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8 Easy Hacks to Hydrate More


Staying hydrated seems simple enough – just drink plenty of water, right? But clearly it’s not as easy as it seems, since many people find it challenging. One recent poll revealed that nearly half of U.S. adults drink less than the recommended daily amount of fluid. So if you find it difficult to hydrate enough, you’re not alone.

There are a variety of reasons why: Maybe you haven’t developed a consistent habit, you have a decreased thirst response, or you don’t feel that thirsty in cooler months. No matter the cause, it’s worth addressing, since adequate hydration is crucial to good digestion, immunity, blood pressure, weight management, body temperature, energy, and more. 

We asked dietitians and nutrition experts for their best tips to help us hydrate more. 

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1. Use a straw

“One of my top hacks to boost water intake is to use a straw,” says Atlanta-based RD Jessie Winstead. One of the reasons that the Stanley Cup has gotten so popular is likely because the straw makes it easier to sip quickly, without thinking about it. 

The straw itself makes it easier – plus, having one means you don’t have to twist off a lid, notes dietitian Lauren Mardeusz. “You could have every good intention of drinking more water, but if it takes an extra two seconds to twist off the lid, you’re less likely to do it,” she says. “Reduce the barriers to drinking water by choosing a water bottle that has a straw or a flip-top lid to make it easier.”

2. Hydrate when you caffeinate

If you already drink other fluids like coffee or tea, “stacking“ a glass of water onto the other beverages you like to drink will get you to hydrate more. Habit stacking is a technique in which you build a new habit by attaching it to an already-established one.

“Pair up your water intake with other beverages you never skip, like your morning coffee,” says RD Tori Martinet. “Fill your water glass while you fill your coffee mug, or when you grab your afternoon pick-me-up, and you’ll give yourself the gift of more opportunities for hydration.” 

One benefit of increased hydration means you’ll get up more often to use the bathroom. When you do, use that as an opportunity to refill your water bottle. Think about the daily habits you never miss, and include drinking a glass of water.

3. Use “hydrate” reminders

Make appointments with yourself to hydrate, says Jeanette Kimszal, RD. Sometimes we need an external accountability source to be more consistent, especially when we’re first developing a habit.

“One way to drink more water is to make an appointment on your calendar to remind you,” she says. “Just like all those meetings and social events, having a note of reminder to drink a certain amount of water every few hours may help you consume more water.” 

Also, remind yourself to hydrate by keeping water where you can see it. Keep a glass by your bedside, and place a reusable bottle at your desk and in your car. If it’s consistently in front of you no matter where you turn, you’re more likely to drink more water. 

4. Dress it up

Imagine going out to a restaurant and ordering a fancy mocktail – most likely you’ll finish that drink, because it tastes good, and you’ve invested money in it. You can treat your regular water the same way (with a lot less fuss, though). Just muddle a slice of lemon or a few berries, and/or some fresh herbs, at the bottom of your water cup and you’re good to go, says Amanda Sauceda, RD. (Bonus: This is a great way to use up fresh herbs that are about to go bad, reducing food waste.) Or add some frozen fruit to your water, which can double as ice cubes. You can also add a splash of juice, like cranberry, to your water to give it more flavor. 

Another benefit to dressing up your water: It can help you to think of hydration less as a chore and more like self care, says Dani Lebovitz, MS, RDN. She recommends freezing chunks of fruit, herbs, or edible flowers in water in ice cube molds to add a burst of color and flavor to your water. You can even kick it up a notch with fun ice cube molds, she notes. It’s a simple yet effective way to make drinking water more enticing. 

5. Eat hydrating foods

Another way to hydrate: Eat water-rich foods, says dietitian and diabetes educator Sheri Berger. “Along with drinking water, don’t forget about the benefit of eating hydrating foods, too,” she says. “Be sure to include lots of lettuce and other leafy greens, celery, tomatoes, berries, peaches, melons, and cucumbers for foods that supply water, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.”

6. Carry a reusable water bottle 

If you haven’t already jumped on the Stanley trend, now’s the time to get a reusable water bottle. It’s an effective tool to help you hydrate more because you can keep it with you at all times, and fill it up again and again. “If you keep water accessible when you’re on the go, you’ll be more likely than not to keep sipping at it throughout the day,” says Michelle Rauch, RD. “Choose one that’s easy to carry, not too heavy, and can be cleaned easily.” 

7. Opt for bubbles

Sparkling water is just as hydrating as regular water and adds a fun twist to your daily fluid intake, says Brooke Baird, RD. “If you enjoy the carbonation of soda and other beverages, this is the perfect alternative,” she says. “Try adding cranberry juice, fresh lemons, and frozen berries to your sparkling water for more flavor and added antioxidants.” 

8. Make it a game

Love a challenge? Consider “game-ifying” your hydration goals. “Putting rubber bands on your water bottle to signify the ounces you want to consume by different points of the day can be a great strategy to increase your water intake,” says Brittani DaSilva, RD. “If you carry a 20-ounce water bottle and have a goal to consume 80 ounces, you would add four rubber bands. Take one off after each bottle you finish. This can feel like a game, trying to get all four bands removed by the end of the day. Reset the bands each day until you’ve built the habit and no longer need the reminders.”

Read Next: 14 Healthy Drinks to Enjoy Besides Water

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