Tips for increasing water consumption
Is drinking more water a challenge for you? You are not alone; start small and grow with confidence.
Has your personal health goal to drink more water fallen flat? Let’s kick start this journey and recommit to drinking more water. Most of us do not drink enough water daily to keep our bodies well hydrated for the long haul of life, and as a result we miss out on the benefits of drinking water. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages the consumption of water to stay healthy, as getting enough water is important for many functions in the body. The good news is that you don’t have to only get hydration from plain water. The CDC suggests that you can get fluids and supplement your water intake from high water content food that you eat, like some fruit and vegetables.
Tips to help increase water consumption
Assess how much water, in cups, you currently drink in a given day, and resolve to drink one cup more, until you reach a goal of drinking approximately eight cups daily.
- If you don’t like to drink plain water, consider drinking naturally flavored water by adding or infusing your water with fruit or herbs, like lemon, lime, peaches, cucumber or mint for added flavor.
- You may choose to continue to drink naturally flavored water, or you can gradually change to plain water
- Consider alternating naturally flavored water with plain water throughout the day.
- Start and end your day with a cup of water.
- Put containers of water all around your home, car, work or school; this will encourage more drinking.
- Encourage a friend or family member to start with you and compare consumption regularly, begin a group chat and compete.
- If it will help, treat yourself to a new water container from time-to-time.
- Do not make your water resolution about money, water, for the most part, is free. Tap water counts, bottled water is not a necessity.
- Be intentional about taking water with you wherever you go.
- Make drinking water a habit by repeating water drinking behavior, e.g. as soon as you get up, drink before a meal, drink while at the computer or watching TV, etc. Become a habitual water drinker.
Be prepared to visit the restroom more frequently, while your body adjusts and plan drinking around restroom facilities at first. Remember planning makes a difference. But most importantly, don’t give up!
For more information on how to build healthy habits, visit MSU Extension's Nutrition website.