Most people you pass on the street are dehydrated. Seriously, it’s true. How much water have you had to drink today? In a society where fresh, cool, drinkable water comes from a faucet at the turn of a nozzle, how can it be that most Americans aren’t consuming the daily recommended dose of water?
In short: our lives get busy.
In the mornings, you may find yourself reaching for coffee or tea instead of a glass of water. In fact, you may consume two or three cups of coffee before a glass of water even crosses your mind.
The benefits drinking water has on your mental health, weight loss, strength training, and general wellbeing are well documented.
So, how much water should you drink in a day?
WebMD recommends drinking 0.5 ounce – 1 ounce of water for every pound you weigh. You may need more or less depending on if you live in a warm climate, exercise regularly, or are sedentary. Here’s a quick cheat sheet:
120lbs: Up to 1 gallon of water
150lbs: Up to 1.17 gallons of water
200lbs: Up to 1.5 gallons of water
250lbs: Up to 2 gallons of water
That’s a LOT of water. When’s the last time you remember downing two gallons of water throughout the day? While it may not be feasible – or even desirable – for you to drink 2 gallons of water, aiming for eight 8oz glasses of water is a good baseline. Increase that number if you exercise or sweat a lot throughout the day.
Here are some easy hacks you can use to remind yourself to drink more water:
- Set a phone reminder: It may seem silly, but plugging an alarm into your phone may be the trick you need to drink more water. If you think the alarm noise will be disruptive, disable the sound. Chances are you’ll look at your mobile at one point or another and there it will be! Stop whatever you’re doing and drink a full glass of water.
- Drink a glass with every other beverage: Make a commitment to drink a full glass of water to accompany every other beverage you consume. Whether it’s a coffee, tea, or your favorite alcoholic beverage on the weekend.
- Get high-tech: For those of you that simply love technology, try a smart water bottle like the Hidrate Spark 2.0. This intuitive bottle tracks your daily water intake. Best of all, it glows to remind you throughout the day to take a drink. Check it out on Amazon here.
- Get low-tech: If you can’t picture yourself spending $50+ dollars on smart water technology you can hack something up yourself. Take your favorite high-capacity water bottle and make it easy on yourself. Write a reminder on the bottle. Every time you see it you’ll remember you need to take a sip. An Alice-in-Wonderland-Style “Drink Me” should do the trick.
- Surround yourself with watery-things: In Robert Cialdini’s book Pre-Suasion he describes how important your surroundings can be to your productivity. Apply this same principle to the area where you spend the most time. Perhaps set your phone or desktop background to a waterfall. Your brain registers these subtle imagery patters. Soon, you’ll be reaching for a drink without having to think about it. Science!
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