What are your life hacks for drinking more water?

Updated Oct 12 2015
meggyfin
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?

  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.

      • Yes, it is. Which sucks. Until it's not flavorless… which also sucks. Either way, I'm not a fan of the flavor OR the flavorless.

      • Water itself is actually flavorless, however, it does have a taste because we can taste the impurities in it. That is the only flavor it has. lol

        • 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.

    • Same here with the tea. I like the brew a large batch of iced green tea and drink it throughout the day. To sweeten it, I add Sweet Leaf (all natural stevia) so I can have the sweet flavor without the calories. Fruity teas are really awesome for this as well.

      Also, I love adding lime to my water. It gives it a bit of a kick, which helps with the taste.

      • I drink tea's to get more water in as well. I like Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger and Peppermint either hot or iced. (I like the Red Zinger as strong as possible, and the Peppermint weaker.)

        I also try to use large glasses or mason jars for water when I am home, because I realized I will drink most of a cup of water (70-80%) no matter how big the cup it, so if I am drinking out of a bigger cup I am drinking more water.

      • Me too! I'm a lime-over-lemon lady! My current culinary obsessions are lime and cilantro, and ZOMG, Batman, they are sooooo tasty in a tall glass of fresh, ice-cold water!

    • Orange or lime slices are great! I slip them into my water bottle at the beginning of the day and the flavor slowly seeps in throughout the day.

  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.

      • In the UK, "lemonade" means fizzy lemonade. (And people will often refer to Sprite/7up as "lemonade").

        In the US, lemonade is still.

        • I remember discovering this when I studied abroad in the UK. I was telling my flatmates how much I loved lemonade, and someone bought a big bottle… and then I ended up not liking the fizzy lemonade! O_o;; I don't like all premade/bottled lemonade in the US either, though. My sister just made a rad batch of lemonade for Mardi Gras that had peppermint extract in it!

  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.

      • Maine has some of the best tasting water around and lots of places have water that tastes a bit odd compared to that.

    • 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've been having dehydration issues from my pregnancy, and I HATE plain water. But put a straw in the cup or bottle and I will drink twice as much.

      • 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.

      • I do this. I fill my SS water bottles from my pitcher so I always have bottled water ready to go. I did the same straight from the tap until pregnancy made me revolted by the taste of our tap wate.r

  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.

  24. I'm usually pretty good about drinking enough water but sometimes I slip. When that happens I put small bits of mint and/or fruit in my water. My mom freezes them in ice but I get brain freeze easily so I just drink it warm. Usually just a little more flavor helps. I especially like to use mint when it's in a water bottle I'm going to be using a whole shift at work. It keeps adding flavor and doesn't get all weird looking like fruit does.

    • Yes, lots of suggestions for fruit and veg in water. I'm liking this! I should definitely try it more. I like your mom's ice fruit trick.

  25. A good kick start is to quantify how much water you are currently drinking daily. This is a wake up call for most, and gets them motivated. I started with an 8 or 16 ounce glass on my desk at work, and every time I refilled it I would add a tally mark to a post-it note. Then I would mentally add-on my home consumption, which was usually only one glass in the a.m. and one or two at night. Work towards a goal of 100 ounces a day.

    I have read that the advice of "8 oz. glasses 8 times a day" is really more of a myth, but it's easy to remember. Female adults need closer to 100 oz. a day, men need 125 oz.

    Good news: Tea TOTALLY counts as a water. So if you have to add herbal tea to flavor your water, don't even feel guilty about it!

      • I believe it counts simply because it is still composed of 99.99% water. A high caffeine content can work against you probably. So maybe take it easy on the black and oolong tea, but white, green and herbal teas are still good hydrators and could be used on a daily basis. Also, lighter brews will be more hydrating. Of course, something like iced tea from a soda fountain is full of chemicals and sweeteners, and probably no better than soda. I'm guessing the best is a full pot of water with a submerged teabag.

      • Many teas are diuretics, but since they are mostly water, your body still gets the benefits of hydration as they go through your system. You might have to pee more frequently, but that just means your body is working properly! Besides being a diuretic, tea has a lot of great benefits to your health, so if that's what helps you drink more in a day, I wouldn't rule it out — still way better for you than drinking only soda!

