Forget sound gong baths and counting your macros—staying hydrated is one of the simplest and most accessible aspects of wellness. Its steady stream of benefits includes better core health, extra energy, boosted fitness, improved digestion, and supercharged brainpower. Wow! But how to drink more water each day?
First, before even choosing the best reusable water bottle (more on that later...), you need to establish whether you’re currently sipping anywhere near enough H20. The recommendations from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are that men should aim for 3.7 liters per day, while women should be getting 2.7 liters. Remember: this includes fluids from other drinks, as well as a little from food.
However, it is a guideline—how much water you actually need is very individual. “The best way to check if you are hydrated is to look at the color of your urine,” says Julia Young, a registered nutritional therapist. “If you are drinking enough, your urine should be a pale, straw-like color—whereas dark-colored urine indicates dehydration.” Room for improvement? We're here to help...
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How to drink more water: 7 ways to level-up your hydration
1. Get a headstart
Just like your to-do list, if you start off early drinking water it will be far easier to wash down all those liters by the time you hit the hay.
Young, who is a member of the Fertility Nutrition Centre (opens in new tab) where she stresses the importance of hydration to patients, has a simple strategy to get you going. "Place a 500ml bottle of water by your bed at night—and drink it as soon as you wake," she says. "Refill your bottle after breakfast and aim to drink it mid-morning—that is already one liter drunk before lunch!”
2. Set yourself reminders
From going to bed on time to remembering to meditate, our busy lives mean we often need a little digital help when it comes to looking after ourselves. Often forget to drink water until you're already really parched? Give yourself a helping hand by setting reminders on your phone to stay hydrated.
"Schedule them for key times in the day—like mid-morning, lunchtime, afternoon, and evening—and try to drink 500ml each time. This can help create the habit,” says Ryan Hodgson (opens in new tab), an online health and lifestyle coach. “Perhaps you can also sip 500ml before any meal, which can help reduce your portion size—which can be particularly helpful for those who have a healthy, sustainable fat loss goal."
3. Track your progress
Stay motivated by keeping an eye on how you're doing throughout the day. The simplest and most accurate way to log how much you're drinking is by using an app.
If you're an Apple Watch user, you can download the WaterMinder (opens in new tab) app. You can see your water consumption at a glance, and also how you've fared in the past fortnight—all without even having to get your phone out. Those with iPhone or Android devices can check out the Daily Water Tracker Reminder (opens in new tab) or Hydro Coach (opens in new tab), among many other free options.
4. Give it an upgrade
Who says you have to just sip on plain old H20? If it's the lack of taste that has your hydration levels stalling, by all means, add some flavor. Dr. Federica Amati, the chief nutrition scientist for Indi Supplements (opens in new tab), suggests: “If you find water boring, try making your own infusion with cucumber and mint.”
Talking of your five-a-day, she adds: “Fresh fruits and vegetables also contain water, so include them at every meal for a tasty hydration hit.” Fresh stuff!
5. Choose a nice bottle
The vessel from which you drink really can make a huge difference. Invest in a reusable water bottle with a sleek design that will look pretty sitting on your desk—we challenge you to not keep picking it up. What's more, if you go for one like this Chilly water bottle, it will keep your H20 nice and cool for hours.
A bottle also has another advantage compared to drinking individual glasses of water—it can very helpfully indicate how much H20 you've consumed. “Get one with measured lines across it,” says Holly Zoccolan, nutritional health coach and founder of The Heath Zoc (opens in new tab). “It’s a great way to see very easily how much you've been sipping your way through.”
And if you needed another nudge to get your hands on a reusable bottle rather than turning to plastic ones, it's also far better for the environment. A whopping 80% of the latter end up in landfills, with the water bottling process releasing an estimated 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. Not a good look.
6. Make it special
Are you simultaneously trying to drink more water while also cutting down on alcohol? If you're at a party opt for some H20—but with a twist.
“Pour yourself a glass of sparkling water,” advises Young. “Having it in a wine or champagne glass can seem even nicer.” But with zero risk of a hangover!
7. Heat it up
A great one for autumn and winter, and if you've already had plenty of caffeine for the day. "Warm water with lemon before a meal is a great way to help aid the digestive process, and herbal teas also count towards your hydration goal,” suggests Young.
What’s more, a study (opens in new tab) found that hot water or tea could help relieve a runny nose, coughing, and a sore throat. The researchers found it was more effective than the same beverage at room temperature. We’ll raise a mug to that.
Lauren is a freelance writer and editor with more than six years of digital and magazine experience. Most recently, she has been the Acting Commissioning Editor of Women's Health—where she co-produced the Going For Goal podcast—and has previously also written news and features for titles including The Telegraph, Grazia, Stylist, Dazed, The Sun's Fabulous, Yahoo Style UK and Get The Gloss. She covers all aspects of lifestyle, specializing in health, beauty, and travel. Can't live without: oat milk lattes, new podcast episodes, long walks, and great skincare.
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