What are your life hacks for drinking more water?

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My bedside water bottle from Love Bottle.
My bedside water bottle from Love Bottle.
I have a problem: I don’t like the taste of water, but I know I need it… you know… to survive as a human being on the planet Earth. So I finally came up with a few life hacks in order to trick myself into consuming more water.

Here are a few of my tricks (then I want to hear yours!)…

  • Always have a bottle of water on my bedside table. I’m lazy, so instead of getting out of bed to get a glass of juice or a Coke, I know I’ll choose the bottle of water within arms reach every time. This trick also works in my living room. I keep a bottle of water next to me on the couch. I’m seriously so lazy, it’s just more convenient to drink water than go into the kitchen and get something else.
  • Bring water to the movies. There’s nothing like a big ‘ol movie-theatre-sized Coke with salty movie popcorn. But if I remove the Coke and bring a bottle of water, I can’t help but drink lots of water while I munch on popcorn and candy.
  • Take water on hikes. I live in LA, so I go hiking in our awesome hills all the time. I used to not bring water because I don’t like carrying things while I walk, but I realized that bringing water not only refreshes me while I hike, but it helps me consume more of it and faster.
  • Keep a bottle of water in my car. Sometimes I’m just bored in my car and drinking water at red lights just gives me something to do.

Okay, Homies, help me out here. What other genius life hacks for drinking more water am I missing out on?

Comments on What are your life hacks for drinking more water?

  1. Definitely adding cordial (I’m not sure if it’s called squash outside of the UK) to your water is the best tip for people who don’t like the taste of water. You can get some really interesting flavours and you don’t need to add much to your water to completely change the taste! Same goes for tea and coffee – sure there are things added to the water, but it’s still water 🙂

      • Water has a taste, for sure, and the flavour can vary depending on from where it’s sourced. I remember in Toronto the water tasting very clorox-y, in St. John’s it had a mossy flavour, and in the Rockies it tastes kind of soapy.

        • Yep it definitely has taste. In Australia, we used to compare the taste of water in our drink bottles from home at school (yes it’s a common lunch box addition, a bottle of tap water, frozen in the summer months) . There were areas with higher levels of chlorine, some had a more rusty taste and then there were the poor buggers who lived on properties with bore water. I can drink most tap water but cannot stand bore water.

          • I grew up in a little town in NZ where our water was brown in winter and green on summer.
            So we drank a LOT of cordial. Most NZers incorrectly call it juice. Water even now makes me feel queasy unless its so cold I get brain freeze.

          • Aw, this bought back fond memories for me and my unfortunate school friends who were stuck on bore water. We were in a coastal area so it was high in chlorine, mmm essences of swimming pool. I never forgot how great it was to finally own a water filter and get rid of the chlorine!

      • Water takes on flavors from its environment. When I lived near power plants and a corn field the water tasted SOOOO bad! Even using filters didn’t help the taste. When I traveled through North Dakota, I really liked the taste of their water. Not sure what they did to it or where it came from, but it was pretty good. Most of the time, though, the differences in water flavor are subtle so not everyone notices. I know most people don’t go around thinking “Hmm… I think I’ll sample water from across the country next month.” It’s not something most people have to think about.

        • H2O has no flavour, however it loves to bind to and absorb elements and other compounds. Like salt, mix salt water it goes clear but the salt is there. Because of this even ‘pure’ straight from a mountain water has impurities – elements it’s picked up from the stone of the mountain.
          Pure or distilled water is not suitable for drinking.

      • Human beings are actually one of the only animals on earth that can’t taste water. What you are actually tasting is additives- hopefully, minerals, as in nature… but in treated water, more insidious chemical additives. So use a filter at home, or cough up the change for mineral or steam distilled water.

    • I didn’t know squash was added to water, haha. You learn something new every day! (Do they sell anything like that in the US? I’ve only ever seen it when I traveled in the UK and Ireland.)

    • I grew up on cordial in Australia. I was so disappointed when my younger brother was banned from green cordial because it made him hyperactive, the biggest disappointment was that we could no longer conduct our cordial mixing experiments aimed at replicating cola. I’m going to have to Skype him tonight and remind him about that one!

      • Haha! Remember those cottees ads? Don’t get that song stuck in your head again! I have recently discovered that they have everything-free lemon and green flavoured cordial, I buy it for my kids!

  2. I love drinking sparkling water. It makes me feel all fancy. So I bought a Soda Stream so I could make my own at home on the cheap! Also, adding lemon or lime to water (either still or sparkling) is something I love to do.

