Wednesday, January 6, 2016

8 Easy Ways to Drink More Water

It’s New Year’s Resolution time, and many of us have vowed to drink more water in 2016. Staying hydrated not only helps with weight-loss, but also provides many health benefits such as increased energy, clear and radiant skin and healthy kidneys. Factor in the financial savings from drinking water instead of soda, and there’s really no good reason NOT to drink more water, yet it is a real struggle for many of us to stay on track with our water consumption. Following these little tips can help you to form healthy hydration habits in the new year and beyond.

Start first thing in the morning. Pouring yourself a glass of water when you first wake up is easy to remember and sets the tone for the rest of the day. (Author’s note: I personally cannot stand the thought of a glass of water first thing in the morning. I would honestly rather chug a glass of raw eggs like Rocky Balboa. If you’re like me, you will be absolutely ecstatic to know that coffee and tea contain enough water to count in your daily intake, according to WebMD. So enjoy that second cup of Joe with reckless abandon. Yay, science!)

Set timers. In this day and age, there is an app for everything, and water consumption is no exception. Apps like Daily Water Free can be used to track water intake and remind you to gulp down a glass of water at regular intervals during the day. If a water app isn’t your thing, you can simply set reminder alarms every two hours or so.

Buy a spiffy water bottle. No better way to motivate yourself to drink water than to purchase an adorable water-toting vessel like my personal favorite, the Contigo AUTOSEAL water bottle (pictured, $9.89, Amazon). Having a nice-looking water bottle purchased expressly for the purpose of motivation goes a long way in helping you achieve your goal and make it a part of your daily life.

Eat watermelon (and other water-containing produce). Still not feeling the liquid refreshment? No worries, Mother Nature is on your side! Many fruits and veggies contain enough water to count towards your daily intake. Cucumbers, strawberries, grapefruit, celery and the aforementioned watermelon are just a few of the produce choices that can help you to stay properly hydrated.

Make a Popsicle. Water, fruit, a mold and your freezer are all you need to create your own healthy, water-infused treats. Similarly, you can make “fruit cubes,” which are just ice cube trays filled with small fruits like raspberries, blueberries or chunks of pineapple and covered with water. Once these bad boys come out of the freezer, you are in for a delicious and hydrating refreshment.

When life gives you lemons (and water), make lemonade. One problem with water is that it will never taste like Dr Pepper. That is, in fact, pretty much my major problem with water. It is, however, fairly simple to make water taste like things that you actually want to drink by infusing it with your favorite fruits or veggies. Plenty of people throw cucumbers, strawberries, kiwi and apple slices into pitchers of water for a mildly-flavored drink that is more appealing than plain old water. And of course, don’t forget the granddaddy of all infused-water beverages, lemonade. Provided you don’t add too much sugar, a glass of lemonade has all of the hydrating benefits of plain water with the added health perks of lemon.

Use the 1:1 rule. When drinking beverages other than water, whether alcoholic or simply sugary, make yourself a deal: for every non-water drink you consume, match it with a glass of water. This will keep you on track without making you sacrifice the taste of your favorite drinks.

Make it a competition. Get together with your co-workers, spouse or friends and create a water-drinking challenge to motivate you, where the winner at the end of a predetermined time period gets a small prize, like $5 from each participant or a gift card to Starbucks (Coffee! Still hydrating!). Nothing like a little healthy competition to spur you on!

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