6 BEST Tips to Stay Hydrated!

You’ve probably heard that the average person needs to drink 8 to 10 cups of water per day to make up what the body uses and loses. But for active folks who exercise, that number can easily double.

Drinking upwards of 20 cups a day is a challenge, so here are a few tips to help you get yours:

  1. Make it smart. Knowing why your body needs water – and realizing all the amazing benefits it provides – can serve as motivation to help you drink up. Decreased risk of cancer, clearer skin and increased productivity are a few of the reasons to stay hydrated. Water also aids in fat loss – it curbs appetite, replaces sugary drinks and boosts your metabolism. Knowing this can keep you motivated.
  2. Make it mindless. If you’re going to consume 64 – 200 fluid ounces of water (8 – 20 cups), then drinking it will need to be super convenient. Have you ever noticed how if you leave a bag of chips open while watching TV, you somehow manage to mindlessly eat the entire bag? Take advantage of mindless consumption by leaving a pitcher or water bottle in your workspace or at home. You’ll take a sip here, and a sip there – and before you know it, it’s all gone! I’m actually putting this point to practice right now with a quart-size water bottle. Try it – I swear it works!
  3. Make it fun. If you like pretty things (who doesn’t?!), put your water in a special container. You can buy a nalgene (those unbreakable plastic bottles) or a fancy chrome mug. Presentation counts, and so perhaps water will be more appetizing in a pretty container.
  4. Make it flavorful. Drinking large quantities of water can get a bit monotonous, so you might benefit from switching things up. I don’t recommend adding sugary powders to water as you’ll dramatically increase the number of empty calories you are consuming. I also avoid sugar-free drink mixes; I’m personally weary of artificial sweeteners in bulk. But… adding a slice of citrus fruit can make a noticeable and welcomed difference. If you need more flavor, squeeze half of a lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange into your glass or pitcher.
  5. Make it a pre-meal tradition. Drink a tall glass of water 15-30 minutes before you eat. Thirst is often misinterpreted by the mind as hunger. You feel hungry, but your body is thirsty. So, drink water before each meal. Not only will you be increasing your hydration, but you’ll probably drop a few pounds in the process.
  6. Make it the first thing you do in the morning. We all have a morning routine. We wake up, brush our teeth, take a shower and so on. Once your feet hit the floor, walk to the kitchen and start your day right: With water. It will help replace lost fluids during sleep (when we wake up, our bodies have often gone without food or drink for more than 8 hours). I prefer room temperature water in the morning, but do what works for you!

I hope these tips help you honor your body and your life with proper hydration. If you have any additional tips, please share them in the comments below!

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.

Comments

  1. I live in a country where water comes in liters. I drink at least a 1.75 liter bottle of water everyday at school. (I’m a teacher, I talk a lot and get thirsty!) Even then, I just realized I’m not getting enough water! Plus with the radiators on during the winter, my body loses more water than I think. I’m always thirsty, but hate having to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes.

    • I found the same thing to be true during the winter. Heaters are zapping all of the moisture out of the air so I feel dried out and more dehydrated. Based on your measurements, I usually drink 2-3 liters of water per day or around 96oz. That’s usually on days when I work out because of the cardio I’m doing.
      I usually just go by how I feel. At some point in the evening I can tell I’ve simply had enough water because I don’t desire any more.

  2. You can also drink mate!
    =)

  3. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=eight-glasses-water-per-day

    In 1945 the Food and Nutrition Board, now part of the National Academy of Sciences’s Institute of Medicine, suggested that a person consume one milliliter of water (about one fifth of a teaspoon) for each calorie of food. The math is pretty simple: A daily diet of around 1,900 calories would dictate the consumption of 1,900 milliliters of water, an amount remarkably close to 64 ounces (8 cups). But many dieticians and other people failed to notice a critical point: namely, that much of the daily need for water could be met by the water content found in food.

    The Board revisited the question of water consumption in 2004. Its panel on “dietary preference intakes for electrolytes and water” noted that women who appear adequately hydrated consume about 91 ounces (2.7 liters) of water a day and men about 125 ounces (3.7 liters). These seemingly large quantities come from a variety of sources—including coffee, tea, milk, soda, juice, fruits, vegetables and other foods. Instead of recommending how much extra water a person should drink to maintain health, the panel simply concluded that “the vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide.”

    This myth or misunderstanding is still being propagated by people who want to sell you bottled water. Drinking too much water will just make you excrete more water. It will not flush toxins from a healthy person’s body and could in fact cause headaches.

