How to Drink More Water (even if you hate water!) and Why You Should – Plus a Free Printable
At the beginning of July, I was feeling fed up with how disjointed and chaotic my life was. I had no clear direction each day and would kind of “wing it” hoping for the best. My meals weren’t planned, my house wasn’t staying as clean as I wanted, I lacked any motivation, and my brain was going a thousand different direction with no clear focus.
So I decided right then that I was going to challenge myself. Originally I only had it in mind to be a personal challenge – I wasn’t intending to share it with anyone! But then I decided the accountability would be good for me so I threw together a name for it and wrote a blog post about it (you can read it here). Thus the 13 Weeks to a Better Me challenge was born.
What does all of this have to do with drinking more water? Well the very first area I decided to overhaul in my challenge was to drink more water. I’ve been dealing with chapped lips, dry and flaky skin, headaches, and low energy for too long, and I’m tired of it!
So, I actually don’t hate water. I do know people who can’t stand drinking water for the most part (ahem… Mom, this one’s for you) and drinking enough can be a real challenge for them.
But even though I like water just fine, I still struggle with drinking enough every day! To drink when I’m not thirsty just feels…wrong. Like I’m trying to drown myself. But, I’ve always heard that feeling thirsty is the first sign of dehydration…meaning, if you wait until you feel thirsty, you’ve waited too long to drink water!
And when I feel thirsty, I tend to chug down a couple glasses at once, which probably isn’t the greatest method either, since most of it usually…um, goes right through me, if you know what I mean. I don’t feel like I get the full benefits of the water that way.
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SO THEN, WHY IS DRINKING ENOUGH WATER IMPORTANT?
Drinking enough water has so many incredible health benefits, far beyond just healthy skin. Being adequately hydrated can aid in weight loss, give you a little energy boost (being dehydrated takes its toll on your cells and muscles!), keep headaches at bay, and so much more.
Just check out the infographic on the right from Mommy on Purpose which I think sums up the health benefits pretty clearly! (She also has links to the sources she used to get this information, if you’re interested.)
So if you would like to have more energy, less headaches, softer skin, better digestion, and fewer food cravings, (I think everyone would like those things, right?) PLUS a bunch of other awesome benefits, then it’s important to drink enough water!
BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE DRINKING ENOUGH WATER?
I think a lot of people automatically assume they are drinking enough, as long as they drink when they are thirsty. But chances are, if you’re not paying attention to how much you drink, you’re probably not drinking enough water.
Quick tip – to figure out how much water to drink, you just need to take your weight (in pounds) and divide it in half. That number is the amount of water in ounces you should be drinking every day!
Now I’m not going to disclose my weight to the world, but let’s just say, going by that information, 8 glasses of water isn’t enough for me (which is what my goal has been – and even that I’ve been struggling to meet!). Throw in that I’m breastfeeding my baby still and I need even more water.
The same goes with if you are very active during the day – you’re going to need even more water than you normally would.
Here’s a nifty little infographic from JJ Virgin that gives some super helpful info.
DRINKING WATER IS CLEARLY IMPORTANT, BUT HOW DO YOU REMEMBER?
This is my biggest struggle – remembering to drink the water! I remember when I feel so parched I think I’m dying of dehydration. Or when I’m eating some salty food.
Here are some helpful tips that can help you remember to drink enough water!
Fill a pitcher at the beginning of the day.
If you’re a stay-at-home parent (like I am), this could help you out. I actually use this trick a lot. I use this beautiful pitcher that I LOVE (it’s so pretty!!) and leave it in an easy-to-access spot.
I put my pitcher on our “landing zone” where all our mail and stuff usually ends up. It’s a very convenient location and a place I see frequently throughout the day, so it helps me remember. Then just keep a water bottle or glass with you and anytime it’s getting low, grab the pitcher and refill it.
This is a lot easier for me, since I like my water COLD and it gets annoying filling a bottle with fresh ice water several times a day. I just load my beautiful pitcher with tons of ice, and it usually stays cold most of the day.
Find a water bottle you LOVE.
I use these water bottles. At first I didn’t think I loved them because they don’t have a straw (I used to have one of these Contigo water bottles, but finally had to throw it out after using it for years) but now I am LOVING them! The lids snap closed and have been leak-proof for me so far (and I have two kids that love to steal my water bottle, so they’ve gotten some serious testing!). They’re also BPA-free and can be frozen if you want. This could be great if you’re on the go a lot but like cold water – freeze 3 of them to take with you, and then fill the fourth with fresh ice water before you go! While you drink the first, the other 3 will have time to thaw out but still be cold for a long time.
Add a flavoring or sweetener.
I sometimes love adding some water flavorings like these Skinnygirl ones to make my water more drinkable. I haven’t had to do this a lot lately, but it worked wonders for me in the past, especially when I was pregnant and water would almost make me sick, but I knew I had to drink it for the baby’s health.
Set a timer.
One easy way to drink more water is to just set a timer. Every hour, when the alarm sounds, try to drink a few ounces. Super simple, but usually quite effective!
Buy a really big water bottle.
Another similar idea is to take an empty half-gallon or gallon jug and mark the sides, like this example on the left. And although this one may not look too pretty, it’s basically free which is a huge perk!
Mix it up with some refreshing ingredients.
There are a gazillion different recipes out there for detox water, using ingredients like strawberries, mint leaves, lemon, blueberries, and cucumber. Try some out and see if you can find a recipe you love! Not only will it add some enjoyable flavor to boring water, but most ingredients in those recipes have some awesome health benefits.
Drink water before every meal.
An easy way to get some extra water in is to commit to drinking a glass before eating each meal. This should also help you eat a little less and could even aid in weight loss!
AND FINALLY – TO SUCCESSFULLY DRINK ENOUGH WATER, TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
All those tips above won’t help you if you aren’t tracking your water intake in some way. If it’s important to you to get all the health benefits of being properly hydrated, you need to KNOW that you’re drinking enough.
So how can you track your water? There are some different ways you can try and see what works best for you!
You can use a water app.
I’ve used them in the past (in fact, I still have one on my phone) and they have some helpful features. I was never willing to pay for an app to track my water…maybe I’m just cheap, but I could not wrap my head around that! Haha. So I found a free one that had some limitations but still did basic water tracking. My problem was I never stuck to it very long. Finding the app on my phone, or just remembering to pull out my phone to log my water, for whatever reason doesn’t work well for me. But it’s certainly a great way to track water, especially if you are on the go a lot!
You can make a DIY tracker that goes right on your water bottle.
I came across this idea and think it is brilliant! Just grab some cute washi tape and stick it right to your water bottle. So easy and convenient.
(Note – if you know the original source of this image, please let me know! I got it from a slideshow on lifehack.org but could not find the original source.)
You can download my free printable water tracker.
I’ve designed this so you can track your water intake for a week (although I’m contemplated adjusting it to make it a 2-week tracker…thoughts?). Hang it up or leave it out somewhere convenient – I put mine up very close to my pitcher of water – and mark it off as the day goes by!
To get the printable tracker, you just have to subscribe to my newsletter (I send emails once a week, I don’t spam you, I promise!) and you’ll get instructions sent right to your inbox! If you’re already a subscriber, either head on over to the printables library if you remember the password, or check your latest email from me for a reminder.
This water tracker is easy to use and will let you see at a glance how you’re doing that week for water intake. And for a fun idea with a little DIY flair, you could put it inside an 8×10 frame and use a wet erase marker and reuse the tracker every week!
I hope you enjoy this freebie!
Remember – stay hydrated, my friends!
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