    • Agree. I used to drink a Diet Coke every afternoon. Then I subbed in a cold can of sparkling water because I realized that the bubbles was what I really wanted, not the phosphoric acid and aspartame. So then I became addicted to fizzy water.

      I started to feel bad about the waste since I only use re-usable bottles normally, except for my fizzy water addiction. Enter Soda Stream! I threw out the syrups and now I can drink as much fizzy water as I want from my reusable bottles.

      • I tried swapping in fizzy water when we moved last fall, and I got my boyfriend hooked on it after he kept looking at me sideways. He loves putting squash in it, which I can barely stand. I normally drink it straight, but I’ve made a few syrups when I need a slight sugar kick included after a bike ride or whatever; I love that I can control how much goes in (usually a tablespoon or less) versus any prepackaged fizzy soda.

        Do you have any experience pouring fizzy water into smaller bottles to travel with? The big bottles of fizz are more budget friendly than a soda stream for us right now, but I always think about how much I’d like some at uni.

      • Couldn’t function without my soda stream! In the summer I pour fizzy water over frozen raspberries, yum.

        Bonus points: it makes a cool space sound when you depressurize it after carbonating.

    • YES! I got my soda stream over 2 years ago now and would also be lost without it. I love the fizz of pop but not the sugar or calories. Club Soda/sparkling water is the perfect solution! You still get that bite of the carbonation without all the bad stuff in pop. Plus since you are using plain water you don’t get all the sodium that is normally in bottled/canned soda. The bottles are reusable and the gas canisters refillable so it’s better for the environment as well.

      I also start every day with 20 oz of water plus the juice of half of a real lemon. In fact….I’m drinking some right now! I literally DOWN it before I put anything else in my system. The lemon juice has all kinds of health benefits (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBpwj76ytUw) and I find putting the tart lemon water in my system just makes me really thirsty for more water. It’s like a water craving jump start! I usually have 2 liters of sparkling water gone by the end of the work day. Then I will have some more with my supper and before I know it…BAM!…3 liters of water down.

      PS. On a totally unrelated note: Can anyone tell me how I make hyper-links in my comments? I used to be able to do it on OBB. Here…not so much 🙁 Thanks!

      • I love seltzer/fizzy water just as much as the next, but Soda Stream’s company is entrenched in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. There are other brands, and as an Israeli against the occupation I encourage you to find another fine fizzer conpany to give your money to. Thanks!

  3. Adding a piece of fruit or veg to your water (citrus is awesome) punches it up and gives you extra nutrients as well as flavor. Lemon is my favorite, but cucumber is really good too! I get bored with my huge water bottle at work, so I drink herbal tea throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be fancy–plain old Celestial Seasonings peppermint tea is my favorite. I find that I’m more likely to finish a cup of tea than a glass of water.

  4. I had two bad run-ins with dehydration when I was little, so I just learned to love water. I did visit a friend the other day that kept water in the fridge in a pretty bottle like in the picture up there. I got the impression it helped make water exciting for her. I like people’s suggestions for adding cucumber or lemon, though!

  5. I love water, so getting enough has never been a problem, but I find that I drink significantly more when I drink out of a straw, so finding a water bottle with a straw is a good idea. I also love adding fresh squeezed lime to my water makes it super refreshing.

    • This is me exactly. I’m lucky that I’ve always preferred water to any other drink. Not for any health reasons, just cuz. But, when I’m sick or cold or pregnant/breastfeeding and I’m making a point to drink water, the straw really works for me.

  6. I’m ridiculously competitive, so I try to make it a challenge for myself. ie) I have to drink a litre before lunchtime.

    I also know I’m far more inclined to drink water when I work out, so I hit the gym or play a sport and take a full 1 litre with me. I can usually finish that litre by the end of whatever activity I’m doing and almost always want more.

    I do tend to find I drink more out of my water bottle than I will out of a glass that needs to be refilled every 10 seconds.

  7. I upgraded from a small cup to a pint glass of water on my desk so I didn’t need to make so many trips to the sink/cooler. However I *am* being naughty right now and having a can of coke with my lunch!

    QUICK EDIT: Just needed to add… My mum swears by what she calls a “Water Shandy” – half lemonade, half water. She finds standard lemonade too fizzy and sweet for her tastes so adds water to it to take it down a notch.

  8. Those of us who sit in front of computers 8 hours a day for work have a tendancy to not get up and move around enough. Set your alarm on your calendar to go off every hour to remind you to drink some water. More water will make you need to go potty more often, getting you up off your duff and away from the computer screen. Sometimes I really need that reminder to get some liquid.

