Water’s got a lot of tough competition – bubbly things, sweet things, caffeinated things – but it’s still an important part of your daily life. You don’t have to go for the $6 Whole Foods asparagus water (remember that?!) to make your water more interesting! Let’s spice things up in a second, but first let me address the most common concern about drinking more water:
Drinking water makes you pee.
Sorry to be graphic, but that is what everyone is always concerned about when water comes up during our discussions at the studio. So, this is true – to an extent. If you’ve been drinking 12 oz of water a day and you go up to the recommended 64-ish oz a day, YES, you will be visiting the porcelain arena more frequently and feeling a little bloated for a day or two. After that, assuming you are a healthy adult, your body will adjust and stay adjusted, unless you make another dramatic change to your water consumption.
Minimize this temporary effect by spacing out your water intake throughout the day rather than trying to slam 6 glasses at 3pm, and give yourself a cutoff of about 90 minutes before bed so that you can get your uninterrupted beauty sleep.
Let’s get back to making water fun.
1. Infuse it.
You do not need a fancy bottle or any extra tools to infuse your water – just drop some stuff in it and you’re good to go! This was one of my top new habits from 2017, in part because I let go of the idea that I needed to “prepare” something. I started dropping a few frozen berries and maybe a few mint leaves or cucumber slices into whatever water vessel I was using for the day (even a disposable 16oz bottle!) and, like magic, my water was more fun. No recipe required, no “detox” promises, just water with a little extra flavor…which can also be good if the water where you work has an extra hint of chlorine. This is my best and favorite tip, so don’t make it too precious – just give it a try!
2. Schedule it.
This has never been my personal jam, but I know a lot of people like having visual goals. For example, if you plan to drink 4 glasses of water while you’re at work, set out 2 16oz water bottles or a reusable water bottle with your time goals marked off using masking tape or washi tape.
If you tend to get lost in your workday, a reminder from your phone timer or your Outlook calendar (just one…if you make it hourly, you will turn it off because it will be annoying) midway through your day can help you stay on top of your water consumption.
Right now, I’m drinking a gallon of water a day, and I do have a few spare gallon-sized containers that I fill at the start of my day from time to time to remind me to drink allthewater. For me, seeing it all at once has worked best – but you do you!
3. Make it easy.
Is the water gross at your office? Bring your own filter (a Brita pitcher could live at your desk, and they also make water bottles with built-in filters), petition for a water service, or pick up a 2.5 gallon water bottle with a built-in dispenser like the one shown in this photo and keep it at or under your desk. When I was in elementary school and we had temporary classrooms, each student took turns bringing one of those 2.5 gallon bottles in since we didn’t have a water fountain, and they worked surprisingly well.
If the water is gross at your house, try any of the above solutions OR try my unsponsored favorite – a PUR filter that hooks on to the end of your faucet and flips up out of the way when you don’t need filtered water. These don’t damage your sink whatsoever, so they’re great even if you are renting. I switched to an under-sink filter last year so I could get a fancy sprayer faucet for my kitchen, and I kind of miss the taste of the PUR water.
If you’re on the road all the time or you have a job without a lot of desk time, try to increase your water intake over the weekend so that you won’t have to deal with the adjustments (toilet time) during your workday – then stick with the water habit during your busy day by drinking every time you pass by a certain spot at work (stash a bottle there for yourself) or every 30 min while you’re driving.
If you hate your reusable water bottle, pass it on to a new home and try another style. Amazon has over 100,000 related items for “reusable water bottle“, so hopefully one of them will work for you! I tried to make a metal bottle work for me for years, but it hurt my teeth when the water was cold, and I only had access to very cold water during the day, so I never drank water at that job. Should I have just gotten a new, less-trendy bottle that actually worked for me? No comment. Don’t spend a million dollars on your bottle, in case you decide you would prefer another style in a year.
4. Count coffee and tea, within reason.
If you’re drinking basic brewed coffee without a lot of sugar or dairy/dairy-like products added, and you’ve been a coffee drinker for a while, you can count some of your caffeinated cups toward your daily water intake (all of the “coffee dehydrates you” info is based on those who are caffeine naive, which is a real term for folks who don’t drink coffee all the time). Same goes for tea, but a matcha frappuccino isn’t tea, mmkay?
5. Branch out.
I recently mentioned that I’m loving some of the new Trader Joe’s sparkling mineral water flavors – they’re just water with natural flavors, similar to La Croix and any other seltzer that you come across.
If you feel fancy, you could store up some ice cubes made from flavored green tea, herbal tea, or water with fruit and/or herbs and drop some in your water bottle before you leave for the day (make sure they will fit through the mouth of your bottle – there are ice cube trays made for every type of bottle if the regular cubes are too big for yours).
Most flavors of Vitaminwater Zero (ZERO, as in not 30 grams of added sugar per bottle like the regular one) use stevia and erythritol instead of artificial sweeteners.
If none of these flavor options appeal to you, you can always add a splash of juice or sports drink to your water – think 90/10, not 50/50 – to keep it interesting.
What’s your favorite way to stay on top of your hydration goals? One of these? Something else? Leave a comment and let us know what we’re missing!