Tips to Drink More Water
Drinking more water seems to be a common goal in the fitness community. And for good reason! I won’t bore you with all the benefits, suffice to say there are many. Google them if you’d like, but chances are you know you should drink your water and probably need to up your intake.
The old rule of thumb has always been eight 8-oz glasses of water per day – aka 64 oz or just under 2L (conversion cred: the almighty Google). Many live by a newer, although not that new, rule of thumb: half of your body weight (in lbs) in ounces. Example: if you weigh 150 lbs you should be drinking 75 oz of water each day.
You might think this sounds crazy, especially if you’re just starting out and literally only drink water when you accidentally swallow some in the shower, but it’s totally doable. Consider how many ounces of other liquids you’re consuming in a day and you might be surprised to discover the volume (of perhaps less healthy options) you’re already drinking.
That 32 oz cup of pop from the gas station or 20 oz bottle of soda from the vending machine? (Sidebar: do you say soda or pop or Coke? I say pop.) That 3rd cup of morning coffee? The 2 pints of beer at happy hour? It adds up quickly and fills a pretty big cup! Not to mention the sugars, caffeine, and calories that may not contribute to a healthy lifestyle or weight loss, depending on your goals. You can easily get your hydration on with a little mindful effort. Read on for some tips to have your pee nearly clear in no time.
1. Get a designated water bottle. Pick a big one, pick a small one, use one you already have on hand, buy a new pretty one. Doesn’t matter, just get one and make sure you know how much it holds. Personally, I use a 32 oz insulated bottle with a spill-proof/leak-proof lid and cap. I like that it holds ice, keeps my water cold for hours, and easily transportable.
2. Fill it first thing in the morning. Before breakfast, before coffee, fill your bottle with water and drink it as you make breakfast and brew coffee. Have it with you while you get ready in the morning. Drink some when you get outta the shower, after you finish shaving, between penciling on your right and left brows, while you’re deciding what to wear, and – if the very idea doesn’t gross you out – while you take your morning dump.
3. Take it everywhere with you. Literally everywhere. Every room of your house you move to. Every meeting. Every short trip in the car. Every appointment. This is a good reason to have a bottle that’s easily portable. I’m typically on the go and carrying a bazillion things and/or children at all times so my 32 oz bottle is as big as I will go. Anything larger is too cumbersome and heavy to tote around, and wouldn’t fit in the car cup holder. Although a larger one may be nice as a weapon to club an attacker to a pulp, I bet I could do some serious damage with the one I have if I had to. A bottle with a clip of it’s own is nice to hook them onto diaper bags, strollers, gym bags, backpacks, purses, etc. One with a looped cap works great, too – just get yourself some carabiners and start clipping.
4. Chug it. Channel shotgunning beers in college, but with water. Every time your bottle touches your lips, take at least 5 big gulps instead of a quick, dainty sip. This makes a huge difference. You’re not at a tea party with the Queen. You’d be surprised how quickly you can get to your ounce target when you’re drinking with a purpose.
5. Mix it up a little. If you need to keep things interesting, try adding flavoring to one of your bottles (make sure it supports your goals in terms of calories, sugar, etc because otherwise it defeats the purpose). I wouldn’t suggest doing this for more than 24 of your daily ounces, just to keep you from getting bored and away from sugar-laden pop, juice, or gourmet coffees when you most need the help. If it’s hardest for you to drink water in the morning, flavor your first bottle. If you’re finding you slow down in the afternoon, flavor that bottle. Just keep yourself drinking. I like using a 10 calorie Crystal Light packet now and then, and I typically enjoy a hot decaf tea in the evening.
6. Establish some rules that work for you. I know, I know, you’re thinking, but Rachelle, isn’t drinking an ocean’s worth of water in a day a challenging enough rule to follow in itself? Yes, and I tip my cap to you for putting in the effort. Don’t worry – this part is easy and you get to set the rules. Here are just a few ideas: Don’t allow yourself to have a 2nd cup of coffee until you’ve finished X number of ounces of water. No afternoon can of pop until after you’ve finished your total ounces for the day. Tell yourself you have to have 8 oz of water before you order the 2nd round of beers or pour your next glass of wine. Your tomorrow morning self will thank me for that last one, believe you me.