It's no secret that we should all be drinking water and yet, I don't know about you, but I definitely go through phases when I don't drink nearly enough. In recent months I've been really making an effort to up my H2O intake and I've succeeded, but if I'm honest, it didn't start out as an easy transition. I have always preferred the cool, crisp, flavoursome appeal of a cold can of diet soda or a hot cup of coffee, but deep down I've always known that H2O is the way to go. In my constant effort to be a bit more healthy and stay fit, I made a decision to nix the sodas all together and cut my coffee intake down considerably in favour of hydration and I'm happy to say that after almost 3 months, I'm pretty reliant on my constant water intake. It is possible to drink more with a few simple hacks to help you get there... Keep reading to see my tips for how to drink more water on the regular.
1. Invest in your goal - buy bottled water (at least temporarily).
I have always have been more likely to drink a good amount of water throughout the day when I have bottled water regularly available. I'm not sure if it's the taste or more likely if it's that I'm very unlikely to throw out or waste something I've paid for. When I decided to drink more water, I invested in my goal by ordering multiple 6 packs of 1.5 litre bottles of water. They're big enough that I don't have to refill them all the time, I can tote them with me everywhere whether I'm at home going from room to room or on-the-go and they make it fairly easy to track how much I've had. The idea of drinking 1.5 litres of water in a day can seem daunting if you're not used to it, but once you see how easy it is to polish off a big bottle of the good stuff in a day, it just shows you how much you wanted or needed and how easy it really is. Added bonus: I have also found that by buying them in bulk from the grocery store, I'm saving a lot of cash. The individual bottles of water I was buying here and there were nearly as expensive for one as a 6-pack is from the grocery store. I've been doing this experiment for nearly 3 months and my water intake has at least doubled, however as I've gone along and become more used to drinking water all day, I've increased the use of reusable water bottles and decreased my dependence on plastic ones. Throughout the whole process I've recycled as well, but the initial investment in buying water helped to get me on the H2O wagon.
2. Add some flavour...
Lemon, lime, cucumber, berries, other citrus fruits... The sky is the limit when it comes to flavouring water and with all the infusion water bottles on the market these days, it's easy peasy. During the summer, if you want to be really creative, you can freeze berries and bits of fruit with water in your ice trays to make fruity ice cubes for your glass of H2O.
3. Spice it up!
I've heard people say before that they just can't drink that much water because they're not that thirsty. For me personally, I find it the hardest when I'm cold. It's just not what I crave when I'm freezing and there's any standard of hot, comforting coffee within a 5 mile radius. Here's a tip: eat something spicy. Heating up your meals will have you reaching for the H2O without hesitation and you'll hydrate naturally without even thinking about it.
4. Swap fizz for fizz...
If fizzy drinks are what you typically enjoy, start swapping sparkling water for soda. Even if you just swap out one a day for the first week, you'll find you start getting used to it and you'll be able to drink even more water the following week. It doesn't need to be boring... There are plenty of sparkling water drink options available these days such as Sparkling Ice or you can add flavours yourself with cordials, squash or some fruit. The fruity ice cubes mentioned above work well for this too! Eventually, if you want to wean off the fizz, start by mixing half sparkling water with half still and decrease the sparkling little by little until it's gone.
5. One for one...
If you're having trouble giving up your favourite drinks whether they be juice, coffee, tea, alcohol or sodas, don't sweat it... Make a deal with yourself that you'll have one for one. If you have a cup of coffee, you'll also have a glass of water. This rule is especially helpful when you're out for drinks as it will help to you stay hydrated and make the hangover at least a little less dreadful.
6. Treat yo'self!
If you're serious about drinking a lot of water, you'll want to have a cute water bottle or 10... I have a few different ones in a variety of sizes and they all have their specific uses. One is just big enough and yet still fits in the cup holder on the machines at the gym, one is smaller for short jaunts outside, one is really big for long walks... I've got all the ones I need and I find them so handy. If you have a water bottle you're excited to use, you'll drink out of it more often, so treat yo'self!
7. Size matters.
Tricking yourself into drinking more water can be a Go big or go home game. I personally found that if I had a larger bottle of water near me, I drank more. I never had to worry about a refill or even think about it really... When the water is there, I drink it - simple as that. If you're struggling to drink as much as you want, make sure you've got a big glass, tumblr or water bottle everywhere you need one or make like the guys at the gym who tote around gallon jugs of H2O with them and get yourself a few water jugs of your own. Have one at the office, one at home, one by the bed and one you take to the gym and I bet you'll find with fewer refills required, you'll be guzzling more H2O than usual.
8. Hydration break...
Make a pact with yourself to refill or drink water every time you take a break. If you're on a loo break, a lunch break or simply stepping outside for some fresh air, you can be sure to include some hydration at that point. This is especially helpful for anyone who doesn't have an easy time drinking water steadily through the day. If you can't sip every five minutes, squeeze that H2O into your breaks.
9. Heat it up.
I mentioned above that I hate drinking water when I'm cold, but the way I get around this is with a steaming hot cup of hot water with lemon. I enjoy it just as much as a tea (maybe not quite as much as a coffee, but I'm getting there) and it takes the chill off. If you're trying to give up coffee or tea as well, this is a great substitute and gets you well on your way each morning to your water goals! If it's cold, I reverse this and try to drink my water as cold as possible and on days when it's in between, which is pretty much most of the time in London, I drink my water at room temperature.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you're getting more water is to always have it at mealtimes. If you want to save a little money, skip expensive restaurant drinks and wine in favour of tap water. If you are drinking wine or something else, whether you're at home or out, simply make sure there's always a jug or bottle of water on the table and go one for one. If you're a person who struggles to drink water with food, try sparkling with lemon. However you do this, you'll be getting some H2O 3 times a day when you didn't before, so you'll already be on track for drinking more water throughout the day than you did before. Easy peasy.
If you have any tips for incorporating more hydration into your daily life, I'd love to see them, so leave a comment below!