After oxygen, water is the most critical element humans need for survival. Additionally, getting enough water can help avoid overeating. Very few of us get enough water every day, however. Although it’s probably okay to just drink when you’re thirsty (barring any unusual medical conditions like kidney failure or dementia) a lot of people don’t even recognize thirst anymore until it’s extreme. We commonly confuse our thirst with hunger, leading us to snack instead of taking a gulp of water. Here are some tips for staying hydrated, even if your water bottle never leaves your side.
Don’t buy other beverages
If you’re bad about quenching your thirst with soda or juice, simply stop buying them. If someone you live with insists on keeping them in the house, ask them to store it where you won’t see it every time you open the fridge.
Pour your water the night before
Fill up your water bottle of choice with water the night before. This is especially helpful if you primarily drink filtered water. Sure, it’s not that hard to get water as you go, but making the healthy choice the easy choice is one of the best ways to stay on track.
Mark your water bottle by hour
If you have a hard time remembering to drink water throughout the day, consider marking hours on your water bottle. Just be careful not to overdo it! You don’t need to force yourself to drink, just remember to take a swig occasionally. You can even set reminders on your phone. If you’re not thirsty, don’t drink. But you may find that you’re actually thirsty and didn’t realize it until prompted.
Use frozen fruit as ice cubes
If plain water is just plain unappealing to you, find a way to make it fancy. Use frozen fruit to cool your water, or put cut up citrus slices into a water jug you keep in the fridge. You’ll feel like a movie star when you go to get a drink.
It’s okay to splurge on a water bottle that will encourage you to drink from it more often. If that camo aluminum water bottle makes you feel like a secret agent in the field, get it! If you love the BPA-free water bottle with cats or zombies on it, go for it. You don’t need a big collection of water bottles, but reusable water bottles are good for you and the environment.
Flavor your water
If you just really, really cannot tolerate the taste of plain water, consider spicing it up with one of the many additives available. There are packets and concentrate bottles that can fit in a purse or pocket. Try to get one that has minimal chemicals– no food colors or scary preservatives, if possible. There are many available now that use Stevia instead of Splenda or aspartame. These products aren’t ideal, but anything that gets you drinking more water is a good idea.
What tricks do you have for staying hydrated?