    • I’m not sure what I think about all of that. I got headaches from not drinking enough water but never from drinking too much water.
      I think there are many variables that come into play when talking about hydration, one of which being your diet.
      I don’t count any fluid unless it’s pure water. If someone drinks a 2 liter of soda and 1 liter of water, I would think it fair to say they are not adequately hydrating their body.

  4. Google “headache too much water” or hyponatremia.
    Also water is water whether its pure, soda, coffee or in a watermelon or a carrot. Coffee is a mild diuretic but the water in the coffee more than makes up for any lost due to any diuretic effect. You might not want the sugar in a soda but the water in it is as good as any other.

    • I guess the point I’m getting at is water should be the primary source of hydration, especially since we’re on a fitness website. There may be water in soda, coffee, tea, juice, etc.. but there’s also a bunch of other junk like corn syrup, or whatever junk people add to their drinks.
      I’m just not a fan of telling people they can get water from these sources because if they don’t know any better, they will get diluted water and 30+ grams of sugars in only 12oz of soda, for example. Because there are people who think if they drink two 44oz sodas from their local convenience store per day that they’re adequately hydrating their body. When in fact they also hydrated their body with over 500 calories, and over 120g of sugar. Or like my some of my friends tell me as they drink a Vokda with Cranberry Juice – Oh it’s okay because there’s water in it. They’re talking about the ice and the juice.

    • iconoclast says:

      Chris,
      Right on! I often shake my head in disgust when I read/listen to well-intentioned people who just haven’t a clue. Fortunately, Mr Wavey does a pretty good job of presenting his material. Thanx for your accurate comments.
      Icon
      (I am a veterinarian, not a nutritionist or an exercise physiologist.)

  5. I started to take rehydration salts with every bottle of water I drink recently and feel generally much less tired. I still drink about the same amount of water but I guess get much more hydrated from it. This seems like a great option as they are available from any pharmacy.

    • After eliminating processed foods from my diet and eating way healthier, I realized my salt consumption was very low. I started adding sea salt instead of regular table salt to some things I cook. That way I can control the portion, not over kill on salt, but still get the mineral I was missing.
      I feel a lot better now by adding it into my diet and continuing to drink water and stay hydrated.

      • iconoclast says:

        Steven,
        For bulk purposes, salt is salt, just as water is water. Sea salt is likely to contain trace minerals that are present in the sea. Trace minerals are certainly beneficial but not likely to be in sufficient quantity to be of signifant value. The container of sea salt that I am currently using claims not to contain [added] iodine. (However, seafood is a recognized source of iodine so I suspect that sea salt probably contains trace amounts. I also suspect that the fish-on-Friday custom of the Catholic Church was an inadvertent method of getting into the diet.) Sea salt is a pleasant fad these days but very unlikey to be of significant nutritional consequence.
        Icon

        • I guess it’s a matter of preference. I think sea salt boasts more flavor in a lesser amount than Iodized Salt. For me that’s beneficial because I can have flavorful salt intake in a lower amount thus avoiding the health problems associated with too much sodium intake.

  6. I have always suggested to training clients that they drinks some water at least every 10 minutes or so during a workout. I say that if you wait until you are thirsty you waited too long. I believe this to be good advice.
    Coffee is the worst thing to drink during exercise because it is a diuretic, therefore DEhydrating.

    • iconoclast says:

      I enjoy my coffee but I can’t imagine drinking it during a workout. Caffeine is a weak diuretic, at best. There might be a little more caffeine in coffee than in soda but a lot less than in the so-called energy drinks. Drinking caffeinated beverages won’t result in a net depletion water in the body. You can drink as much as you can and you won’t become dehydrated. A strong diuretic, such as furosemide, is required to reduce the body fluid volume. That’s why doctors don’t use caffeine as a diruetic.
      Icon

  7. christopher says:

    the tap water where i live is drinkable but contains chemicals-mixing well and lake water results in a cloudy appearance-bottled water is good alternative-but expensive in large amounts.what do i do?any suggestions?

    • Have you tried any type of filtration on your tap water? Our old place had bitter water and filter attached to the sink took care of that problem. I’m not sure if that is something that would work for you, but it might be worth a try.

  8. Hi! We write a blog specifically about hydration and this post is awesome. I like the way you separated the tips into easier to understand steps. I think a lot of people get overwhelmed when they think about trying to get in their 8-10 (or more) cups, but your steps make it seem much simpler. We especially like the “make it a pre-meal tradition” portion. Smart! Thanks for posting it!

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