Staying hydrated is good for you—there isn’t much to dispute about that. But while drinking lots of water seems simple enough, almost everyone I know struggles to drink enough of it. Whether it’s because they don’t like water, don’t have it on hand all the time, or forget to drink it, there are a variety of reasons people struggle.
If you’re part of the dehydration club, read on to find out how you—yes, YOU!—can drink enough water for once and reap the considerable benefits.
1. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere
This is the technique that works for me. In a completely disgusting show of privilege, I don’t really like drinking water. It bores me. But it’s both free of charge (most of the time) and free of sugar, so I’d rather drink water than juice.
Having a water bottle on hand makes it harder for me to avoid sipping good ‘ol H20. If I’m thirsty and the water bottle is right there, I’ll reach for it, even though water’s not my favorite. Thirst is a more powerful force than mild distaste.
My water bottle of choice is the CamelBak Chute, which is cheap, doesn’t drip or leak, and has a spout that lets you sip while walking without spilling half the bottle on yourself.
2. Add fruit to your water
Oh, you fancy, huh? If you’re like me and don’t really enjoy flavorless drinks, add fruit slices, cucumber, or herbs to your water and feel like you’re at a classy spa.
3. Mark your water bottle with goals
Want to drink half a bottle by 11am? Mark it on your bottle. Draw a line with permanent marker. Write “11am” next to it. Feel accomplished when you meet your goals.
4. Insert hydration into your daily routine
Maybe you drink a glass of water after every bathroom break. Maybe you drink a glass with every meal. Tie hydration to an aspect of your daily routine and stick with it.
5. Let technology help you
There are smart water bottles out there just dying to keep you sipping. We tried and liked the Ozmo smart cup, which reminds you to drink throughout the day and makes it feel like a fun game. Apps like Daily Water and Carbodroid can also help you meet your hydration goals. Or, if you want a low-tech extra, we really like the Thermos Intak, which has a rotating meter built into the lid to help you track water consumption.
6. Filter your water
If all that’s standing between you and drinking enough water is the fact that your local tap water tastes kind of funky, you may want to purchase a filter. Keep a Brita pitcher in the fridge or on your counter so you always have filtered water available at home. Carry a Bobble or other filtering water bottle when you’re out and about. I’m biased because I think the Bobble looks adorable, but I swear that before I lost mine it made my water taste better.
7. Eat lots of fruits and veggies
Fruits and vegetables have a lot of water, and you should be eating them anyway so you’re basically killing two birds with one stone. Produce consumption is no replacement for drinking water, but it’s a great supplement to increase hydration. Some product contains more water than others, so you may want to load your cart with items like cucumber, spinach lettuce, tomatoes, grapes, cherries, watermelon, and strawberries. Eat them raw—cooking with them gets rid of a lot of moisture.
8. Eat foods that make you thirsty
Be careful with this one, because eating too much salt or giving yourself a stomachache isn’t good for you, but nothing gets a person gulping down water like a spicy or salty meal. Maybe it’s time to invest in a hot sauce collection—and use it.
9. Buy special cups or mugs
It seems simple, but when I have special mugs that I love, I enjoy using them. And therefore I end up sipping all kinds of beverages from these mugs when I otherwise might not be hydrating much at all. Get yourself a cup that fits nicely in your hands, that has the perfect heft to it. Maybe it makes you feel fancy, or it has a cute picture on it, or it has an image of your coworker’s face (don’t ask). Use your special cup constantly and don’t feel like you have to stick to hot beverages if it’s a mug or wine if it’s a wine glass—you do you, friend!
10. Educate yourself
It’s tough to do everything you should be doing for your health. I understand if hydration isn’t at the top of your list—it’s often been at the bottom of mine. But one of the best ways to make yourself drink more water is to understand why you should be drinking enough water.
And how much water is enough? It varies from person to person, but Lifehacker has some helpful tips as to how much water you should be drinking every day. At the very least, it’s good to know what your goal should be.