How many times have you gotten to lunch and realized you haven't had a sip of water since breakfast, and maybe not even then? Maybe you're too busy to notice your thirst. Or maybe you're one of those people who can't stand to drink plain water. I hear you! But there are ways to make drinking water a seamless and enjoyable part of your day.
Before you start implementing the tips below, track your water intake for one or two days. Most fitness apps have a place where you can log your water. Are you drinking more or less than you thought? I tell all of my personal training clients to drink close to a gallon a day.
Here are some of the tips that I share with my clients to help them drink a gallon of water a day.
How to Squeeze in a Gallon of Water a Day, Even If You Hate the Stuff
- Add Flavor (Just Make It Sugar Free). Mint, cucumbers, lemons, and lime make water more exciting without any added sugars. Experiment with different combinations of herbs. Some water bottles have a special built-in infuser so you can remove the flavorings after an hour or so. You can also add sugar-free electrolytes like nuun tablets, which I reviewed a few years ago. Just don't drink all your water with electrolytes!
- Break Up the Gallon into Smaller Amounts. Did you know that a gallon is 128 ounces? Change your focus from one big, one-gallon jug to eight 16-ounce water bottles, which are the normal size we drink everyday. Hydroflask is a great product because it will keep your water cool all day, even if you leave it in the car. You can also pick from several different typs of lids.
- Keep a Water Bottle Next to Your Bed. That way, you can grab it right when you wake up in the morning and knockout your first 16 ounces without a thought. Drinking water first thing in the morning hydrates your skin and may even improve digestion and liver function.
- Drink 16 oz of Water Before Coffee or Tea. Coffee and tea don't count toward your daily water goal because they contain caffeine, which acts as a diuretic. To offset the dehydrating effects of coffee or tea, first drink 16 ounces of water. The same goes for energy drinks.
- Drink Half Your Water by 10 am. You'll stay hydrated the rest of the day even if you slow down on your water consumption, and you won't have to get up in the night to go to the bathroom. Have a game plan to meet this goal. In addition to drinking 16 ounces when you first get up, you could drink another 16 ounces with your mid-morning snack.
- Drink 16 oz of Water Before You Eat. Sometimes my personal training clients think they are hungry, but they actually just need water. It's easy to confuse thirst and hunger. That's why I recommend they drink water when they want an unplanned snack. Most likely the craving will not be there 30 minutes later.
- Make Low-Sugar Popsicles. Crush or puree fresh berries with some water and fresh mint. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid. These popsicles make a refreshing treat on a hot day while keeping you hydrated. Just don't ruin the healthy benefits by adding sugar!