Trying to drink more water every day can seem at best boring and repetitive and at worst well, a little torturous. But with some simple tricks, making some fun rules for yourself, and maybe getting a product or two, it doesn't have to be so difficult. Here are our best tips for drinking more water every day.
1. Add flavor to your pitcher.
You can add a little bit of excitement and flavor by steeping fresh fruit (grapefruit, strawberries, lemon), veggie slices (cucumber, ginger, celery), and herbs (basil, mint, lavender) in your carafe. Read 27 Fruit-Infused Waters to Stay Hydrated This Season to get inspiration for some tasty add-in combinations. The longer you let it steep, the tastier each cup will be. And you can play around with different combos, like cucumber mint or basil lemon.
2. Drink a glass after every bathroom break.
Start a habit by linking drinking water with one of your most common daily activities—going to the bathroom. Getting up from your desk for a bathroom break? Stop by the kitchen to chug a glass of water. It's just another way to build the habit into your daily routine. You'll already be getting up, which means it's a perfect time to stop by the water cooler or the faucet to fill up your bottle or glass. And it will set up a great cycle: The more water you drink, the more you'll have to go to the bathroom, which means the more water you will drink, and so on. Basically, it's the good kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.
3. Sip before every meal.
If you are making dinner at home, sip while you cook and prep. If you're out at a restaurant, ask for water when the server comes around to take drink orders. If you're waiting for your lunch to heat up or your toast to pop, drink water while doing it. Even if you're putting together a snack, drink that water. It's just a simple rule that will help you drink more water. Once you establish these little "rules," you'll find that you're doing it almost automatically without having to think about it or put much effort into it at all.
4. Use an app to track your cups.
I don't know about you, but for me, if an activity involves using an app, it's a lot easier for me to get into that activity, and maybe even get a little excited about it. Keeping up with how many glasses you’ve finished can be easy (and fun) with the help of a free app like Daily Water Free or Daily Water. Download them to your phone to set daily reminders and alarms. Anything that gives me an excuse to use a neat interface and gaze at a well-designed app has my vote!
5. Or take it a step further and get a high-tech water bottle.
Another thing I really love (in addition to a well-designed app) is a fun gadget and an excuse to get one. What better way to take your tracking to the next level than with the high-tech DrinKup ($69) and accompanying app? This nifty water bottle recommends your customized daily water intake, sends you notifications when it's time to sip, and logs your intake. The DrinKup keeps beverages cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. Plus, it happens to be as cool in form as it is in function. It comes in four different colors and is super sleek.
6. Dilute sugary drinks with water and ice.
If you're drinking something extra sweet like juice, lemonade, or iced tea, water down your beverage by adding ice or even diluting a cup with some water. You’ll still get the sweetness you’re craving and have some extra water at the same time. If you're not looking forward to having a less sweet version of the thing you're drinking, fair enough, and this tip might not be for you. But every now and again I order a beverage I expect to be a little sweet and discover that it's mouth-puckeringly sweet. In those cases, I don't mind adding extra ice or some water.
7. Keep a gallon jug nearby.
When I need to remember to bring something with me on a particular day or get something done, I put that something in a place I walk by or look at throughout the day so I can't pass it without being reminded to do what it is I have to do. (I've been known to tape bills I have to pay to my T.V.) Same principle here. It’s easy to remember to fill up on water when the source is nearby. Keep a gallon jug or large carafe at your desk, by the bed at home, and on the kitchen counter as a constant reminder to drink up. The more you have to look at that water jug, the more you'll remember to fill it and drink it.
8. Invest in a filter.
Depending on where you live and what you have access to, filtered water could be more of a necessity than a luxury. But even if it's not something you strictly need because of the quality of water in your area, filtered water can still taste better than what's coming out of the tap or water fountain. Also, I find that when I invest in putting a system in place, whether that investment is in the form of money, effort, or both, I find that I'm a bit more likely to make use of that system. So, all that said, consider filtration devices for your kitchen sink and for your portable bottle. Try Soma Water Filtration Carafe ($50) for home and the Bobble Classic ($10) on the go.
9. Choose sparkling or mineral water over soda.
Sure, you're not going to replace every deliciously sweet soda with seltzer but if you're anything like me, you wander over to a vending machine or the corner store or the fridge more because you're bored or want to take a break from work or want to drink SOMEthing rather than because you're jonesing specifically for a Sprite. If you're in one of those modes where just about any fizzy drink will do, choose a fizzy water. Add a squeeze of lime juice, and it's basically like drinking a fancy mocktail. Check out A Definitive Guide to the Best Sparkling Waters for a rundown of the most popular brands. You can also make your own sparkling water at home with a Sodastream ($80).
10. Eat water-rich foods.
One sneaky way to increase the amount of water you consume on a daily basis: eat your H2O. Add fruits and vegetables with a high water content to your grocery shopping list. Some top picks include cucumber (96% water), zucchini (95% water), watermelon (92% water), and grapefruit (91% water). Try these recipes to get started: Zucchini Pasta With White Beans and Grilled Chicken, Grilled Salmon Salad With Grapefruit, and Cucumber Salad.
11. Stick to a one-to-one rule when drinking alcohol.
You’ve probably heard the drinking rule: for every cocktail you drink, have one glass of water. This is a great strategy to stay hydrated while imbibing, and while some people use it in the hopes that their hangover might be a little less brutal the next day if they aren't so dehydrated, it's also a winning strategy for anyone who needs those little rules and triggers to get them to keep doing that thing they mean to keep doing but sometimes forget to (or find a way to avoid).
