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We all know the importance of drinking enough water, and if not, Geoff wrote a great blog about it recently.  The problem does not lie in knowing the benefits but the daunting task of getting all that water in…so how do we overcome that hurdle?  I personally struggle with drinking the recommended water amount but have recently found some helpful tips on making my quota and actually enjoying the process.  

When traveling or at the spa, the water always seems to taste better and when it has a couple cucumbers, lemon slices or herbs added, I feel so fancy.  We do not need to hit the spa and spend money just to have tasty water and feel special, so cut up some fruit or veggies and toss them in the pitcher or water bottle and enjoy!  There are actually infuser bottles specifically made to flavor your water without having pieces floating around in the actual bottle.

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Buying a specified water bottle to keep with you is another huge asset in getting your water in.  With just the sheer convenience of having the water by your side, you will find yourself sipping it without even realizing you picked it up.  Coach Kelli recently mentioned at the box that she found she drank more from a water bottle she purchased that had a straw than one without.  This intrigued me and I found she was not alone.  The sipping motion from a straw actually creates a calming effect on the body.  We tend to take larger sips and subconsciously drink more just from watching the water levels sink as we sip.

When looking at bottles, some are broken into time segments for you.  You don’t have to purchase a bottle like this, just take a standard or large water jug and mark it with times that you want to be at that water level.  By breaking up the task, it seems much more manageable and is actually better for your body, rather than chugging it all at once when you realize you didn’t get your ounces in for the day.  

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Another way to break up the water throughout the day is to set timers or use an app to track the amount of water you have taken in during the day or to remind you that it’s time to drink another glass.  

One trick I have used for many years is to alternate water and alcohol.  When you go out on the town or are enjoying a social night, always order two drinks.  One of whatever your beverage of choice is (beer, soda, etc.) and a water.  I will not order a refill or second drink until both are gone.  That way I take in as much water as I do the other and often find that my cravings for a second or third drink are negated by keeping myself hydrated and full.  This also offsets some of the dreaded hangover the next day.

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If you still can’t stand drinking straight water don’t give up hope just yet. Ice, also known as water in its frozen form, can do more than keep our drinks cool.  While minimal, just adding ice to whatever we are drinking can add to our water totals for the day.  If you are having some juice, try throwing in a couple ice cubes or try watering it down a bit.  You will still enjoy the taste, but cut down on the calories and sugar and give your body some of that quality H20.  Those small amounts add up and make a difference.

Still struggling? Try eating your water.  Foods such as watermelon, celery, tomatoes and zucchini (to name a few) are made up primarily of water.  While snacking on these throughout the day will not be nearly enough to keep you hydrated, adding them in is a nice supplement to what you are already drinking.

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An important thing to remember is that not all drinks are contributing positively to your hydration.  Coffee and soda have a diuretic effect that will actually negatively impact your efforts.  If you require caffeine, reach for tea instead.  Other options to mix up what you are drinking include sparkling water, non-caffeinated teas, coconut water, etc.  Just make sure that drinks with extra sugar added are only consumed in moderation.

Hydration is a key component of any weight loss or strength building program, and is vital to your general health. By incorporating some small changes and developing better daily habits, regular hydration will eventually become part of your routine. So raise a glass to your health. Mmmm. That’s some high quality H20!