Your body is about 70% water, and drinking enough of it is vital for optimal health.
Water plays many roles in your body, including maintaining electrolyte balance and blood pressure, lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, and promoting cell health.
While everyone knows that it’s important to stay hydrated, doing so can be difficult at times.
Here are 5 simple ways to drink more water.
1. Understand your fluid needs
Before you decide to drink more water, you have to understand your body’s fluid needs.
A common recommendation for daily water intake is 64 ounces (1,920 ml), or 8 cups, but this is not based on science.
The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) recommends that men consume 125 ounces (3,700 ml) and women about 90 ounces (2,700 ml) of fluid per day, including the fluid from water, other drinks, and foods.
However, NAM acknowledges that it isn’t ideal to make broad recommendations about fluid needs, as they depend on your activity level, location, health status, and more.
For most, simply drinking to quench your thirst will ensure you meet your fluid needs. Yet, you may need more fluid if you exercise regularly, work outside, or live in a hot climate.
Setting a daily water intake goal can help you drink more water.
Simply the act of setting a goal can be motivating and make you more likely to make positive changes that last.
To be effective, goals should be SMART, which is an acronym for the following criteria:
For example, one SMART water-consumption goal might be to drink 32 ounces (960 ml) of water per day.
It can also help to record your progress, which can keep you motivated to achieve your goal — and make it a habit.
Keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day can help you drink more water.
When you have a reusable water bottle, you can easily drink water in any setting, whether you’re running errands, traveling, or at home, work, or school.
Keeping a water bottle handy can also serve as a visual reminder to drink more water. If you see the bottle on your desk or table, you will constantly be reminded to drink more.
You can also set reminders to drink more water using an app or the alarm on your smartphone or smartwatch.
For example, try setting a reminder to take a few sips of water every 30 minutes, or set a reminder to finish drinking your current glass of water and refill it every hour.
These reminders can help you increase your water intake, especially if you struggle with being forgetful or too busy to drink.
One way to drink more water — and boost your health and reduce your calorie intake — is to replace other drinks, such as soda and sports drinks, with water.
These drinks are often full of added sugars, which can be extremely detrimental to your health.
For optimal health, limit your added sugar intake to less than 5% of your calorie intake. Just one 8-ounce (240 ml) cup of soda per day can exceed this limit.
Diets high in added sugars have been linked to obesity and other conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Furthermore, replacing these sugary drinks with water is an easy and cheap way to cut calories, potentially helping you lose weight.