12. Use a marked water bottle.
There's something about seeing my progress as I go that really encourages me to keep on keeping on no matter what it is I'm working on. In fact, having a fun, visual way to see that my effort is adding up is just about the best way to get me to stick with something. And bonus points if the thing I'm using to mark my progress is as fun to look at as the progress itself. That's what makes me think that a bottle that’s marked with ounces or even hours might just help you reach your personal water goal each day. Try this colorful tumbler ($11).
13. Anytime you drain your glass or bottle, fill it back up.
Every time I let my glass or bottle sit on my desk empty, it stays that way for hours. Hours I could be filling with ounces logged. Sure, I keep telling myself I will get up and get more water any second. But do I? Nope, I sure don't. But if you make a rule that as soon as you finish a container you have to fill it back up again, well, I doubt you'll have an empty glass or bottle in your midst for more than a minute or two. You're just more likely to keep drinking if the glass is full.
14. Snack on salty stuff.
Truth be told I'm probably more of a grazer than a snacker. I'm almost never not snacking. And I notice that when I'm chomping on salted almonds or pretzels, you'd have to fight me to get my water bottle out of my hands. Everyone has different needs around sodium and different likes and dislikes for flavor, too. But if salty stuff is your jam and you're snacking anyway, why not marry the two and graze on stuff that will make you reach for your water bottle. There's nothing like salted nuts or beef jerky to get you to pound water.
15. Get into herbal tea.
What is tea but deliciously flavored water? Drink it hot in the winter and ice it in summer. Whether you like citrus, floral, spicy, or even chocolate-y, there's a tea out there for you. I love making tea during the day because it gives me a mini break from work. I love drinking it in the evening because a warm, gentle beverage always makes me feel a little calmer. A hot mug of tea on a winter afternoon or an ice cold glass in the summer are just about the best two things ever. Lean in to tea, form a tea habit, and enjoy the hydration.
16. Keep water bottles filled up around the house and in your car and all your bags.
I don't know about you but I routinely leave the house without filling up my water bottle and instead of buying it when I'm out, which seems wasteful, especially when I have my (empty) refillable bottle with me, I just wait till I get somewhere I can refill it, which might mean I go without water for hours. This means many valuable hours of potential water-drinking time go down the drain (pun very much intended). Don't be like me: Keep full water bottles in your most trafficked places as well as in bags, your car, on your bike, etc. There's no bad place to keep a full water bottle!
17. Set a deadline for every eight ounces.
"Get this one big thing done by the time you go to sleep," is way too vague of a directive to encourage me to work on the thing. It just feels to big and overwhelming. That's why something like "drink eight glasses of water today" (which isn't accurate, anyway) on it's own wouldn't do much for me. But if you tell me to drink two glasses of water by 10 A.M., four by lunch, and six by 2 P.M., you better believe I'll make it happen. Bite-size goals throughout the day are what make something feel even remotely do-able to me. I imagine it would be the same for hitting my hydration goals.
18. Make a rule that every time you work out, you'll bring a water bottle and finish the whole thing.
Basically staying hydrated when you work out is a must so instead of sipping at the water fountain between sets or thinking of that post-run coffee as hydration (we've all done it), make a point of filling and then finishing a bottle of water every single time you exercise (or sip and down the rest after you've finished your session). It's another way to associate an activity with getting your water in and since this particular activity really benefits from water, why not make it a rule? Of course, everyone's needs around hydration are different and no one likes to feel sloshy when they exercise, but even just some sips before, during, and after your workout will mean a drained water bottle in no time.
19. Get some cool reusable straws.
If you use a straw, you will drink faster, which will mean you will drink more. Besides, who doesn't want a nifty accessory to make their task a little more fun? But skip the disposable plastic straws which are flimsy and, of course, not good for the planet. Try some colorful twisty straws ($6) or some elegant, sleek-looking stainless steal ones ($25). There's nothing like outsourcing effort when you can and when a straw is in the mix it's almost difficult to not suck down an entire glass or bottle of water.
20. Drink a glass of water every time you're waiting for coffee to brew.
Working in an office, I notice that a lot of people's stand around time takes place when they're in the kitchen waiting for their coffee to finish brewing. And the same goes for me when I'm at home. I've been known to stand there at the counter and just stare at the coffee pot, just waiting for that sweet, sweet brew to fill the carafe. Basically, I have enough time to stand there and stare but not enough time to do much of anything else. So, why not put another one of those little tricks into action and make a rule that any time you're waiting for coffee, you finish a glass of water?
21. Make transitions in your day opportunities to chug water.
Look, we're all already doing certain things everyday: getting out of bed, getting into bed, brushing our teeth, having breakfast, doing the dishes, going for a walk, etc. etc. Basically, if you tie each of these transitions to drinking water, before you know it you will have hit your goals. Getting up for a walk? Drink a glass of water. Going to lunch? Drink water. Leaving the house? Drink water. Coming home? Drink water. Going to get the mail? Sitting down to play video games? Walking over to get your book and then sit on the couch to read? Drink that water!
22. Reward yourself for hitting your goals.
There's nothing like a reward, even a small one, for accomplishing something you set out to do. It just makes you want to keep hitting that goal! Make a rule that if you hit your goal every day for a week, you get yourself that fancy coffee beverage or spend even longer than usual binging on Netflix or scrolling through Instagram. Maybe after you've hit all your water goals for a month or two or six, you reward yourself with something even more significant. Sure, hydration and the health benefits of water are their own reward but we could all use a supplemental reward every once in a while!