    • Over-hydration can be just as much of a problem as dehydration. If you're petite and not particularly active (like me), eight 8oz glasses a day is TOO much water. A more practical guide for proper hydration is half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces (of water). Add more if you're very physically active, pregnant or breastfeeding, in a harsh climate, etc.

      So if I weigh 100lbs, I should be consuming 50oz of water or water-rich foods daily.

      As it is, I have a very sensitive stomach and too much plain water makes me really nauseous. That makes guzzling water when I do need it a problem, so my life hacks (aside from the previously mentioned herbal tea, fruit, and fizz additives) involve tiny glasses rather than large ones.

      Remember those little juice glasses your grandmother used to have? They hold about 5 ounces. I found some pretty vintage ones at the thrift store and use them for water. If I need to take a pill, if I'm going to sit at the computer, if I'm simply thirsty — I fill it up. And because it's so small, it seems ridiculous not to finish it, so I do, right then. If I want just a little more, I fill it again, and it's much harder for me to justify leaving a tiny glass half full than a big one.

  26. Dilute your juice! Like, a lot. I got so used to it that now I'd rather have 1/3 juice, 2/3 water, especially with sweet juices like cranberry or orange. Plus, your juice stretches further, thus saving you money!

    • If I buy juice, I typically get unsweetened cranberry juice so it's really tart, and then cut it with a lot of water to reduce the bite. Something I love to do in the summer is make cranberry juice ice cubes (or any kind of juice ice cubes). It's fun to watch them melt into your water, and you get a little more flavor the longer they sit in your drink.

  27. I don't know if eating salty things or working out are great strategies for upping water intake (though you should work out for other reasons, haha). Those things make your body NEED more water, so you should up your intake goal if you're doing them.

    I am much more likely to drink water at work if I refill my water bottle first thing while my computer starts up instead of waiting to do it.

  28. I just don't buy anything to drink, most of the time. Tap water (and our area water is just fine) is free. (More or less — I don't waste it, because HELLO EARTH, and while we don't pay the water bill, our landlady does. Or my employer does — the office has a filtered water setup. But it costs less in both of those respects than soda, juice, or coffee.)

    If I'm really wanting something sweet to drink, I can find some juice at work or even go out and buy a smoothie (means it has to be something I really want), but the default of having only water in the house makes it easy to drink water. The challenge for me is remembering to step away from the computer and actually drink it/get a refill.

  29. I'm super crappy at drinking water, so I had to hack too. I made myself eight pretty bead bracelets (red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, purple, pink – a rainbow!), and when I get dressed I slip them onto my left wrist. Each time I drink a glass of water throughout the day I move one over to my right, so I can see I've drunk at least eight glasses a day. I don't always manage it, but the visual reminder makes it much more likely.

  30. I have trouble drinking water because it makes my stomach ache. To solve that issue I add lemon juice, just enough to make it a bit cloudy but make it so you can drink it, and a couple table spoons of honey. My sister does the same thing

  31. Also if I'm going to be home all day, I drink a big glass of water every time after I pee. That keeps the… er… system moving.

  32. I got three UTIs in a row from being at work for ten hours and not drinking anything except maybe a diet coke at lunchtime, and not going to the loo. After that I started taking a 750ml bottle with me with squash in it (I hate just water by itself) and making myself drink it in the morning and then refill it at lunchtime and finish it again. Peeing more is sort of a pain but it's definitely good for me!

  33. I use a gallon glass jug, fill it with enough water and 10 teabags or one of those large bags made for iced tea. I don't brew it, just let it infuse into the water in the fridge. It is not as bitter and I enjoy it with just ice or add a squirt of lemon juice and maybe a little Stevia.
    Also, Good Earth original blend (You can use the herbal if you don't want caffeine) makes a delicious iced tea. It has cloves, cinnamon and other spices and tastes sweet without any added sugars! If you can't find it in a local store, it's carried on Amazon. It's great hot, too.
    One point- if you leave water in an open container, it gets a flat taste. If you do that in the fridge, it picks up the 'flavor' of stuff in the fridge and is usually not pleasant. So a closed bottle or even a dish over an open pitcher helps keep it fresh.

  34. Another tip- I've used those plastic sports bottles and found I didn't like the plastic taste the water picked up. So I now use stainless steel. I've seen water bottles that have a glass liner as well. My wife fills up a bottle and keeps it with her when she's at work to remind herself to drink. Even with these tips, I have a BAD habit of going for hours without drinking. You can actually damage your internal organs by not drinking enough water…think of your kidneys and liver having to filter sludge :-).

