I’m not a fan of plain water. Never have been.
But sometime during my first pregnancy, I realized how important water is for my body and the consequences of not getting enough. So I work at it.
I’m not alone in this struggle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 43 percent of the adult population in the U.S. drinks less than four cups of water per day. Even more startling is that 7 percent of grown-ups admit to consuming none!
A cold bottle of water hits the spot when you’re working out at the gym or mowing your lawn in the summer. But how do you get motivated to down some aqua at other times? Read what the experts have to say:
Creative ways to drink more water
“The best way to consume fluid is by taking small sips throughout the day instead of chugging large amounts all at once. So one of the best investments you can make is in a sturdy water bottle that can be refilled throughout the day. … there are many brands of water bottles that list the quantity of fluid right on the bottle so you know exactly how much you are drinking on a daily basis.”
— Master Sergeant Eric Haselby of the U.S. Air Force. Eric is a competitive endurance runner who holds a master’s degree in health and sports science with a concentration in exercise science and human performance. U.S. Military Endurance Sports
“To determine how much you should be drinking in a day, take your body weight and divide that number by half. That’s the minimum number of ounces you should be drinking every single day to maintain good health. If you’re an active person, that number increases.”
— Christina Moreland, certified personal trainer and online fitness coach
“Move to a straw instead of a flip top water bottle. … You want to use a water cup that you actually enjoy using but make sure it includes a straw. Ideally, the best cups will hold at least 20 ounces of water. The straw will allow you to drink more water at a time and are super simple to grab and sip. You will find yourself reaching for that cup twice as often since you hardly miss a keystroke when sipping. Bonus: The more often you fill it, the more steps you get walking to the water fountain.”
— Julie Lohre, women’s fitness expert and online personal trainer
“Start your day with 8-12 ounces of water. It’s likely been 7+ hours since your last sip of fluid. You’re dehydrated! This will help to quickly restore an optimally hydrated state and also energize you mentally and physically to begin the day. You can improve your hydration by drinking beverages other than water, so increase the variety and choose calorie-free beverages that seem more appetizing.
— Paul Salter, registered dietitian and founder of Fit In Your Dress. Paul provides personalized nutrition plans and customizable resistance training and cardiovascular plans to brides-to-be.
“Infuse a pitcher of water with fruit, vegetables and/or herbs if you don’t love the taste of plain water. Some of my favorites include cucumber, basil, berries or citrus slices. This can flavor the water and make it more palatable without adding a ton of sugar or other ingredients.
— Alyssa Cohen, registered dietitian, Fuel My Fit
More infusion ingredient ideas from Lynne Wadsworth, board-certified holistic health coach and certified wellness cooking instructor (Holistic Health & Wellness):
- Spices: cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, fresh ginger, cloves, vanilla bean
- Vegetables: celery, fennel, carrots
- Herbs: rosemary, mint, thyme, parsley, cilantro
- Fruit: melon, tropical fruits, apples, pears
“Eat fruits/veggies with high-water percentages like cucumber, celery, radish, tomato, green peppers, watermelon. All of these contain more than 90 percent water.”
— Rebecca Lewis, registered dietitian at HelloFresh
“Drink water with a habit you already do every day. For example, you can drink a glass of water each time you use the bathroom. You also can use an app to track how much water you drink. Daily Water Free is a great one and can help you set daily reminders to drink more water.”
— Sarah Pelc Graca, fitness and nutrition coach, certified personal trainer, StrongWithSarah
“Pour a glass (of water) with meals. Carry a water bottle in the car or on the train and sip. Bring a glass to the sofa at night to sip on while you watch your favorite Netflix show.”
— Rosanne Rust, registered dietitian and author, Rust Nutrition
“I have my clients drink a warm glass of water first thing after waking up … no sipping, just straight down the hatch before launching into coffees or teas. If this sounds bad, I will instruct to add a squeeze of lime or apple cider vinegar. I also have my clients line up the number of bottles they are instructed to drink (each day) as a constant reminder to get that water in before bed.”
— Adrienne Daly, personal development-based nutrition coach, AdrienneDaily
“Other liquids aid in hydration as well, such as herbal teas and vegetable juices. Just don’t count caffeinated or alcoholic drinks toward your water intake as those can actually contribute to dehydration. For every cup of coffee or glass of wine, I recommend adding an extra glass of water.”
— Denny Hemingson, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, All Access Health Pass
“Keep water in sight on your desk or in your work area. Every time you see it, take a sip and change its location so you will notice it.”
— Diana Fletcher, writer and life coach of Diana Fletcher Life Coaching.
“I always tell my clients to try and get a ‘liter before lunch.’ That way they can rest easy for the rest of the day (knowing) they’ve already gotten in a liter, and now have the rest of the afternoon and evening to get in their second liter.”
— Nicole Palacios, personal trainer, registered kinesiologist and health and fitness writer
“Try to incorporate bananas into your diet. They’re chock-full of potassium to help replenish lost electrolytes, and magnesium, which helps balance and regulate the liquids in the body. Homemade fruit smoothies, coconut water … are great ways to spice up your liquid intake for the day.”
— Dr. Nelson Matos, medical director at MedExpress Urgent Care
“Change your way of thinking, slowly. I’ve been calling water ‘liquid oxygen’ for years, even though that is not what it technically is. The name simply helps me stay aware of what it is and why I need it all the time. I need water as much as I need my next breath.”
— Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics
Drink your way to a healthier body
Our bodies are composed of 60 to 70 percent water, which helps keep us function like a well-oiled machine. When we don’t get enough water, we rob our kidneys, muscles and other vital organs of the fluid they need to work properly. This leads to illnesses, fatigue and a host of other health issues.
Choose a few creative ideas from the experts above and start enjoying the benefits of proper hydration. It’s an important step to a healthier life.
Do you have a tried-and-true plan to drink more water? We’d love to hear your strategy! Feel free to comment below.