Everyone knows that drinking water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. But how do you get yourself to actually drink it? If you’re anything like me, you’re full of good intentions and not so full of water. The key is to find a trick that works for you and stick with it. Try out a few of these strategies and see which one works for you!
1. Carry around a big heavy jug
I carry a 32 oz hydroflask with me everywhere I go, and what motivates me to keep drink water throughout the day is the knowledge that that thing gets lighter every time I take a sip! It’s up to you what size vessel you carry, but try to hit the sweet spot. It should be heavy enough to motivate you to keep drinking to make it lighter, but not so heavy that you’ll just leave it home.
2. Gallon challenge
I have seen people challenge themselves to drink 1 gallon of water a day and marking a plastic jug to help them achieve this.
The idea is to mark lines on the jug that indicate how much water you should have left by a certain time of day. So by 9AM you should have drunk to the 9AM line. By 12PM you should be at the noon line, and so forth. It’s up to you to decide how you want to space the water out and how many increments to put on the jug.
I would recommend putting a lot of markers instead of just 2 or 3. That way you won’t have to chug a third of a gallon of water all at once if you suddenly realize you’re behind schedule when 12 o’clock rolls around.
Also, the more markers you have, the more you’ll think to check your progress throughout the day, and it’s probably better to more evenly distribute your water intake.
When I’m trying to hydrate really well, I try to be finished drinking to my goal by about 6pm to reduce the likelihood of waking up for an urgent bathroom break in the middle of the night.
3. Set alarms throughout the day and drink 1 glass each time it goes off
If the gallon jug doesn’t suit you, you can follow the same idea but with a different execution. Try setting several alarms on your phone to go off throughout the day. Each time the alarm sounds, fill up an 8 or 16 oz cup of water and drink it. Set your daily goal in ounces and divide it evenly by either 8 or 16, and then you’ll know how many alarms you need to set. With this method I would also recommend evenly spacing your alarms between the time you wake up and around 6pm.
4. Drink a glass before and after meals
Drink an 8 or 16 ounce glass of water before and after every meal. It will help you feel full and probably eat a bit less than you might otherwise, which is helpful if you’re trying to slim down. Even if you’re not, most of us eat 3 meals a day, so it’s an easy, built-in way to make sure you get those glasses in.
5. Keep a glass on your nightstand and drink during the night or first thing in the morning
Whether you drink it in the morning or at night, you could stand to benefit from keeping a glass of water on your nightstand (pun intended). I like to keep a glass at my bedside in case I wake up feeling thirsty in the middle of the night so I don’t have to wake myself up too much by getting out of bed. If you end up not drinking it throughout the night, just drink the whole glass as soon as you wake up to start your hydration right away.
6. Buy a cup/straw/vessel that makes you excited
Plain and simple, drinking water will be more enticing if you love the vessel you’re carrying it in. That also goes for the method of drinking. Do you love drinking out of straws? Buy a reusable cup and straw to drink from. Wide mouth water bottle more your thing? Or do you prefer one with a sipper top? Figure out what you like and then DEDICATE that vessel to WATER ONLY. No one likes to drink water out of a vessel that permanently smells like old coffee. Using only water in your vessel and washing it regularly will keep it smelling fresh, which will make you want to use it more.
7. Use a planner that has water tracking
If you use a planner, draw in a little water tracker on each day. You could draw a little bottle or glass shape and add tick marks for a quarter, half, 3 quarters, etc. of your intake goal. Or you could draw little droplets and have each one represent a certain number of ounces that you fill in once you’ve drunk them. Keep it simple. If you don’t have a planner, find a printable somewhere to use daily, or you could probably find one dedicated to water intake for the week or month all on one sheet. Humans love checking things off lists and visually seeing their progress, so this is a great motivator!
8. Download an app to track it with notifications
Are you more of a digital person? There’s an app for that! Download a water tracking app instead of writing it into your planner. The benefit of an app over going analog is that most apps will have a way for you to enable notifications, so you can have the app remind you every so often to drink up.
9. Add essential oils or fresh fruit to flavor the water
Maybe the reason it’s hard for you to drink enough water is because it’s so boring. Think about what you could add to it to entice yourself. You can keep a pitcher or large container of water in the fridge and add some slices of fresh citrus, some berries, cucumbers, mint, you name it! If that sounds too labor intensive, try adding a few drops (less is more, trust me!) of essential oil to your water jug. As always, I only recommend doTERRA essential oils because I know they are of a high enough quality for internal use. I do NOT recommend ingesting ANY other brand, so if you do so, it is at your own risk. For more info on essential oils, check out my beginner’s guide.
10. Buy flavored water if you must
If you’re just not down for essential oils OR for taking the time to slice up fresh ingredients, you can always buy flavored water from the store. There might be added sugars or chemical ingredients, so it’s less ideal than drinking regular water (not to mention it costs more), but if that’s what gets you to drink more, go for it!
11. Keep vessels in different places so you never have to remember to bring it
If your main reason for struggling to drink water has to do with the fact that you can never remember to bring some with you, try leaving various vessels in different locations and KEEP them there. If you have multiple vessels that just live in different places, you won’t have to remember to bring them with you. They’ll just already be where you go. Think in your car, in your bedroom, different rooms of your house, in your office at work, etc. I do this all the time with chapstick, and it totally works! Not only do I always have chapstick with me, but I don’t waste them by losing them – I actually use each one until it’s gone!
12. Implement a reward system
Make yourself drink water before you’re allowed to drink any other beverages. If you want a cup of coffee, make yourself drink a cup of water first. Want a beer or a glass of wine? Water first. Smoothie? Water first. You get the idea. It’s up to you to decide how much water is enough to earn you the reward you’re wanting.
That’s it for my 12 strategies to increase your water intake. Have you tried one of these methods? Is there a strategy I’m missing? Let me know in the comments below!
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Until next time,