  35. I try to always have a water bottle lurking around somewhere… in the cupholder of my car (I have a glass one like these: http://www.natural-lifestyle.com/Natural_Kitchen/Glass_Drinking_Bottles/glass_drinking_bottles.html to avoid scary plastic-bottle-in-car problem), in the fridge at work, in the fridge at home. I prefer cold water, and I'll drink a lot when it's cold. When I bike or work out, I go through a TON of water, and if I haven't drained the water bottle that I use (I think it's 32 oz) at the gym, I force myself to finish it after I'm done working out. (Similarly, if I don't have to pee by the time I'm done working out, I need to drink more… LOL.) At the gym, they have a filter water machine AND a huge thing of iced fruit water, so I can pick whether I want fruity or plain.

    I also only order water at restaurants, or I order water plus something else. I get really thirsty at restaurants and go through water at a crazy rate… probably four glasses per meal. I don't know why, haha, because I don't do that at home. When I travel outside the US and I have to *pay* for tap water (and you only get like, half a glass), it drives me crazy and I'm horribly dehydrated all the time.

    I make sure to always have a full glass before I go to bed (I take my vitamins with it), because I read somewhere that a full glass before you sleep is good for your kidneys and helps prevent heart attack and stroke. Dunno if that's true, but it certainly can't hurt (I usually don't have to get up in the middle of the night to pee, but if I do… well, I'd rather that than be dehydrated).

    I guess mostly just having it be easily accessible. If I have a water bottle sitting nearby, I'll be sure to drink from it– I don't drink nearly as much if I have to go and get a glass and pour from the Brita filter or whatever, but if it's just a bottle that is always full of cold water just hanging out in the fridge… it's so easy to pick it up and take a swig. Simple as that. Kinda like how I mindlessly munch on any snack sitting nearby….

    • In the UK at least,if you ask specifically for tap water (rather than mineral water) it's free!

      I always have three or four glasses in restaurants but that is because I believe that restaurant meals ideally need a glass of water, a soft drink, a glass of wine and a proper alcoholic drink to accompany them.

  36. It sounds like a lot of people have found, like I have, that simply making a routine is the key to drinking more water. I had major dehydration problems until age 20 because for whatever reason, my body did not tell me "I'm thirsty". I've made a routine of having a glass of water as soon as I get up and a glass when I go to bed. At the office I have a 24oz steel bottle, and drink one of those from 8-12 and another 12-4. I simply don't worry the rest of the day, sometimes even skipping a beverage with meals, because I know I'll get at least 72oz that day. Lo and behold, I don't pass out from dehydration anymore, and when I give blood it's actually red. (:

  37. Our water filter is on the sink tap downstairs which is great when we're down there but when we're both in our offices upstairs it's inconvenient and painful to have to do the stairs that often when you've got a chronic pain condition. Our hack was 6 big 3L bottles of water form Walmart (they were only a dollar each?) We keep 3 in each office and refill one or two each day. We also got a kettle for upstairs and keep our tea collection mostly in the offices as well.

    Giant mugs and cups are super helpful too, I use one of these http://dft.ba/-tervis for my water at my desk and a giant tea mug http://dft.ba/-giantmug and carry a nalgene to school. My school is great and has retrofitted many of the fountains with filtered stations that use motion sensors to refill reusable bottle.

  38. I'm pretty good about drinking water, but my husband isn't so heactually sets a reminder in his work calendar every two hours that says "drink water". It seems to work great for him to schedule it like that. I also always drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, as I wait for my tea kettle to boil.

  39. I find that when I have a 32 oz cup from the Arco gas station, I drink a lot more water. The straw is big, so it goes down easily, and since I can't close it like a bottle, I have to keep it on hand. I can't just toss it in my bag and forget about it. So I drink it. I almost always get my full 64 oz, if not more, when I have one of these cups. Even if you only drink one, that's still half the recommended intake, and more than you'd be getting if you chose soda or juice instead.

    If you don't like the flavor, I recommend *natural* flavoring (not the chemical powder packets). For cold water, I like fruit infused. I think my favorite is apple. Just slice it really thin, toss it in your bottle, and let it soak for a bit. I can usually leave the apples in for 2 or 3 bottles worth before having to replace them. Bonus! You get to eat them when you're done.

