I often forget to drink water, as silly as that sounds. Do you have any tips/tricks to help me remember when to drink water throughout the day?
This is not a silly question and I hear it all of the time. In fact, I just returned from a weekend girl’s trip and two of my friends asked me the exact same thing. We make sure our plants, children and pets have enough water but somehow we forget to ‘water’ ourselves. Don’t fret, you may not be doing as badly as you think with your hydration.
According to the new water recommendations published in the Harvard Health Letter, we should be drinking 30 to 50 ounces a day, or four to six glasses of water. The previous eight 8-ounce glasses per day was not based on science but more of an educated guess that people could easily remember. The instinct of thirst keeps us alive and is related to crucial bodily functions. As a normal healthy adult using thirst as your guide, you can reach your optimal hydration levels with adequate fluids. Certain populations of people (i.e. endurance athletes, older adults, children, pregnant women) may need more than this standard recommended amount, however.
Here are some healthy hints to stay hydrated:
- Start each day with a glass of water. As it may feel like taking your medicine each morning, drinking one 8-ounce glass of water before any coffee, tea or food is the perfect way to get things moving as well as beginning your day hydrated. Bottoms up!
- Always have water with you. I tell my clients, “if it’s there then you will drink it, if it’s not than you cannot.” Refillable water bottles in your car, at your desk, with you during a workout can be good reminders to drink regularly.
- Add your own flavor. Let’s face it, plain old water can get boring! Instead of buying a sugar-filled or chemically-laden bottle of water, drink hint water it is just like adding your own fresh fruits and veggies to your water, like watermelon chunks, orange slices or mint to jazz up that flavor.
- Foods count too. Certain foods such as melons, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach and soups have higher water contents and can contribute to your overall hydration each day.
- Set a reminder. Some people have success by setting a timer or using an app to remind themselves to drink water regularly. Small, regular sips of water add up over time and are easier to get down the hatch than having to gulp massive amounts that can leave you with an uncomfortably full belly.
Kim Juarez, M.S.