We all know how important it is to drink enough water each day. After all, dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, dry skin, dizziness, or muscle cramping. Chronic dehydration can even lead to serious health issues such as kidney failure. However, drinking enough water each day is easier said than done. What should you do if you often forget to drink water?
First, it’s important to note that the amount of water you should be drinking varies from person to person.
“Remember the 8, 8 oz glasses of water rule we were taught as kids? Totally not true!” Carissa Galloway, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified personal trainer with BODYARMOR, tells FabFitFun. “The more accurate way to measure your intake is to divide your weight in half and aim for that many ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds then your daily goal before exercise is 75oz. This can come from water or other beverages. Foods, especially fruits, do count towards your daily intake of fluids but since those are hard to track stick with the ounces goal.”
If you’re physically active, spend a lot of time outdoors in heat, or have certain medical conditions, you may need to drink more each day. So, how do you do remind yourself to stay hydrated? Experts give FabFitFun their best tips for drinking more water throughout the day.
Set reminders on your phone.
For some, drinking on a schedule is the most effective way to get in all the water you need. If keeping to a schedule is challenging, set reminders on your phone. Galloway suggests setting reminder alarms every 90 minutes.
“If it goes off and you’re not near a source of hydration or have not had anything in a while then it’s time to drink up,” she says. Setting reminders on your phone can help to keep you on a regular schedule. Eventually, you should get used to drinking water at certain times throughout the day, and you won’t need a reminder any longer.
Set goals for yourself.
If you’re a goal-oriented person, make it a challenge to drink a certain amount of water by a set time. “For example, if you have a 32-ounce water bottle, aim to finish it by noon, refill, and try to finish it again by five,” performance dietitian Hillary Ake tells FabFitFun. It’s a fun way to develop a habit of drinking water throughout the day.
Keep a water bottle near you and visible at all times.
Having a water bottle visible and easily accessible will make it so much easier for you to remember to hydrate. For instance, make a habit out of putting out a bottled water on your desk every morning. According to Ake, you’re most likely to pick it up and drink when you’re bored in Zoom meeting or sitting in class. If just having a bottled water on your desk doesn’t really do the trick, put a neon sticky note on it and write, “Drink me!” It’s hard to ignore that.
Figure out how you like to drink water and form a habit around that.
In comparison to coffee or soda, water is kind of boring. It’s something you have to drink, not something you always enjoy. Because of that, it’s easy to forget to drink enough. So as a solution, try figuring out how you like to drink water. “Maybe you like it very cold and need it to stay in a fridge filter system, maybe you need some flavor and need to use a water enhancer, or maybe you are most likely to drink if it is in a fashionable container,” Ake says. Find something that works for you, lean into it, and turn it into a habit.
Use “habit stacking” to your advantage.
“One of the best ways to remember to do something is to attach that action to something that’s already a habit,” Katelyn Barrons, ACE Health Coach, tells FabFitFun. For example, drinking water with brushing your teeth. Before you brush your teeth, get into the habit of drinking a glass of water. You can stack it with anything like making dinner, or watching TV. “Once you start to tie the two actions together, it’s easier to remember to do both,” Barrons says.
Keep a glass of water next to your bed.
As dietitian Jamie Withrow, tells FabFitFun, your body is most dehydrated in the morning. “To improve hormone balance and start your day with more energy, keep a tall glass of water next to your bed to drink right when you wake up, or if you prefer your water iced cold, set an empty cup out to remind you to prioritize that first glass right away,” Withrow says.
Use an app.
There’s an app for everything, including drinking water. Holistic health coach, Jenn Espinosa-Goswami recommends Plant Nanny, a game in which your plant will die if you don’t drink enough water daily. “I used this during the pandemic when my water levels dropped and I ended up drinking more,” she says.
xx, The FabFitFun Team