12 tips to stay hydrated with ease
Good habits are a curious thing. We know what they can do for us, but it's often tough to build them. Staying hydrated is no different. It can make a huge difference in how you feel and perform, but only if you stick with it. Below are twelve tips to help you do that. They are in no particular order. Some probably won't resonate with you. Some might need a tweak to work for you. Take them as inspirations. Every glass counts, so even if just one does the trick for you, this article was well worth it.
1 Start with a glass first thing in the morning
Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning is a great hack for several reasons. First of all, it will help you to rehydrate after several hours of sleep, giving your metabolism a nice boost even before your first coffee. It's also relatively easy to make it a habit. Most of us already have a certain morning routine. Use that to your advantage. Think about your typical morning activities and ask yourself after which of these you can consistently drink a glass of water. For example, when you first enter your kitchen or maybe immediately after getting up. It does not matter when exactly you do it, but rather that you aim to do it as part of your daily routine. Also, make it as easy as possible. For the kitchen example, you could put the water jug close to where you prepare breakfast - so it will remind you automatically to drink. Or you could put a glass of water next to your bed, readily waiting for you and reminding you at the same time.
2 Drink a glass of water before your meal
Another great one. First of all, it's easy to make this a micro-habit because it's linked to another highly regular activity: Eating. It also comes with added benefits, like helping you to lose weight because you will feel less hungry and assist your digestion.
Some people worry that drinking before a meal might interfere with digestion, but according to recent studies, the opposite seems to be true: Liquids help digestion. Healthline has a great article on this subject: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/drinking-with-meals.
3 Always have a filled glass in view (and in reach)
The most powerful ways to build a habit are the ones that make it effortless to do the thing you want to do. Small tweaks can have a huge impact. Suppose you want to drink more during work. If you have to get up each time you want to drink something, you will probably delay or skip it a lot. Instead, have a glass in reach all the time. Even better, have a jug of water next to it, so you can refill the glass as soon as it's empty.
4 Know how much water your body needs
Knowing is half the battle, at least according to G.I. Joe. The true percentage is probably much lower because habits are challenging to build. Still, the better you know your needs, the better you can optimize towards them. Since everyone is different, we wrote a dedicated article about this topic. You can find it here.
5 Set a daily goal and track how much you drink
Once you know your optimal hydration, set a daily goal. Don't go crazy at first. Take it easy and reward yourself when you reach it. You can always go higher later.
Also, try to track how much you drink. Our minds are notoriously unreliable, and you shouldn't try to add the number of glasses to the things you juggle in your mind. We obviously recommend using an app like Fluid, but there are also great analog solutions, like dedicated water bottles with motivational labels. Use what works for you, but aim for quality, so you feel great when using it.
If you go digital, don't try to be super accurate. Log when you finish a glass or bottle. There is also little benefit in trying to distinguish between things like water, juice, and coffee. Coffee (depending on your choice) is 90-98% water and has almost no dehydrating effect. Drinks like juice and milk might even be better to rehydrate because of how the body absorbs them. So if you drink an 8 fl. oz. (240 ml) glass of milk, then just log 8 fl. oz. Your goal is to build a long-term habit. Keeping it simple helps a lot to do that.
Last but not least: Don't feel bad if you don't reach your goal every single day. The act of tracking is actually much more important because it will keep you at it and slowly but surely establish a long-term habit.
6 Set reminders
Let's face it: Drinking regularly is typically not on our minds all the time. And it shouldn't. Hydration is important, but you should not feel anxious about it. Reminders help to take the mental load off your mind. Some people have a dedicated water bottle that reminds them to drink. You can also use an app to remind you. Fluid, for example, has a smart reminder system that will only remind you if you did not drink for a certain time (which you can choose yourself) and also stop reminding you once you reached your daily goal.
7 Learn about the benefits of staying hydrated
Since you are reading this, there is a good chance that you already know just how much staying hydrated can do for you. Nevertheless - especially if you struggle to make it a lasting habit - it can help to remember why you are doing it. No matter if you'd like a reminder or maybe even find out something that you did not yet know, you can read about it here.
8 Choose the right temperature for you
This point is less scientific but can make a pretty big difference nonetheless. Especially when trying to drink a whole glass at once (e.g., when you make it part of your morning routine) most people struggle with too hot and too cold drinks. Drinks at room temperature seems to work best.
Contrary to some online advice, we could not find any other science-backed benefits of choosing a particular temperature. So pick whatever helps you to drink more.
9 Keep it interesting
We already suggested that you shouldn't worry about reaching to (non-alcoholic) drinks other than water. Juice and milk might even have a higher rehydration potential than plain water. Nevertheless, water has one big benefit: It has no calories. So especially if you also want to lose weight, choosing the right drink does make a difference. Luckily, there are many other healthy alternatives to still water that can taste great and even have other benefits. On the cold side of drinks, you can try sparkling water or make your own infused water. At Faden, we love to add citrus fruits (especially grapefruit), but also certain vegetables like cucumber can taste great. There are many recipes online. Not everyone likes all variants, but it's definitely worth giving it a try.
Another great option is tea, no matter if hot or cold. Green and black variants typically have less caffeine than coffee and contain a particular amino acid called L-Theanine, which helps create a relaxed but focused state. They also contain potent antioxidants called flavonoids. If you prefer a non-stimulating variant, you could try a herbal alternative like Chamomile or Rooibos. All of them can be prepared in advance to make them into ice tea.
10 Go easy on alcohol (and compensate)
When we mentioned earlier that you should not worry too much about what you drink to hydrate, we already hinted that this only applies to non-alcoholic drinks. This is because alcohol will dehydrate you (this is partly due to how the body breaks it down and partly by suppressing a hormone called vasopressin). The higher the alcohol content, the stronger the effect. So especially when you drink stronger drinks and/or more, try to drink some non-alcoholic beverages to compensate. This will also reduce the risk of a hangover the next day.
11 Tell your friends
This is another piece of advice that might not be for everyone. But it's a strong one. There are countless studies on behavioral psychology that confirm our desire to be consistent with what we say to others. So if you tell several of your friends (or colleagues) that you plan to do something, you are far more likely to actually do it, especially if they can observe your actions.
If you want to make this effect even more potent, you can ask them to join your cause. With Fluid, you can easily connect with your friends, see each other's daily progress and keep each other motivated.
12 Reward yourself
Finally, like with any other habit, be proud if you reach your goal. Don't play it down. Celebrate when you hit your goal for the first time - or when you logged your drinks every day for a week. There is really no formula for how you should reward yourself. Everyone is different. But the act of patting yourself on the back for achieving what you set out to do is very powerful.
Lastly, remember to keep things fun. It's great to achieve your goal without fail, but don't beat yourself up too much if you miss a day.
Well, there you have it. These were our twelve tips to help you stay hydrated. If you like this article, you can also follow us on Instagram, where we regularly post similar tips to help you stay hydrated.
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