There’s no better time to start a new habit than with the optimism of a new year. There are a few healthy habits that annually make the rounds and drinking more water is high on the list. If you’re making this part of your new year’s resolutions, we have a few helpful tips to motivate you along the way, and we’re sharing ways hydration makes a positive impact on your health.
Make a New Year’s Goal
As we enter 2021, it’s a time to create a fresh start for how we want to show up in the new year. Rather than a resolution, set a specific goal when it comes to drinking water. Make it one where it’s easy to monitor results. A good way to get started is by aiming to drink at least one additional glass of water at every meal. It’s simple to remember and will quickly add up throughout the week when trying to up your fluid intake.
Another measurable goal may be to eliminate all soda, alcohol, and sugary drinks for a month and replace it with drinking water instead. However big or small you make the goal, creating a healthy habit takes time to cultivate. By starting one day, week, or month at a time, you’ll find that by the end of the year, you’ve changed your water drinking habits for the better.
Track Your Water Consumption
Part of creating measurable goals is knowing how much you are (or aren’t) drinking water during the day. It’s likely you’re drinking less water than you think. Your current routine may involve starting the morning with a cup of coffee and not having your first real glass of water until the afternoon. Switch things up and start with a glass of water before you have your daily caffeine as a way to improve your daily water intake. This will help you achieve proper hydration throughout the day.
Use a favorite glass or reusable water bottle to track how many times you’re filling up during the day. Or, use a reusable jug that has mini goal markers on the side. It gives you a clear visual of how close you are to your goal. Depending on the style you buy can provide motivating prompts along the way, such as “halfway there” and “time for water break”
Fill up the jug every morning and make it your goal to reach the bottom by the end of the day. There may be some days you don’t meet your goal, but it’ll give you a better picture of whether you’re consuming more water than before, which is the ultimate goal.
Participate in Friendly Competition
A friendly competition among friends or co-workers allows you to focus on your goal and maintain accountability by others. Implement a competition that requires check-ins at least once per week which shows how much water you’re drinking per day.
At the end of the month, tally up the winner of who drank the most and reward the person with a fun gift, like a water bottle or new mug. It makes reaching the goal more fun. Plus, you can share insights with each other about ways to drink more water and overcome obstacles.
Set a Timer
If you find that the day slips past you, set a few timers throughout the day. This will give you a chance to get up and stretch and consume more water. Waiting until you feel thirsty means you’re already on your way to dehydration. When you’re caught up in the busy time of the day, it can feel like you don’t have time to stop for a water break.
It never hurts to have a reminder that benefits your health, especially if you’re just getting started. Over time, it may become instinctive and you won’t need the alarm or pop-ups anymore, but until then, use technology to give you the gentle nudge you need to drink more water.
Hydrate Before and After Exercise
It’s normal to drink more water after a sweaty workout, but it’s often forgotten to hydrate before. Not only will drinking ahead of time add more ounces to your day, it’ll help you have more energy and strength during your workout.
When you exercise, the body loses water and valuable electrolytes, which means replenishing both are key to staying healthy. Hydration also helps to keep your muscles loose to prevent injury. Always keep your water bottle nearby whenever you’re working out to make hydration within easy reach.
Add Natural Flavors
One of the best tips to drink more water is switching up the flavor. Add sliced cucumber, sliced citrus, or fruit slices to your next glass for a subtly sweet enhancement without sugar. There are water bottles that have a central tube that infuses the water if you don’t like bits floating around. Either way, it gives you an alternative way to encourage you to drink more water. The same goes for drinking decaffeinated tea. By enjoying an afternoon or evening cup of tea, you’re getting yet another cupful of water that you may not have otherwise consumed.
Invest in a Water Filter
Adding natural flavors to your water may not compensate for the fact that you don’t like how your water tastes. Water from the tap can often have an unpleasant taste or smell depending on the water source and the amount of contaminants it contains. On the other hand, buying bottled water is costly and harmful to the environment as it contributes to the buildup of plastic waste. To eliminate both problems, invest in a water filter.
Consuming more water is easier when you like the taste of what you’re drinking. The difference is obvious when drinking purified water versus what’s available straight from your kitchen sink. FloFaucet can be easily installed on your kitchen sink faucet, guaranteed to remove or reduce 80+ contaminants, for a great-tasting drinking water experience.
Why Drinking Filtered Water Makes a Difference
In addition to a better taste, drinking filtered water eliminates many of the contaminants found in tap water that can be harmful to the body. Chemicals, pollutants, bacteria, and viruses are present at the source of public water supplies and varying levels of each make their way to your tap water.
Each city has its own water testing schedule and source of water, which affects the water quality so it's important to understand the main indicators of water quality. Cities close to large industrial or agricultural sites face the risk of having their water supply polluted with herbicides, mercury, and other chemicals and toxins. Additionally, water systems or pipes made of lead run the risk of contaminating the water as particles leach into the water. This is especially an issue for big city water quality as it’s harder to change out old pipes. Although many cities have water treatment processes in place, these disinfectants have also been known to have harmful side effects as well.
Many areas of the country are facing drinking water crises due to the high level of contaminants in their tap water. And, these types of contaminants can be just as harmful at low levels built up over time. Applying a faucet filter or installing a purified water refill station in your home ensures you have access to clean water at all times. It eliminates the need for single-use plastic, which is harmful to the environment and inconvenient and costly to keep in supply.
If you’re making the effort to drink more water in the new year, choosing an option that’s safe and limits your exposure to toxins is how to benefit your health the most.
How Staying Hydrated Helps the Body
Staying hydrated is one of the core tenets of being healthy. It contributes to your physical and mental health in several ways. Among the many benefits are:
- Increased energy levels
- Improved cognitive functioning
- Can aid in weight loss
- May prevent or treat headaches
- Replenishes fluid lost through sweat and excretion
Additionally, evidence published in Nutrition Review shows mild dehydration can affect a person’s mood, lead to fatigue, and lower alertness levels. Researchers concluded that “being dehydrated by just two percent impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediately memory tasks.”
We are usually more susceptible to hunger pangs and the effects of not eating on a regular schedule, but it’s easier to ignore the effects of dehydration. Often, drinking a glass of water can help us instantly feel more awake and focused rather than reaching for a snack or a caffeine pick-me-up. The more aware and purposeful you are about your water intake, the greater likelihood staying hydrated will become second nature.
As you consider the tips to drink more water, think about which ones will be easiest to stick to in the long-term. It may be by starting with an additional glass of water per day and expanding from there. Whatever tricks you need to get started is the first step in creating a healthy habit. If you temporarily veer off track, it’s easy to resume your efforts.
As you drink more water and the body stays hydrated, you’ll notice the positive effects on your body and mind. Evaluate the impact it has on your diet, sleep schedule, and energy levels throughout the day. It’s a surefire way to elevate your health and make you feel better overall to give you a boost in the new year.