It’s one of those things you know in the back of your mind: if you increase how much water per day you drink, you’ll feel better. But ugh! Staring down a clear glass of nothingness can be a little . . . dull. Here are five ways you can drink more water without getting bored.
1. Make a Game of It
femMED’s Melissa Matheson turned me on to this one: get a bottle with the consumption labeled right on it.
You can do it yourself with a sharpee, or buy one of these cute motivational bottles from the cleverly-named Motivational Bottle Company. Set your goal, divide up the bottle or bottles, and go!
2. Add a Little Flavour
Adding a little flavour to water goes so much further than just the ubiquitous lemon wedge. Take your cue from high-end spas and try new combinations to refresh and replenish while warding off the dreaded H2O woes. When your water looks pretty, you’ll feel like you are spoiling yourself a little (and you’ll look like you have it all together, too!) To try:
- Cucumber with Mint
- Watermelon with Basil
- Strawberry with Chocolate Mint
- Lemon with Rosemary
- Grapefruit with Basil
- Kiwi, Strawberry and Mint
Here are four more ideas courtesy of LaurenConrad.com:
In order to get the most flavour from the fruits and herbs, be sure to muddle them with the back of a wooden spoon. The slight mashing / bruising will release the most taste.
If you like your water cold, check out these awesome Slice’n’Ice ice cube trays which a girlfriend gifted me:
Just slice up lemons or limes, insert into the wedge sections, fill with water, and freeze. Pop a couple of the cubes into your wide-mouthed water bottle and the flavour imparts as the ice cubes melt. Refreshing!
3. Set a Reminder
There are dozens of apps that can help you keep track of your water consumption. Staying accountable can really make a difference in your weight loss goals. A study published in the journal Obesity 1 tracked 84 obese people over 12 weeks. Half of them drank 16 oz of water before each meal for 12 weeks, and the other half did not. The result? The water drinkers lost 9 pounds in 12 weeks, with just this one change. No exercise required!
Check out the free app Waterlogged: it lets you set daily goals and get daily hydration reminders. Rocking a FitBit? This app will integrate with it (for a fee.)
4. Start Your Morning Off Right
There is a very compelling argument for starting your day off with a cup of warm water and lemon instead of java. Most nutritionists and doctors make this one of their first recommendations to help you ease any digestion issues you may have.
Naturopaths believe that lemon water also changes the pH of your blood and your urinary tract, so lemon water can be a part of your UTI Prevention strategy.
What’s more, a little lemon juice can help the liver make enzymes better than any other fruit. You want your liver to be in top shape (kidneys too) when you are losing weight, so that they can most effectively process excess waste and get you lean.
Start with a good-sized wedge from a washed lemon. The first mug goes down as fast as a coffee after you get used to the change. If you have two mugs before leaving home, you’re well on your way to your daily water goals!
5. CheatClean With Herbal Tea Instead
Let’s face it: we can’t all be virtous all the time. But here’s a #cheatclean that won’t do you any harm: use cold herbal tea instead of water in your daily bottle. Ones I have tried and love:
Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice
Mighty Leaf Organic Berry Wellness
Celestial Seasonings Acaí Mango Zinger
Tazo Refresh Mint
The recommended process when you are icing teas is to use three bags for four cups of water. Brew, cool, and enjoy!
Doctors caution that any teas that contain caffeine are diuretics, so regular black coffee or tea don’t help with liposys (fat-burning). But the teas above are all decaffeinated and should be okay for your daily goals.
Speaking of which, how much water should you drink per day? We’ve all heard that we should be drinking 8 8-oz glasses a day, I’m sure, but lots of factors affect how much you need. If you’re drinking water for weight loss, try the following formula: calculate your weight in pounds, divide that in half, and then drink that much water in ounces.
So a 150-lb woman would drink 75 ounces of water per day.
If you live in the northern part of the continent and you are around forced-air heating or electrical heating all day, you are getting a little extra dehydration: add another 8 ounces per day.
If you work out, you’ll probably be working up a sweat. Add another 8 ounces per 15 minutes of intense exercise.
And if the day is hot enough that you are sweating just sitting here reading, add another glass or two to replace that lost moisture.
The best benefits when you learn how to drink more water? Gorgeous, dewy skin, reduced inflammation in your joints, and efficient processing of waste in your body. It’s a beauty bundle! What tricks do you use to help you get more H2O?
- Efficacy of water preloading before main meals as a strategy for weight loss in primary care patients with obesity: RCT, Parretti et al; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.21167/abstract ↩