    But personally? I'm a tea addict. Non-caffeinated, herbal teas are just water flavored with plants. It comes in all sorts of flavors, so you'll never get bored. You can even brew tea and then put it in the fridge for cold tea later on. Yummy yum yum =]

  40. I'm trying to give up soda and drink more water so I bought one of those 3.5 gal water jugs that has a spigot at the bottom. I add a little fruit flavoring (like those mio ones) to the water, or make herbal tea if I want something more 'filling', and I keep the water on my bookcase in my office at work. I don't even have to get out of my chair! (yeah, I'm a little lazy). My next hack is going to be making my own squash/water flavoring so that I can use stevia instead of sucralose.

  41. -Get a water bottle you like to drink from. I got a Camelbak water bottle, which has a nozzle on it that is spill proof, so it's great for being super lazy (not wanting to lift head off of pillow) or when driving and hiking (don't have to put something in front of your face so you can't see). Bonus points for being super-Freudian. I noticed drinking tons more water with this.
    -Sparkling fruit flavored water! Trader Joe's has amazing, cheap sparkling flavored waters without added fake sweeteners. This has become my replacement for soda.

  42. You can also have hot water with lemon. Makes you think it's tea but has no additives.

    I've seen the suggestion of setting out your daily alotment of water on the counter in the morning and just going through the glasses. I do water bottles. I'm trying to get my husband to drink more water and bought him a cool water bottle and also some Mio water flavouring. It works sometimes.

    I really notice it whne I get dehydrated so I just try to remember. I'm a fizzy girl too (with a sodastream) but to some extent, it has been a will power activity. Reminding myself that I need to drink the water and just making it a habit.

  43. I go through phases with water. Sometimes I'm like a camel and can't seem to drink enough, others I sort of have to force myself. When I'm in those phases, if I want to drink something that isn't water – except for my first cup of coffee in the morning – I have to finish a glass of water first, then I get the other thing as a 'reward' for drinking water. Great way to pace yourself at the bar, too. About 75% of the time I wind up not wanting the other beverage anyway.

    Also, fizzy water > regular water. Especially with a slice of something citrus (I slice them up and keep them in a dish in the fridge for easy access).

  44. I'm much better about drinking my water during the work week. I normally only drink water (at home and work), but it's more of a bother at home, so it's limited to a glass while making dinner and a glass while eating dinner.

    During the day at work, I take an insulated drink container, fill it with ice cubes, and drink water throughout the day. Each time it's empty or the water has warmed up, I return to the kitchen for a refill. Then as I'm leaving I do one more refill for my commute then stick the bottle in the fridge at home and refill the next morning.

    The problem for me with being home all day is that I tend not to hang out in the kitchen, and I usually don't wander around the apartment with my water bottle. This means on the weekend, I use a bigger glass and ensure the brita container is full so I don't have to drink warm water. I much prefer it ice cold!

  45. I second the lemon and lime – you can get the little squeeze bottles of lemon or lime juice and just squirt a drop into your water.
    Also, I would highly recommend a camelbak (http://www.camelbak.com/) for your hiking – that way you can bring water without having to carry it in your hand. If you're not familiar with Camelbak, they make small backpacks that have water packs in them and a tube that goes over your shoulder to drink from – perfect for laziness!

  46. I only drink water so I always find it odd when things like this come up, the best thing I can suggest is adding some lemon juice just so its not boring

  47. I don't drink water either- I'll always go for coffee or tea first (previously soda, but I've given it up). My best 'hack' is to add a ton of lemon to it. Like tablepoons of lemon juice. It masks the weird taste of our water and makes it more refreshing so that I actually want it. I also drink more water when it's cold- but I have no way to keep water cold at my job. So I have to deal with warm tap water. I finally just started forcing myself- I live in a desert and have been hospitalized for dehydration. I don't want to pay that kind of unnecessary bill ever again.

  48. I work at a movie theater, some of the other theaters are kinda nit-picky and might not let you bring in a full water bottle. I've never had a problem, I just bring in an empty bottle and fill it at the drinking fountain or ask the Concessionist to fill it.
    Plus you'll save money by not spending the $5.25 (at my location) by not buying that liter of H2O

  49. I'm with you Megan! Water is soooo boring. I have a bottle with water by my desk, and I make myself get through one bottle in the morning and one in the afternoon. Having the bottle there in front of me helps as a reminder.

