so easy to use. You can add them to your favorite water bottle and shake it up for on-the-go hydration or simply stir into the water at home or at the office.
Hydration habit tip: keep your Everly stocked close by your water bottles, drinking glasses, water filter, or your desk to remember to add this layer of hydration into your hydration routine.
Everly also offers an Energy line with 120mg of caffeine per serving if you’re looking for an energy boost! They were generous to offer a special discount code to the Nutrition Stripped community by clicking here and using the coupon code NUTRITIONSTRIPPED for 15% off!
7. Make it tea
Technically not just “water”, but adding a teabag to your water can infuse it with a little flavor and little antioxidants from the tea leaves. Learn how to make herbal infusions by using your favorite herbs and teas.
8. Plan the night before
Start off your day by drinking plenty of water after you wake up, by planning it the night before. Before you go to bed, fill up a large water bottle and put it by your nightstand or in the bathroom so that first thing in the morning you can hydrate.
9. Use a reusable straw
Creating a mindful eating and drinking experience includes the small details like what utensils you’re using, where you’re enjoying that meal or beverage, and how easy you make the process for yourself, so don’t forget the small details.
We recommend having a reuseable straw on hand which not only helps cut back on single-use plastic but can encourage the habit of drinking water.
10. Use an app
There are some apps such as the water tracker app or gallon a day app that helps you measure your water intake. If you’re on your phone like most of us daily, then this could be a great one to use and push notifications.
I also love the app called Tally where you can customize your goal each day of how many glasses of water you drink, and after you drink a class you simply hit the tally to stay accountable and track how much you’re drinking.
11. Have backups
Fill several mason jars or water bottles and keep them cold in the fridge. That way when you’re ready to leave or just hanging out at home, drinking water is so convenient.
12. Make time markers
Set goals, so that by a certain time of day you’ve consumed your goal water intake. Setting goals for time can help you stay on track with how many you drank already and how many you have left to go.
Staying hydrated can be an enjoyable practice when you understand the reasons why it’s important to keep hydrated and when you can infuse some mindfulness into the practice. Which tip are you going to try?
Article + photos by McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™
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