7 Tips for Consuming More Water
Keeping up your water intake is vital to your overall health and it goes far beyond wanting to lose weight or grow bigger muscles, though it helps with those goals too. There are an endless number of reasons why drinking more water is good for you. A simple Google search for “benefits of drinking water” returns over 18 million results, with many of the articles on the first page containing multiple reasons.
So, how much water should you be drinking per day?
It’s actually a fairly easy calculation: Take your body weight and multiple it by 0.5 to estimate your daily intake needs in ounces. If you divide that total by 8, you’ll get the total number of cups you need to drink per day. As a formula it looks like this:
I know you’re saying to yourself right now “I can’t possibly drink that much water every day. I hate the taste of water.” I understand. It’s hard. If I can do it, you can too.
To help you consume more water, here are a few tips that have helped me over the years:
- Add lemon, lime or cucumber slices. This will add flavor to water and make it tastier to consume. If you’re looking for additional reasons why you should consider using lemons, here are 10 more reasons. While I prefer lemons, I will switch it up from lemons once in a while to introduce a new flavor which almost always leads to me consuming more water.
- With or without ice. Going from ice cubes to crushed ice to no ice can help you to consume more water. It introduces different textures and therefore can helps you to not feel as though you’re drinking the same thing over and over. Sounds silly but it works.
- Use a reward system. Reward yourself for hitting milestones on your way to consume your daily water intake. It could be that you won’t allow yourself to visit your favorite website until you consume 2 glasses of water to start the day. Or maybe once you reach 50% of your daily water intake you’ll take a break from work to play with your dog for a few minutes. Whatever it is, put a reward system into place.
- Always have a glass of water near you. Your water consumption will significantly increase per day simply by having water around you at all times. Wherever I am I typically have water within arm’s reach. There is always a glass on my desk and a Nalgene bottle in my car. If you see me at an event, I usually will have water with me.
- Try using a straw. Do you typically suck down drinks when you’re at a restaurant or ordering fast food? Start using straws at home or buy a reusable water bottle with a nozzle.
- Different size glasses or water bottles. Similar to trying water with or without ice, try using different size glasses. If you’re going to use this tip, make sure you know how many ounces the glass is so that you can properly track your daily intake. If you’re unsure how much liquid the glass can hold, a simple way to find out is to fill the glass with water then pour the water into a measuring cup. I prefer larger glasses that hold between 14-16 oz because I’ve found that I consume more water that way.
- Use water as a replacement for other drinks. If you’re headed to the fridge to grab a soda or fruit juice, turn toward the sink and fill up with water. You are most likely simply thirsty and not actually craving the soda or juice you were headed for. Substitute it with water.
If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, you are taking in water from those sources and you are also taking in water from the other fluids that you drink. While this helps, I personally don’t like to rely on the percentage of water coming from these soures. I prefer to count that as bonus water points for the day.
I drink more than a gallon of water per day. After years of drinking upwards of 2 liters of soda per day, I now only drink a glass of diet soda every few days or so. Other than my protein shakes, the only other liquid that I consume in addition to water are wine during the week and another type of alcoholic beverage on my cheat day, either beer, a mixed drink or margaritas.
For this coming week try consuming the amount of water the above formula tells you and to help yourself out, try a few of the tips above.
Question: What helps your to consume more water each day? Leave a comment below to let me know.
Photo Credit: pinksherbet