Your Daily Reminder to Drink More Water (and Just How to Do it)

Most everyone understands the importance of drinking water, but there’s a lot of conflicting ideas of how to ensure that you’re drinking enough.  Some people swear by intake-tracking apps, and others claim that having a glass of water before every meal is the best way to stay hydrated; basically, there’s so many trains of thought out there that it can be hard to figure out what’s best to do.  Several months ago, I resolved to attempt to increase my water intake, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time combing through these theories and figuring out which are legitimate and which are dubious at best. I’ve boiled it down to four strategies that, so far, have actually helped me drink more water:

Drinking through a straw

I know straws have been rather controversial as of late due to concerns about their potential negative impact on the environment, but using a tumbler cup with a reusable plastic straw has been crucial in my quest to increase my water intake.  Drinking through a straw is quicker and more convenient, so I can easily down 4 cups of water without giving it much thought. The portable drinkware company Cool Gear makes these amazing 24-ounce tumbler cups that are insulated and durable (unfortunately, they appear to no longer be selling the exact one that I have, but you can buy a similar one here). 

Bringing a water bottle to class

As long as you’re careful to prevent it from leaking and keep it away from your computer, bringing a full water bottle to class is an easy way to stay hydrated.  While my professor is lecturing or we’re watching a video in class, I usually take a few swigs from my water bottle. Just be careful to not drink too much, unless you’re planning on spending precious class time in the bathroom (I learned this the hard way). 

NOT obsessing over keeping track of my water intake

I tried to track my water intake using the FitBit app on my phone, but all it did was cause me anxiety.  I’d often forget to log my water intake, and if I didn’t meet my minimum goal for the day I’d end up feeling bad about myself.  So my advice would not to fixate on how many ounces you’re drinking per day, just ensure you’re drinking regularly.

Allowing myself to still have coffee and tea

I cut soda and most other sugary drinks out of my diet about two years ago, but I am an avid coffee and tea drinker.  It probably goes without saying that water is a boring drink that quickly gets old, so I knew that limiting myself to only drinking water would be unrealistic.  I like to break up my water consumption with cups of coffee and/or tea, and I also experiment with adding natural flavoring to my water so it isn’t always so dull.  

Of course, we’re all individuals, and what has worked for me as far as increasing my water intake may not work for you, but I hope that my suggestions are able to point you in the right direction.  Drinking enough water is so important for your overall health, and if only there were less conflicting ideas about it, it may be more easily done.