We all know we should drink more water. It is after all one of our most basic needs for survival. Taken from the cute toddler mopping your floor all day to the professional athlete breaking laws of physics with each stride, we all need to keep hydrated in order our bodies to function in tiptop conditions. It seems like a fairly straight forward process, but it’s surprising how difficult it can be to follow the one simple rule. DRINK. MORE. WATER! Follow these simple tips to drink more water and boost your water intake.
I set myself a challenge of drinking one litre of water everyday, discounting the water intake from foods and fruits of course (never cheat your body). One litre may sound like a lot of water, but it’s not. To put it into perspective, think of it as two massive cans of Red Bull, or 4 small flat whites.
Our monkey brains can be tricked into doing what they don’t like, in this case, drinking more water. Here are a few tricks I used to increase my daily water intake and I hope it helps kick things off for you too.
#1 — Start your day with water not coffee
Aim to drink a cup of water immediately after waking up. You know that yucky morning mouth feeling? That’s your body begging you for water. No, not coffee. Water. So give your body what it needs, and then stuff your monkey brain full of caffein.
#2 — Make it more accessible
Always have a bottle of water handy. Invest in a well designed bottle you’re proud to take everywhere. Office, public transport, picnic, day at the museum and so on. This way, the second your brain starts thinking sugary drinks, you can temporarily silence it with a sip of refreshing water.
#3 — Flavour your water
Drinking plain water can be boring, especially if you’re making the transition from sugary drinks. I mean where’s the fun. It’s not fizzy, it’s not sweet and it doesn’t taste like anything (a quality of water we all take for granted). Throw in little extra something in your water bottle and let it sit in the fridge overnight. My current favourites are lemons, cucumbers and fresh mint leaves.
#4 — Set small goals equals early wins
When building new habits, have small achievable goals at first. Our monkey brains need the early wins. Initially reaching smaller milestones will help us continue developing the habit. In this case, depending on how much water you’re drinking right now and what your habits are, introduce water into your routine gradually.
#5 — Chilled water
Room temperature water is good, but chilled water is even better. This is especially true during hot summers and intense workouts. Every sip will cool you down and help you feel that much more refreshed.
FUN FACT: Drinking iced water will help you burn more calories. 8 calories per cup of water in fact.
#6 — Have it with a straw
Nothing says I’m fun like drinking water with a straw. Part of why we don’t drink as much water, is because it’s not fun. Find ways to make it more interesting the habit will follow. Mix this with step 3 and you’ll never look at water the same way, ever again.
#7 — A glass of water before each meal
Yet another trick to help you reach your minimum daily goals. On average we have three meals a day. If you had a glass of water before each meal that almost a litre, with almost zero effort. In addition to being an easy way getting your water, it’ll also help you feel fuller sooner, which means you’ll eat less.
Awesome trick if you’re trying to shed a few kilos.
#8 — Set an alarm
We have alarms for most important things during the day. Waking up, taking pills, going to sleep and so on. Drinking water, in my opinion is on the same level of importance. Sometimes we can get too busy to drink water. In winter, even though our body desperately needs the water, we may not feel thirsty. It’s useful having an alarm setup to remind us when it’s time to take a sip.
#9 — Track it
I personally like to track everything. I mean EVERYTHING. You don’t have to be that extreme. There are plenty of apps, that’ll help you track your food/water/exercises everyday. Pick one and consistently track your water intake. Watching the progress bar fill up will motivate you further.
#10 — Sparkling water
I’ve saved the best for last. This goes to our original point. We don’t like water, because it’s plain and boring. You can spice it up by adding fruit slices to your drink overnight, chilling it, and having it with a straw. What’s even more fun is carbonating your water. You can buy sparkling water from your local supermarket, but you can also carbonate your own water at home.
I hope these steps help you start drinking more water everyday. These are all a good starting point, pick one or two each week and experiment at your own pace. Find the one that works for you and stick to it.
Let me know how you go with our little experiment.