Everybody knows how important it is that we drink enough water every day. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue and dry skin. Chronic dehydration can lead to kidney failure and other serious health problems. It can be difficult to drink enough water every day. How can you make sure you don’t forget to drink water every day?
First, you need to know that water intake varies by person.
Remember the 8 oz water glasses rule that we were taught as children? It’s totally false! Carissa Galloway is a certified personal trainer with BODYARMOR and a registered dietitian nutritionist. She says, that the best way to determine how much you eat is to divide your body weight in half, and then aim to consume that amount of ounces each day. If you are 150 lbs, your daily goal is 75 oz before exercising. You can get this from water and other beverages. You can count foods, including fruits, towards your daily fluid intake, but they are difficult to track so stick to the ounces goal.
You may need to drink more if you are physically active, spend time outside in heat or have medical conditions. How can you remind yourself to drink enough water? Experts share their top tips for drinking more water throughout the day.
- You can use “habit stacking” to your advantage
Katelyn Barrons, ACE Coach, tells that one of the best ways for people to remember to do something is to link that action with a routine. Drinking water is one example. Get into the habit of drinking water before you brush your teeth. It can be stacked with any other activity, such as making dinner or watching TV. Barrons states that once you tie the actions together it will be easier to remember how to do them both.
- Keep a glass of water by your bedside
Jamie Withrow, a dietitian, adds that your body is at its most dehydrated when you wake up in the morning. Withrow suggests that you can improve your hormone balance and get more energy by keeping a tall glass with you when you wake up. If you prefer to have your water cold, you can keep an empty cup next to you bed.
- You can set alarms on your phone
Some people find that drinking water on a set schedule is the best way to drink enough water. Set reminders on your smartphone if you find it difficult to stick to a schedule. Galloway recommends setting reminder alarms for every 90 minutes.
She says, “If your phone goes off and you aren’t near a source or have not had any in a while then it is time to drink up.” You can keep track of your daily schedule by setting reminders on the phone. You will eventually get used to drinking water at specific times during the day and won’t need reminders anymore.
- Set goals for yourself
You can make it a challenge to consume a certain amount of water within a given time if you are a goal-oriented person. Hillary Ake, a performance dietitian, shared that if you have a 32-ounce bottle of water, your goal is to finish it by noon and refill it by five. This is a fun and easy way to make a habit out of drinking water throughout the day.
- A water bottle should always be on hand
It will be easier to remember to hydrate if you have a water bottle that is easily visible. Make it a habit to put a bottle of water at your desk every day. Ake says that you are most likely to grab it and drink it when you’re bored at Zoom meetings or in class. If it doesn’t work, still put a bottled water at your desk. A neon sticky note can be added and written, “Drink me!” This will make it difficult to forget.
- Find out what you enjoy drinking water and make a habit of it
Water is boring compared to soda or coffee. Water is something you must drink and not something you enjoy. It’s easy to forget how much water you need. As a solution, you can figure out what water preferences you have. Ake says, “Maybe you prefer it cold so it needs to be kept in a refrigerator filter system. Or maybe you want to add flavor to it and use a water enhancer. Or maybe you drink more water if it’s in a stylish container.” You can find something that you like, then make it a habit.
- Use an app
There are apps for everything, even water. Jenn EspinosaGoswami, Holistic Health Coach, recommends Plant Nanny. This game will see your plant die if it doesn’t get enough water each day. She says, “I used it during the pandemic to increase my water intake and it worked well.”