    • I drink so much water at work (I keep a liter water bottle at my desk) mostly so that I have to get up and pee frequently. My friend calls them freedom pees.

    • This reminds me of a coworker who had a healthy water consumption level. We always made sure to have a break after an hour in any meeting as we knew she’d need a bathroom break. It as also a great way to keep the meetings on time, I was always grateful for that!

    • a while back, i noticed that i’d drink more water on school days than on weekends. our class schedule is 50 minutes – 10 minute break, and i’d take down ~1 water bottle during each lecture (and then desperately need that break!). now, studying/working at home, i set a timer to keep a similar schedule (45-50 minutes on, 10-15 minute break) and make sure to drink at least one glass (10ish ounces?) each work period. the timer helps — feels like external structure, and getting a bit into pavlovian conditioning. =)

    • I have a similar system – I have a water bottle that has markings every 100ml, so every half hour, I drink 100ml. Obviously this only happens at work, because at home I don’t stare at a computer screen for nine hours with a water bottle next to me.

      It’s the only way I can remember to drink so much.

    • Lol, I’m a programmer and I think this is a great idea but it reminded me that I once had a coworker whose water drinking habits were so good that she could only just make it through a 60 minute meeting. I always made sure we had a break before deciding to run a meeting longer to save her the trouble of announcing that it was toilet time.

  9. I keep a 64 oz. bottle of water in the refrigerator at work. I drink it all day, and when I pour my last cup, I refill it for the next day. Just being refrigerated makes it more appealing. I’ve never had a problem with the taste of water. I take a subcutaneous injection three times a week, and if I’m not hydrated the medicine just sits like a lump under my skin.

  10. This might not work well for those who don’t like the taste of any water, but if it’s just your local water you don’t like, a filtered bottle might do the trick. When I came from Switzerland (where water, imho, is delicious, but admittedly I’ve grown up drinking it there) to Ireland, where there’s a funny aftertaste in the water, I was drinking way too little until I got myself a “bobble” bottle – they have nice colourful filters, too, so every time you replace the filter you can have a different colour. It makes the water tastier and more fun to drink.

    • I commented above about my “taste of water” confusion. To me, water has no taste. But, maybe it’s because I grew up in rural Maine where our well water was pretty good. I remember we had visitors from New Jersey once who didn’t anything to drink while they stayed with us except for tap water because they loved it so much. I’ve only noticed water taste when I drink “city water” in a couple places, or when I lived on the coast briefly and the ground water was very sulfurous.

      So…it is just funny tasting ground water that makes people say “I can’t stand the taste of water”?

      • It can even be the pipes in a specific building. I live in NYC in an old building and the water tastes awful, but the same city water were I work tastes fine. I grew up on pretty hard well water so I’ve always noticed the difference in taste.

    • As someone who drinks primarily water (I like juice, but consider it liquid food. When I’m thirsty, I want water), and lots of it, I notice a HUGE difference in water tastes. Different brands of bottled water taste different and the tap water in different places tastes different, though almost all the straight tap water I have tasted ranges between unappealing to undrinkable.

      If you have relatively decent tap water, you can make it drinkable by running it through a filter like a Brita pitcher or similar product. This is what I do these days.

      If you tap water is really horrible, you might need to buy bottled water to get water that is drinkable. If you do that, buy it in the biggest containers you can to cut down on the amount of plastic you go through. Or, better yet, buy it from a place that will dispense water into reusable containers.

  11. i leave a glass on the counter above our dog food storage area. when i wake up, i let the dog out, feed her, and drink a glass or two of water while waiting for her to come back in, all before i’m awake enough to decide, “no, let’s just start with coffee!”

  12. I make it a personal goal to drink at least 60 ounces of water a day. I got myself a 32 ounce cup and just try to manage drinking one full one in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I don’t always reach this, but since I made it sort of a challenge for myself I get through it more often than not on principle.

    I also think having a straw to drink through helps. Also, I’m not sure if all water flavors are horrible to you or not, but I have some issues with the flavor of tap water in my area. I had tried filtering the water, but it was more work than I could manage, so we got a water cooler. We get 15 gallons of water a month, so since we’re spending money on it – we have a lot more incentive to drink the water and get the empty bottles out for the company to recycle so we don’t get overrun with water barrels. That change made the biggest difference for me, but I also just enjoy the taste of the bottled spring water.

    • I have no idea why but straws really do it for me too. After getting tired of our cats sticking their paws in my water, I went and bought 5 reusable cups with lids and straws. My water intake has probably tripled and I am sure it’s the straws. Just more fun to drink anything through a straw I guess!

