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. 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.

  2. 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!

    • Tea counts? Even though it’s a diuretic? (Perhaps some of the herbal ones are not, but regular tea is.)

      • 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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 :-).

  12. 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.

  13. 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. (:

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 =]

  17. 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.

  18. -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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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

  24. 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.

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