While it may seem boring and flavorless compared to its sugary alternatives, water plays critical roles in your health. You've heard it all your life and it's true that your body needs water, yet 75 percent of people are chronically dehydrated. If you aren't ready to ditch your juices, sodas and teas just yet, check out these easy ways to drink more water each day and make small swaps. You may be surprised at how refreshing and delicious it can taste!
1. Set a goal. You have always heard you need “8x8 glasses,” meaning eight, eight-ounce glasses each day, but this may very depending on your sex, age, weight, environmental conditions and activity level. Try using a hydration calculator to find your recommended daily water intake. Then decide whether you’d like to strive to reach that goal each day or set your own. If you exercise regularly, you may want to increase the recommended amount as you need extra hydration during your workouts.
>> Read more: Get the Skinny on How Much Water You Really Need
2. Track it. Of course there's an app for that. Free apps like Water Alert allow you to schedule alert reminders and customize the quantity of water you want to drink each day. It also keeps track of your progress and history to hold you accountable without the hassle of writing it down in a log or journal. There are also apps like Pact if you need added motivation, as they allow your friends to join you in meeting your goal — with cash at stake.
3. Add flavor. Drinking water alone can keep you hydrated and healthy, but adding fresh fruits makes your drinks tastier and adds extra health benefits. Mixing fruit combinations to create detox water can improve digestion, immunity and energy, among other benefits. Check out some of the best fruit combinations for water and their health benefits!
>> Get the recipe for this Slim Down Detox Water here!
4. Buy a bottle that makes you happy. You’ll drink more water if you love holding your stylish tumbler. Find a bottle with a motivational quote, sleek style or cool features so you’ll want to carry it everywhere you go and fill it up more often. Check out the interchangeable lids, straws and cuffs for bottles (well, jars) from The Mason Bar Company for a new take on an old household product.
>> Find the best water bottle for you!
5. Get crafty with a bottle. If you already have a trusty water bottle, consider trying a DIY project like Must Have Mom to make it more functional. Draw hashmarks that correlate with times of day and challenge yourself to drink to (or past) the line to meet every deadline. It’ll feel great knowing you’ve achieved your goals and you’ll have a visual reminder to hold you accountable.
6. Drink through a straw. When you drink through a straw, you eliminate oxygen intake, whereas drinking from a bottle or glass would allow air in with the liquid. So drinking through a straw allows you to take bigger sips and will likely have you drinking more liquid altogether. Try it to increase your daily water intake without the need for a hard hat to hold your bottles.
7. Incorporate it into your existing routine. Try incorporating water into your daily routine by adding it to your morning or nightly tasks. If you shower in the morning, drink a glass before and after. When you use cleanser and moisturizer on your face at night, drink a glass before and after. You’ll easily form a habit and your skin will thank you for the natural hydration it's getting. If you'd rather have a soothing warm beverage at night, try hot water with honey or lemon to help you wind down.
8. Eat it. If all else fails, eat the remainder of your water. Fruits and veggies are 80 to 98 percent water, so eating them is a simple way to increase your water intake. Watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery and carrots are high in water content, so eat up to drink up as your body absorbs their water. (via Active)