      • this cracks me up! my cat would pretty much leave drinks alone (sometimes he’d want to sniff at it, but otherwise had little interest in things in cups) UNLESS it had a straw!! I had no idea cats could even use straws until the first instance when my husband had come home with a small strawberry shake. he set it down on the side table and we started to watch a movie together. 15 min into the movie, I noticed our cat chewing on his straw… when my husband picked up the cup to throw it away, he realized that his shake was totally gone (there had been about a third of it left) and our black cat had suspicious pink globs of milkshake around his mouth. We spent a nervous evening watching him to make sure he’d be OK (he was totally fine), and ever since then he’d ALWAYS go for drinks with straws to see if he could sneak a yummy treat again.

  13. I use the app “waterlogged” you can set yourself a challenge, and even add photos and volumes of your own glasses/bottles to help you record how much you have drank that day

  14. For me it’s not the taste of the water, it’s the ease of drinking. I am SUPER clumsy so drinking from an open-mouth glass or large-mouth water bottle requires me to pay attention to avoid spillage. Drinking water becomes a burden when I have to pay attention to every sip.

    I have hacked this by using a straw at home when I am drinking from a glass. Remember when they warned you in high school that drinking alcohol through a straw makes you drink faster? Well when you want to binge drink water, a straw is your bff.

    When I am at work or out I use this: Vapur 16 Ounce Flexible Collapsible Water Bottle

    It is like drinking out of a Capri Sun pouch and toddler-easy. I track my ounce-age by knowing that each fill is 2 cups, so I try to drink 4 a day. Bonus: it flattens and folds so I can fit it in any purse or pocket when empty, thus avoiding the nuisance of carrying things.

    • Likewise on the ease of drinking! I <3 my straws and big bottles of water and especially my Nalgene's with the "sipping insert". My friend even gifted me a "cuppow" for my mason jar. High5 on innovative drinking vessels and tools 😀

    • I have a 2 pack of the slightly smaller vapur bottles, I love them (fyi if you lose the lid an Aquafina bottle cap will work as a replacement).

      I think novelty water containers also increase my intake of water. (I’ve been wanting a “cuppow” too! 🙂

      • I am not the only one! My fiance thought it was totally strange that I didn’t like water but if he stuck a straw in the cup things took a turn for the better. I keep a huge supply of milkshake straws (I like the big ones) on hand because my cats love to bat things-that-whiz-quickly-across-the-floor around so my straws tend to get cat-napped.

  15. Always only order when you eat out (and add a sqieeze of lemon of you prefer). I originally started doing this just to save money, but I end up going through many glasses of water per restaurant visit

    • I tried to do this, but I failed. I just order things that taste so good with Coke! Or pair perfectly with red wine or a certain beer that I just couldn’t swing this hack. 🙁

    • I started out doing the opposite. I would never buy soda or juice from the grocery store, and always drink water at home. But if I was eating out (which I don’t get to do often for money reasons), I’d consider it a treat & order a soda or lemonade with my meal. After awhile, I realized I was so used to water that sometimes I’d just ask for water with my meal without really thinking about it!

  16. I keep a big reusable cup w/ straw and lid that has happy penguins on it in my office and fill it everytime I go to the bathroom (the water cooler is across the hall). This of course leads to more bathroom visits so it’s a good water drinking cycle.

    And I KNOW it’s bad for the earth, but I drink more water if I have bottled water in my fridge. If it’s an easy option like grabbing a soda, I’ll drink it. I’ve tried having a reusable Brita jug but I just won’t drink from it.

  17. I’ve made up a routine. At work I grab a cup of ice and fill it with water on my way in. At 11am I go back for more. After lunch I get another, and then at 4pm as well. I do it automatically now. Also a squeeze of citrus or other fruit. Herbal tea is great too. No caffeine, but plenty of flavor.

  18. When I worked in an office, I used to carry a big camping-style water bottle with me every day, but somehow I lost that habit when I started working at home. I started keeping a pitcher of ice water on my desk and that’s helped me to drink more water every day.

    • To cut sugar I started drinking my juice cut in half with water. It eventually became a habit that now I do it with all juice, lemonade, etc. I have found that it also has warmed me up to the taste of water. Maybe I’m getting used to the calmer flavors. Now my taste buds get overstimulated with pure juice, etc. so I even prefer water sometimes!

