How can I increase my water intake?
It is recommended we get around 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day, though we may need a little more when exercising or in a hot climate. Despite this, often people fail to get enough water - perhaps preferring the taste of sweet fizzy juice to plain water, or maybe hot drinks are more your thing. So, if you are concerned about getting enough water, I have a few tips that should encourage you to drink more:
- Eat more fruit
- Consume vegetables
- Keep water handy at all times
- Try Balance Mineral Drink
- Start with squash
- Reduce tea and coffee intake
- Keep track of your intake
- Set a reminder
- Use an app
- Keep water by your bed at night
- Flavour with fruit and herbs
- Drink water throughout the day.
Read on to find out more about how and why you should implement these simple tips.
1. Eat more fruit
Most varieties of fruit have a high water content making them an easy way to get more liquids. Watermelon contains the most water of any fruit, though cucumber, strawberries, oranges and grapefruit also have plenty.
To add more fruit to your diet you could simply eat it fresh, however, I like to make things more interesting by making fruit salads, smoothies and ice lollies which are perfect on a hot summer's day or as a sweet after-dinner treat. Below I've listed some popular recipes from our website, should you feel like giving any of these a try!
2. Consume vegetables
Just as fruit has a high water content, so too do vegetables. This water can be lost during cooking, however, so I recommend heating veg for just a few minutes. Alternatively, include some raw vegetables in your diet in order to retain some extra water – some veg, including lettuce (which is about 98% water!), is meant to be eaten this way anyway. Other vegetables with significant water content include courgette, aubergine, celery, cabbage and cauliflower.
Vegetables can also be incorporated into soup, a dish which, on the whole, also has a reasonable amount of water – see below for some tasty recipes!
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3. Keep a water bottle handy at all times
Drinking water becomes so much easier when you have it to hand all the time! During the day, keep a glass topped up with fresh water in your work space and, at home, keep a glass within easy reach. By employing this tip you should soon see that drinking water becomes habit.
Nowadays you can also purchase small, reusable bottles that'll easily fit into a handbag or rucksack when you're out and about. With water to hand, you should be less likely to go in search of other drinks (including fizzy juice and caffeinated beverages!) that will not keep you hydrated.
4. Try Balance Mineral Drink
Our Balance Mineral Drink is typically recommended for anyone feeling a little low in energy; however, it also provides a means to top up your water intake. That’s because Balance comes in powder form meaning it can be mixed with plain, still water or a smoothie - both of which are hydrating refreshments. Balance has a natural strawberry flavour so it’s perfect for anyone seeking a little more flavour in their drink too!
5. Start with squash
If you aren't yet used to drinking water regularly, you could mix it with fruit squash (also known as diluting juice or cordial) to give it a little more flavour. Not only will this help to keep you hydrated but diluting juice also has far less sugar than concentrated fruit juice and fizzy drinks.
Diluting juice is also a great option for kids who may be a little fussy when it comes to drinking plain water. You could even dress it up with fancy, re-usable straws, fruit slices and shaped ice cubes - ice trays come shaped in everything from Lego bricks to robots and stars. All of these things are likely to make fruit squash, and therefore drinking water, that little bit more appealing to children.
When choosing your squash, try to opt for one with real fruit extract as anything other than this is likely to have additional food colouring and preservatives. Then, over time, get into the habit of gradually adding a little less until, with any luck, you eventually become more used to the taste of plain water, without any fuss!
6. Reduce tea and coffee intake
Although tea and coffee are largely made up of water, they will not help to keep you hydrated. That's because caffeine is a diuretic which means it causes the body to pass more urine. Therefore, if you are relying on tea and coffee as your main source of liquid, it could actually contribute to dehydration. Alcohol is also a diuretic, so it's worth noting that this could disrupt fluid levels further.
Rather than cut all caffeine out your life at once, I'd recommend reducing your intake gradually. This is a much more achievable goal and should lead to positive results that you can maintain long term.
If you feel the need for a coffee substitute, I would recommend trying Bambu which is absolutely caffeine free. This all-natural product is made from delicious ingredients including Turkish figs and wheat and it makes a comforting alternative to lattes and breakfast teas.
7. Keep track of your intake
Keeping track of how much water you have drunk throughout the day will make it clear when you have reached your daily goal, plus it highlights how much you have left to go. For some people, this will help them to get through the recommended daily intake of water.
Monitoring your water intake is now super easy as many bottles come with liquid measurements listed on the side, along with a note on when to consume that quantity by. These can be purchased online and in most supermarkets.
8. Set a reminder
A simple alarm on your phone set at regular intervals can help remind you to take a drink of water or top up your bottle if necessary. This might be a bit disruptive at work, though, so in this instance you may have to turn to some of my other tips to keep up a high intake of water!
9. Use an app
There are many apps on the market now that encourage users to drink more water. These can be downloaded to your phone or tablet and key features include:
- The ability to set goals
- A means to log the amount of water you have drunk
- An alarm system
- A plan/drinking drinking schedule
- The ability to see past performance.
10. Keep water by your bed at night
If you drink enough water during the course of the day, this should see you through night time when your body won’t get any water. That being said, it doesn’t do any harm to have a glass of water by your bed side table just in case you get thirsty during the night. This should help you top up your water intake that little bit further.
11. Flavour with fruit and herbs
Now, I've heard it said many times that water is boring and tasteless and this can be a big factor in how much of it people drink. To make water more interesting, and therefore help you get more, I recommend mixing in some herbs, fruit or vegetables. You can tailor this to suit your own tastes but some tasty additions include rosemary, mint, orange, pineapple and, my personal favourite, cucumber. Alternatively, simply follow our recipe for lemon, mint and cucumber detox water!
12. Drink water throughout the day
Some people can be put off drinking water when they realise how much they have to get through in a day, so my final piece of advice is to take it slowly. You may not be able to get through 8-10 glasses immediately but, by following my simple tips, you should see that it gradually becomes easier to get enough water.
Another thing to point out is that you don't need to drink your daily intake all at once! The goal is much more achievable when it is spread out throughout the course of the day so, take your time and you'll soon see results.