Drinking More Water

Hydration is linked to health, but getting enough water can be a challenge

(RxWiki News) One of the first steps to being healthy is being hydrated, but many adults are chronically dehydrated. Here's how to get more water in your day.

Water is the foundation of countless processes and reactions inside the body. In other words, water is one of key ingredients of health.

But for some people, getting enough water each day is a challenge. Here are some simple ways to add more water to your day.

Healthy Drink Swaps

If you're drinking sugary drinks more than water:

  1. you may not be getting enough water, and
  2. you may be getting too much sugar

The solution? Can you work on drinking water instead of sugary drinks like sodas and juices.

Of course, that may be easier said than done. If you feel like you rely on those sugary drinks at this point, start small. Instead of going all water all the time, try swapping one of your daily sodas for a glass of water. Or if you need to go smaller, try drinking only 1/2 of your soda and the other 1/2 water. After you're comfortable with that, swap another, and so on.

Even if you don't like the taste of water, there are many ways to get your recommended daily fluid intake. Here are some ideas to increase your intake:

  • Flavor your water. Add lemon or cucumber slices to water to make the taste more appealing. Other options include strawberries and oranges.
  • Add electrolyte drink mixes to water.
  • Drink flavored sparkling water.
  • Try tea (hot or cold).
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water, such as watermelon, spinach and celery.

Creating New Habits

Sometimes, struggling to get enough water isn't about not liking water — it's just that you're not in the habit of drinking water all the time. If that's the issue, here are some suggestions to make the new habit stick:

  • Use your phone to set alarms throughout the day to remind you to drink water.
  • Set a water bottle by your bed.
  • Carry a reusable water with you.
  • Place a bottle or glass of water at your work station/desk. 
  • Pour a glass of water to have with every meal and snack.

Bring Water with You

If you always have water nearby, you're probably going to be more likely to drink it. So, when you leave for work in the morning, bring a water bottle with you. Keep it near your desk and near you in general throughout the day.

If you like your water cold and want to make it more appealing for all-day use, try freezing the bottle overnight so it stays ice-cold all day long.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends a total of 13 cups (about 3 liters) for men and 9 cups (a little over 2 liters) for women.

However, the recommended daily water intake is different for everyone — water consumption is not one size fits all. Factors like how hot and humid it is outside, how much you exercise, your sweat rate, how active you are and pregnancy will determine how much water you should drink.

That's why it's important to speak with your health care provider about the amount of water you should drink every day.