  19. What really helps me drink more water is that I have a small amount of oral fixation and a bite valves works really well with that. So I’ve got a couple of the platypus collapsible water bottles with the bite valve: http://cascadedesigns.com/platypus/bottles-and-storage/softbottle/product

    I think the camelback bottles would work well too: http://shop.camelbak.com/bottles/water-bottles/everyday-use-outdoor/l/201

    Especially when I’m working on the computer, if I have a liter bottle full of water that has something I can somewhat bite on, I’m really, really likely to sip water from it if I’m biting on it.

    • Haha I’ve always thought that about my own bite valve water bottle. It makes me think of Sigmund Freud and oral fixations. I have a camel back and it feels like a giant baby bottle, but oddly, I totally love it.

  20. my mom makes fruit “waters” using fruit peels, cinnamon and some brown sugar (if you like it a bit more sweet).

    our favorite is pineapple water so she saves the skin and core from pineapples and boils them with a couple of cinnamon sticks for about 3o min. then you strain the whole mixture and refrigerate- it’s absolutely refreshing on a summer’s day.

    also, you can make cinnamon and clove tea which is so soothing when you have a sore throat (cinnamon is anti inflammatory, the clove is numbing) or plain delicious all the time.

    i realize these aren’t water drinking hacks, just tasty iced teas, but i hope someone will enjoy them!

    • I add a cinnamon stick or a few cinnamon pieces to my glass or pitcher of water all of the time, and it infuses in a subtle but delicious way even when the water is cold. It sounds odd to a lot of people, but cinnamon water is delicious and makes me drink more of it.

      I also make sure to use glasses that I really enjoy drinking from. I think I drink more if I like the shape of the glass (is that weird?). Personally I like real glass with a thin rim. Bonus points if the glass is fancy. It makes the act of drinking water a little bit more special.

  21. So…out of curiousity…anyone have good hacks for people who just don’t drink a lot of anything? I constantly try to get my husband to drink water, and we live in Arizona where it’s EXTRA necessary, but he just doesn’t drink. At restaurants, regardless of what it is, he’ll drink maybe half of whatever he has (unless it’s beer—because he’s paying for it) while I go through like five glasses. I think he drinks a cup or two of coffee a day at work, and he’ll usually share ONE of my sodas or waters at night while we eat dinner, but that’s it. I’m contemplating waterboarding him, because his hands feel like sandpaper….

    • What’s his diet like? if he eats mainly things that have a high water content, then he might be doing OK on water consumption despite not drinking much overall. if he isn’t eating high-water meals, then start consciously adding those things to your normal meal rotations. fruits are usually pretty easy to add in, and tend to have good water content. also, broth-soups make great meals as long as the broth doesn’t over-do it on the sodium (although I’m never in the mood for soup when it’s warm, so perhaps in AZ soup season is near non-existent). I’ve heard over and over that your body retains more water from water-rich foods than it does from straight drinking water, so this might be the way to go for your husband.

      Also, I think there’s something to be said about convenience. Have a glass of water while you do things together (not just at meal times!), and if you have a glass of water, bring him one. He might not really drink at first, but if this becomes a habit, little by little he might start drinking more.

    • i can easily get through a day with just a small cup of fluid… so i trained myself to drink more like this:
      -first thing in the morning is one huge pot of tea, it goes in a bottle and gets downed in the car on my way to drop the kids off.
      -then i try just to get it over with, so i have trained myself to empty a whole botte (0,5l) at least twice per day, usually when i pass said bottles in the kitchen, and i try to take one along everywhere i go.
      -also every tv show is accompanied by a bottle
      -during the times i reeeally need to drink more, i have a pretty cup on the bathroom coounter and just fill it up at the tap everytime i visit the bathroom.

  22. The temperature of the water might make a difference. I’ve noticed that I am much more likely to drink a glass of water after it sat out for a half an hour than fresh out of the refrigerator (I also only drink water that’s been filtered through a Brita or similar). At the same time, water straight from the tap is too warm for me, so my temperature preference threshold is pretty tight. Now I try to remember to drink a glass every 2 hours or so, and I make sure to fill a glass a half an hour before the next one is due so that it reaches optimum temperature.

  23. oooh I drink so much water. First I have a 32 oz water bottle at work so that I don’t have to refill it (cause I probably won’t). I also buy 1 liter bottles of flavored sparkling water. I considered SodaStream but I found out they are made in illegal settlements in Palestine. But I do flavor my water myself with a fruity and/or minty tea bag – I don’t brew it. I just throw it into the water and it adds a nice subtle flavor. There is this cool water bottle I got for Christmas called the Aqua Zinger – you put fruit or other flavor enhancers into the base and it filters the flavor into the water. It’s fun to come up with different combos.

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