If you know you need to drink more water, these easy tips will help you boost your daily water intake.
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You probably already know that it’s really important to make sure that you drink enough water each day. Our bodies need to be topped up with water regularly – it’s vital for good health.
There are different views on exactly how much water we need. A common recommendation for water consumption is 6-8 large glasses of water per day, which works out at around 1.5-2 litres.
But let’s face it, making sure you’re getting your daily water intake can feel like a bit of a boring task. So here are a few ways that you can make sure you are getting enough fluid.
Why do we need to drink water?
Water makes up around 60% of your bodyweight. Your body uses water in all of its cells, to help regulate temperature and keep your body running as it should.
But the daily processes that go on in your body mean that water is lost every day. Sweating, digestion and even breathing cause you to lose water, which then needs to be replaced.
Dehydration can lead to your skin looking dry and dull, it can affect your mental sharpness, and reduces physical performance.
It can even affect your weight, as the first stages of dehydration are often confused with hunger.
What are the signs of dehydration?
The first signs of dehydration are feeling thirsty and having dark coloured, strong smelling urine. This is because the body is trying to conserve water and encourage you to take on more fluids.
Further signs of dehydration include:
- feeling tired
- having dry lips, mouth and eyes
- feeling light headed or dizzy
- not needing to pass urine very often
How to Drink more Water
If you are struggling to boost your daily water intake, why not pick just one of these tips to add into your daily lifestyle? Then over the next few weeks and months, you can gradually add in some of the other tips to make sure that you stay well hydrated.
Get into the water habit
Your body loses a lot of water overnight while you are sleeping, through sweat and through breathing. If you start your day with a boost of hydration, you’ll be well on your way to getting your daily water intake up.
So a large glass of cold water, or a glass of hot water with a slice of lemon or lime first thing in the morning is a great way to get your day off to a great start.
By including water drinking into your daily routine, you’ll find it easy to meet your hydration targets. So try and set certain times of the day when you have a glass of water – for example, when you clean your teeth, or when you sit down to start work.
And always keep your glass or water bottle filled, within arms reach and at eye level. That way it’s easy for you to keep sipping throughout the day.
Finally, making sure that you have water available on your night-stand will mean that you can easily have a drink in the night if you wake up feeling thirsty.
Mix it up
Remember that you don’t just need to drink plain tap water. You could try different types of water including spring and mineral waters, flavoured waters, or sparkling water.
Or why not have a look in your local supermarket to see if they are stocking alternatives like coconut water to keep things interesting.
Other drinks such as tea, coffee and even soft drinks do count although you need to bear in mind the diuretic effect of caffeine and the amount of sugar in some drinks.
So feel free to count your morning cuppa, or add a splash of fruit juice to your glass of water. But no, that glass of Pinot Grigio doesn’t count…
If you don’t like the taste of your local tap water, you don’t need to resort to expensive bottled water. You can use a filter jug like the Brita Marella* to remove limescale, chlorine and metals from your tap water.
It can hold 1.4 litres of filtered water, and fits easily in your fridge. The micro carbon pearls reduce chorine and impurities, while the ion exchange pearls remove lead, copper and limescale from the water.
Each MAXTRA+ filter cartridge lasts around a month, and it even has an electronic memo function to remind you when the cartridge needs replacing.
Or alternatively you could use a filter bottle like the Bobble bottle* – it’s BPA free, and filters the water as you drink. The bottle is made of recycled plastic, and is the equivalent to 300 single use plastic bottles.
Make use of Tech
Yep, there are even apps to remind you to drink more water. When I had an iPhone, I used to use Waterlogged to keep track of how much I was drinking each day, and my favourite Android app is Aqualert.
If you don’t want to install an app, you could try setting a timer on your phone as a reminder to your top up your drink. This is really useful if you tend to get engrossed in your work and forget to drink!
And I first came across this nifty gadget a few years ago when my youngest son was playing tennis.
Hydracoach* is a water bottle which actually keeps track of how much you are drinking.
It’s really useful if you keep on refilling your bottle and find that you lose track of how much you’ve drunk so far. And yes, it’s BPA free as well.
Keep it close
Often, one of the main reasons that we don’t drink enough water is because we don’t have water close at hand. So make sure that you always have a bottle of water with you, to help you keep your water consumption up.
It’s worth investing in a really nice re-usable bottle rather than buying single-use bottles. The initial outlay may be higher, but you’ll save money in the long run plus it’s better for the environment. And buying a bottle that you’ll enjoy using will help to keep you motivated to drink throughout the day.
I love my Chilly bottle, which looks fab and keeps my water cold for
And always make sure that you have a glass of water nearby when you are watching TV, cooking dinner or just relaxing at home. You’re much more likely to keep drinking if there’s a glass within easy reach.
Add some flavour
As I mentioned above, you don’t just have to drink plain water to meet your hydration targets. So if you don’t like plain water, drink something with a bit more flavour instead!
If you love fruit juice, try diluting it with water. It will count towards to your daily water intake while being a little lower in sugar. You can gradually reduce the amount of fruit juice you use over time.
Another water bottle that I like is the Infruition bottle*, which allows you to infuse your water with fruit flavour. Try using berries, citrus fruits, melon, or even slices of cucumber. You can even mix in some fresh mint leaves when you’re creating your infusion.
Yes, you could just chop up some fruit and pop it in a normal sports bottle, but then it gets in the way and clogs up the drinking spout.
The Infruition bottle is BPA free, it comes in a range of bright colours, and I really enjoy using it.
Eat your water
Eating food with a high water content, like melon, lettuce and cucumber, is a tasty way to make sure you’re getting enough fluid. And they have the added bonus of being full of nutrients as well.
So cut up a bowl of watermelon to leave in your fridge for snacking, or make yourself a big bowl of salad to go with dinner. You’ll be boosting your hydration as well as eating healthily.
If you get into the habit of drinking a glass of water before each meal, that’s a great way to boost your fluid intake. It can also help to check if you’re thirsty rather than actually hungry, as the two are very easily confused.
Put the kettle on
Your cup of tea or coffee does count towards your daily fluid intake, but don’t forget that the caffeine in them is very dehydrating.
If you want to cut down on the amount of caffeine you’re drinking, why not try switching to herbal teas?
There’s a huge range of teas available, from fruit teas to herbal teas, and it’s a lot of fun trying them all out. I love teapigs Up Beet*, which contains beets, spices, hibiscus and a touch of green tea. It’s a great way to start your morning!
And drinking a caffeine-free herbal tea at night can soothe and relax you. Something like teapigs Snooze* is perfect for this, as it contains herbs like chamomile and lavender. You can use a little honey if you need to add sweetness.
Drinking on the move
Driving can be very dehydrating, especially if you have the air-con running in your car. And if you’re driving for long periods, it can be easy to forget to drink.
If you’re planning a car journey, be sure to keep a bottle of water with you in the car so you can take a sip while you are stuck in traffic.
Dehydration can lead to lack of concentration, so on longer car journeys it’s worth planning regular pit stops so that you can stretch your legs and take a good drink of water.
Keep it Cold
Adding ice cubes to your drink will help keep it refreshing. You could try adding pieces of fruit to your ice-cube tray before you freeze it, or even freeze slices of lemon and lime to use as ice cubes..
And when the warmer weather comes, eating ice-lollies will help quench your thirst as well as counting towards your daily water intake.