As we head into the summer months, hydration becomes a huge issue. In fact, up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, getting fewer than the recommended 8 to 10 cups per day. Are you one of them? If so, here are some simple ways to ensure you drink more H2O on the regular.
Drink First Thing
One of the easiest ways to add more water into your day is to grab a glass when you wake up. Establish this habit as part of your everyday routine, and you'll find yourself guzzling more often. I like to start my day with plain water — no ice — and a generous squeeze of lemon. Warm water absorbs into your system more readily and the lemon gives you a boost of antioxidants.
Carry a Bottle
Keeping your water close by is another sure way to get you drinking. Bottles come in all materials from BPA-free plastic to glass to stainless steel and beyond.
Use an App
Keeping a mental tally of how many glasses you down in a day can be hard. Use technology to help keep track! You can download Waterlogged for free like over a million people across the globe have done. You'll see charts and have the option to upgrade for reminders. Either way, tracking takes less than a minute out of your day.
Sip Before Meals
Try drinking a couple glasses of water before you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You won't just stay hydrated, you might also shed some extra pounds. In a 2010 study published by Obesity, individuals who drank two glasses of water before their meals ate less throughout the day. They lost more weight over a 12-week period than the control group.
If you really hate sipping on a glass of water, try eating foods that are drowning in the stuff. Many fruits and veggies boast over 90% water content. Snack on watermelon, tomatoes, broccoli, grapefruit, cucumber, and more. You'll be getting more whole foods in your diet to boot.
There are so many ways you can flavor water — from store-bought pouches to recipes you'll find online. One of my favorites? This sweet watermelon water. Combine seedless watermelon with water in your blender. Sweeten with Stevia or your favorite substitute. Absolutely delicious.
You can also purchase an inexpensive water infusion pitcher to keep in your fridge. Pop in different fruits and let the flavors mingle. I love using sliced cucumbers to replicate my favorite spa water at home. But anything from citrus to berries to stone fruits will do. You can even refill it a few times without having to replace the fruit (just make sure it's within a couple days).
Use Ice Cubes
Put lots of ice into your beverages throughout the day. After all, ice is just frozen water. Right? By cooling down your juice or soda, you'll also sneak several ounces down the hatch without even thinking about it. Who knows, eventually you might skip the other drinks and go straight for the pure stuff.
Get a Filter
Sometimes your tap water's taste can be less than appealing. And despite what you might think, bottled water isn't always the answer. Try using water filters at your tap or filter pitchers in your refrigerator. They can take out many impurities and improve the taste of your tap water. Bottled water can cost up to a whopping 10,000 times more per gallon anyway, so save your pennies.
Banish Sugary Beverages
I have a policy at home where I only drink water (or wine). I've decided that I'll save all other drinks for dining out or special occasions. This is a wonderful method to try if you're hooked on soda or other high caloric beverages. You'll drink more healthy water and also trim your waistline with all those calories you'll save.