    At home I just make myself drink a whole glass of water at certain times, I usually link it with the daily routine in order to remember – when I get home from work, when the news starts on telly, when I start preparing dinner, before doing dishes etc. It has never been a pleasure, just more of a necessary chore.

    I have tried jazzing it up by making iced tea, but that requires forethought and planning to make it in advance, and hasn't always been that successful. I also forget to buy new teabags so am always running out. So chugging a glass of boring water to get it over and done with seems to be the way.

  50. When I'm work, I always make myself have 2 small glasses of water before I'm allowed another hot drink (or any other kind of drink). I love my hot tea and coffee so it's a good way to get up my water intake and decrease my caffiene intake!

  51. I had this problem back in high school. I filled up a pitcher and forced my self to drink it all day (not all at one time, just I made sure I had a glass in my hand and set deadlines for how much I needed to drink) and I finally got used to that taste and it didn't bother me anymore. Then I got in the habit of ordering water at restaurants. It's a second nature to automatically say water when the waitress asks, I don't even notice it now. thirdly I don't buy pop for my house. Only my teas, water, milk and juice.

    If I'm in need of some energy I get caffeinated water. Idk if that's just as bad or not, but i prefer it to super sugary energy drinks and it tastes like regular water. However my friends like to put flavor packets in it (mio or crystal lite) and I'm sure that drinking flavored water is one step closer to drinking plain water too.

  52. Now I don't always succeed in this (and I'm much better at work than at home), but I set some goals for myself. I'm rather obsessed with to-do lists, so if I put water goals on there then I'm MUCH more likely to do it just so that I can have the satisfaction of crossing it off. Typically my goals are:

    1) I'm allowed a morning cup of coffee, but after that I have to drink at least 4 glasses of water before I can drink any other beverage (and yes I've totally chugged a glass of water so that I can have my sprite w/ lunch before!). After I've had that one (usually around lunch time), I start over and have to have another 4 glasses before I can drink anything else.

    2) Either on my cup somewhere (if I'm using a disposable one) or on a piece of paper I keep tally marks of how many times I've refilled the cup. Again I'm very short-term goal oriented so I can't stand to have uneven tally marks (I'll drink the extra glass so that I can make the 4 slashes into the completed set of 5).

    Sometimes you can make your neurotic tendencies work for you instead of against you!

    • We had to do the water marks for a middle school health project. We were given tape to put around our bottle, and we had to date/tally how many bottles we had to drink that way. It does help because it gives you a visual of how many you've had and how much is left to go.

  53. I try to drink from a one litre bottle throughout the day – I have an old glass sparkling mineral water bottle on my desk at work that I drink from (either straight from the bottle or pouring into a glass), and a water jug at home.

    It makes it easy to keep track of how much I'm drinking, I found my intake increased significantly doing things that way.

    I also vastly prefer cold water over room temperature, especially in summer, so I try to keep some water in the fridge all the time.

  54. My water-drinking hack was to pretend to be a mermaid, and if I didn't drink my water, it meant I was drying up and would turn into seafoam. SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. It worked pretty well, actually …

  55. I don't follow the advice that we need to constantly be drinking water, but water is my beverage of choice when I'm thirsty. I used to use a Platypus collapsible water bottle, but it got gross after not washing it enough (it was damn difficult to wash). However, I like to keep a bottle of water (that I refill from the tap) with me because thirst can strike at random times. I'm wary of keeping a bottle of water in the car (not that I own a car anymore) because of problems with heating plastic or the metallic taste an aluminum bottle gives water after it's been stored too long.

  56. I use a trick much like the thin rubber bands some people suggest… I wear a pandora bracelet with 8 threaded charms on it. When I finish a glass, I twist one of the threaded charms to the other end of the bracelet…. so when all the charms are on the other side then I've finished my goal for the day.

  57. I keep only 3 gallons of water and 1 gallon of milk in the fridge to drink to limit my cold drink choices. Plus I started using 0 calorie Mio to add flavor as needed. I also keep a water bottle by the bed, because I get severe leg cramps at night when I haven't had enough water during the day.

  58. I fill a litre bottle with water for every meal. And drink it between every two-three bites. (The goal is to finish it with the meal) At the end of the day, I'm fuller, eating less calories, and getting 3 litres of water a day.
    (The litre bottle just adds to the accomplished feel- 600mls just doesn't do the same thing)

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.