We all know the importance of staying properly hydrated.  But most of us don’t as much water as we should.  How much water you need each day will vary from person to person, based on your activity level and your body’s needs.  Eight glasses of water a day has been the generally accepted standard for many years but your specific needs may be different.  Other suggestions say to drink half of your body weight each day for optimal hydration.  To find the ideal amount of water you need, you’ll want to monitor your intake.  The most effective way to assess your level of hydration is to check your urine.  If you are ideally hydrated, your urine will be light yellow.  If you are dehydrated, your urine will be dark yellow and have a strong odor.  Anywhere in between, and you should adjust your water intake.  Be careful to not over-hydrate though as this can result in serious consequences related to the loss of electrolytes in the body.  This is a rare occurrence though  as most people tend to drink too little water.

Since so many of us need to increase our water consumption, here are 7 tips to help keep you hydrated:

1.  Flavor it up.  Add your favorite flavors to a pitcher of water and let it chill.  Try watermelon chunks, oranges, mint or cucumbers.  This is a great way to dress up your water and make you feel like you’re at the spa sipping on fancy water.

2.  Use reminders.  We’re all connected to our phones these days so take advantage of your technology and use it to stay hydrated.  There are several great apps that will remind you periodically to drink water.  Or you can even set your own reminder so your phone will alert you to drink up.

3.  Infuse it.  If a pitcher of water isn’t practical for you, use a water bottle that lets you infuse the water.  I like the FlavFusion 26 Oz Infuser Water Bottle water bottle.  I just add my favorite ingredients to the insert and each sip of water is perfectly flavored.  It’s easy to change flavors regularly and switch things up.  Oranges, strawberries, and cucumbers are perfect to infuse your water and it’s the perfect way to always have water with you. The flip top makes it easy to drink plenty of water and the handle makes it easily portable.

4.  Use a straw.  Studies have shown that using a straw helps you drink more water.  With a straw, you can drink faster and will likely drink more.

5.  Keep water nearby.  Having a cup or water bottle nearby can serve as a constant visual reminder to drink more water.  Keep plenty of water nearby so it doesn’t take any special effort to grab some water.

6.  Eat it.  Certain foods are great sources of water.  Watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, spinach and even broth-based soups are incredible sources of water.

7.  Ditch the soda and alcohol.  Instead of drinking soda or alcohol, have a glass of water.  You’ll save money and calories with this simple substitution.  Drinking water has been shown to help with weight loss so this is a great way to get you closer to your ideal weight.

Do you drink enough water each day?  I’d love to hear any tips you have to drink more water in the comments below.

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