Developing a new habit is hard. When that habit is a good one, it somehow feels many times harder. Drinking more water is one of them. If you need to drink more water, the tips below might help you.
But first – how much water do we need to drink?
It is a popular belief that you should drink 1.8 litres (64 ounces) of water daily, but the Institute of Medicine has found that the average adult male should consume approximately 3.7 litres (125 ounces) daily. Now, although that quantity includes water present in all food and drink, keep in mind that drinking dehydrating liquids such as coffee, energy drinks, sugary drinks, or alcohol may thwart your efforts.
If you already drink enough water then it’s well and good, but if you don’t and need to up your intake, here are some tips which might help you:
- Use a water bottle
It might sound a little childish, but having a water bottle constantly at hand is very effective in helping you drink more water. We’re all a little lazy sometimes, and admit it, you probably don’t get up to get a glass of water every time you feel a little thirsty. A water bottle in your line of vision also acts as a constant reminder for the habit.
- Use modern technology, baby!
There are a bunch of apps and extensions that remind you to drink more water. My favourite, however, is the Ulla extension – which is free. I like it because it’s simple and pleasant. Every x minutes (it’s adjustable), the extension creates a little pop-up notification that reminds you to take a sip of water, and tells you an interesting fact as well.
- Make your water tasty
If your water is tasty, you’ll be more inclined to drink it. Slice up a small cucumber, crush up some mint leaves, and get a slice or two of lemon. Put them in your bottle and leave it for a while, and voila! Another great idea is non-alcoholic mojito – crush up some mint leaves, squeeze half a lemon, put in water and let the flavor seep for an hour, and then strain.
- Set small goals
This point covers two things – firstly, don’t aim too high. If your current water intake is a litre, aim to increase it by 500 ml, rather than by another litre. Secondly, set mini-goals for throughout the day. Say, if you want to drink 1.5 litres daily, that’s three 500 ml bottles. Aim to finish one before breakfast, lunch and dinner respectively – or you can set time-specific goals.
- Only refill your bottle when it’s empty
This will help you remember how much water you’ve consumed, so you’ll be able to measure your progress in quantitative terms. That will simplify things a bit, and keep you from losing track. This way, you’ll have a clear goal instead of taking a blind stab – which should help a little with encouragement.