It’s important to stay hydrated all year round, but with temperatures climbing higher as the northern hemisphere moves into summer, dehydration will be more of a risk for the next few months. If you’re anything like me, you don’t exactly keep track of that “eight glasses a day” thing, but there are other easy habits that can help you start drinking more water.
- Drink a full glass in the morning
After seven or eight hours of not drinking, your body needs to replenish its stores. Morning is one of the easiest times to form new habits, since we already have so many rituals to start our days—so simply add downing a glass of water to that list! Keep in mind that your mug of coffee won’t cut it; since caffeine is a diuretic, it actually prevents you from absorbing liquid. It’s still fine to drink it in moderation, but don’t rely on it for hydration.
- Experiment with water infusions
Water doesn’t have to be boring. Kicking it up a notch with water infusions is a good way to add some variety. Lemon is pretty traditional, but there are many more. One of my favorites is cucumber, which makes the water taste light and crisp. Citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit work well also, and herbs like mint and basil can be used on their own or paired with a fruit. Infusing water is incredibly easy—just place your chosen ingredients in a pitcher of water and let it refrigerate overnight. (You can also get water bottles that have a space for infusion ingredients!)
- Invest in a quality reusable water bottle
Taking water on the go doesn’t always work out—those plastic bottles have a way of turning lukewarm in about an hour, and it’s a hassle to keep buying them all the time. To up your portable-water game (and be kinder to the environment in the process), pick up a reusable bottle. Many of them come with filters now, so you can refill from anywhere with a faucet, and adding in some reusable plastic ice cubes will keep the drink cold and refreshing for much longer.
- Dilute your fruit juices
Fruit juice likes to pretend to be healthy, but in reality, it’s mostly sugar. The fruit’s fiber gets stripped away during processing, so there’s nothing to slow the absorption of the fructose; juicing transforms fruit from a complex carbohydrate into a simple one. If you don’t want to give up your favorite flavors, though, just water them down. A glass of water with a splash of fruit juice tastes just as good, and your body won’t miss the eight ounces of sugary calories.
- Try some teas
Tea is another great way to add some variety without tacking on calories. Be careful with caffeinated kinds, since (as with coffee) they won’t hydrate you. Herbal teas work perfectly, and since there are dozens of flavors to try, you won’t tire of them quickly. In warmer weather, I prefer drinking them iced, but hot tea is equally effective.
Then there’s the obvious tips like making sure you drink more when you exercise or spend time in the sun, but I think most of you probably have those down by now!
If you have any favorite water infusion recipes or other tips that have helped you stay on track, make sure to share below.