Do you drink enough water? I can relate – I don’t. After my doctor told me that I need to scale back my caffeine intake last April (FML), I’ve been trying. While I’ve succeeded in managing my caffeine intake, I am trying to balance things out by being better about drinking water.
Not unlike using a fountain to entice cats to drink, tricking myself to drink more water is a good strategy.
For example, before I drink coffee in the morning, I try to down 16 fl oz of water first. I don’t always succeed, but it sets me up on a good note before I start screwing myself over with diuretic coffee.
I managed to get myself to actually crave water. Just water. (I still adore exciting water. I just have to marvel at actually wanting still water; I thought it was an impossibility for me.)
Why Drink More Water?
You’ll probably feel better if you drink more water – in the same way that regular exercise, once you get past the discomfort of starting anew, will. This and last winter have really started to make me notice the waning resilience of my skin.
I simply don’t retain hydration like I did:
- I’ll occasionally get random dry patches (seriously, right ankle?)
- My skin feels dehydrated – from the inside!
- Areas prone to showing when dehydrated are more visible – like my undereye circles.
Lotion helps, superficially, but the issue (for me) is definitely from within. When I consistently hydrate, all of these things are much better even without resorting to product. (But eye cream + hydrating properly are the best!)
Furthermore, If you struggle with acne, some types are improved by increased water consumption – so if you’re in that boat and haven’t tried, try to meet your daily recommendation to see if it helps.
Finally, sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. If you’re hydrating adequately, that should happen less often!
For some, having a good vessel from which to drink more water from helps motivate them. I’ve written before about some reusable water bottles that I like. Since I’m at home most of the time these days, I’m using them less because I’d rather just drink from a glass, but here are a few that I like and use anyway.
Even though I prefer to drink from glass – not even because of a lower waste ideal, but because it doesn’t compromise the beverage flavor-wise or safety wise (like some sketchier plastics). There are downsides to glass bottles: they’re heavy and lack durability. Caps are a little clumsy, too; pressure options (Ello Syndicate) make an attention-grabbing POP! when you open them. This makes them not great for meetings (ask how I know loool). The Contigo Purity has a (metal) screw on cap which is tethered with the sleeve material, but I don’t like the idea of the cap swinging around and hitting the glass.
Zojirushi makes the best damn insulated drink vessel, period. They’re durable, sleek, fit in most car cupholders (talking the non-mega sizes), and are wonderful for hot or cold. The contoured mouthpiece separates completely for the easiest cleaning experience you’ll find. There great for sedentary use but aren’t good for active usage – I wouldn’t take it on a run or bike ride.
Otherwise, I like Contigo’s stainless AutoSeal offerings (look at that green!). They do a decent job of keeping water cold, and they’re good for being active!
I’ve got a few plastic options here – because while I prefer glass and stainless steel for sustainability, plastic is lightweight and provides flexibility that you might not get with other options. The other key thing you lose with most plastic options is insulation – most don’t do a great job at keeping drinks cold if that is important to you.
You can’t go wrong with a classic, wide-mouth 32oz Nalgene (though the 48 oz is often similarly priced). I saw these everywhere in school, but didn’t have one in my household until a couple years ago. They’re no frills but nigh-unbreakable; a classmate once flung one at a tree and gleefully quipped, “Your face will break. Nalgene will not.” Indeed, it escaped unscathed. They’re inexpensive , and come in a load of colors – they accommodate ice easily and even have an inexpensive mouthpiece add in if you’d like to throttle your sipping experience. I find them awkward for being active (though they’re often used by hikers).
If you want a straw experience? The classic Camelbak Eddy is nice, and the bite valves are easy to use, but I dislike the cleaning hassle. I prefer Contigo’s Ashland straw-style options. If you want a press-to-sip option, Contigo’s AutoSeal line remains where it’s at – I’ve written about their bottles a few times on this blog. These are all decent for activity.
The Bottom Line
There are other strategies to get you to drink more water: both Android and iOS phones have apps to remind you (like Hidrate, which can be used WITHOUT their bottle – scroll to the bottom for links). Alternatively or you can setup your own alarms or alerts to prompt you to drink more water. Several smartwatches have features along these lines as well. Lower tech than that, if you use a calendar (like Outlook) for work? Create a few recurring reminders to bug you until you build the habit.