We all know that water is good for us. But how many of us are getting enough of it? And an even better question is: How many of us even know how much water we are actually drinking? Here are my secrets to hydration and what it's done for me.
Know how much water your body needs. The rule of thumb that I was always taught is that you take how many pounds you are, divide by two, and that's how many ounces you need. For example: If you weigh 150 pounds, then you need 75 ounces per day. If you're exercising, outside in the heat, etc, you're going to need more, but that's a minimum goal to work with.
Know how much your cups/glasses/bottles hold. We often just assume or estimate that we're drinking "a lot" of water, when it's often not as much as we think. There's only one way to know and that's by actually keeping track. For example, I have large cups at home that hold 30 ounces and I carry a water bottle that holds 32 ounces. I know that if I drink three cups/bottles then I am getting more than the minimum that I need (since I weigh less than 180 lbs)
Start off the morning with a large glass of water. The first thing I do when I wake up is drink a 30 ounce cup of water. This has multiple benefits. First, I have already gotten more than a third of my daily intake and won't have to cram it in before bed. Second, it wakes me up and... helps things get moving right off the bat. A lot of people say that they simply can't drink that much in the morning or it will make them sick. This is valid. It can take a few days to work up to chugging that much first thing in the morning. Start smaller and slower if you have to, and work your way up to however much gets you off to the right start
Carry a water bottle. As I said, my water bottle holds 32 ounces; I know that if I drink one of those during the day on top of my 30 ounces in the morning then I am well on my way and only need to drink a little more in the evening to make sure I've gotten enough. Carrying a bottle ensures that I am drinking throughout the day and not just when I sit down for a meal, or when I'm conveniently by a drinking fountain (especially since we don't typically drink very much out of a drinking fountain).
Add citrus to your water. I don't do this very often since I don't mind the taste of my water, but sometimes when I travel it's hard to drink as much because I don't like the taste of the water there. I add a squirt of lemon and it makes all the difference in the world. A squirt of citrus will help you avoid the added sugars of flavor packets, juices, etc.