For many people, staying hydrated on a daily basis is a challenge. It becomes even harder when we take hydration to mean “hydrating in a healthy way” and disqualify things like sodas, diet sodas, and processed juices (many of which have just as much sugar as the sodas).
Here are six strategies for painlessly staying hydrated throughout your day:
1. Get a stainless water bottle you love
You can’t stay hydrated effectively if every time you want to take a drink you face a logistical challenge. Don’t rely on running into a water fountain and don’t drink water from plastic water bottles (questionable chemicals, and also bad for the planet!) Simply keep your stainless bottle by you at all times, whether you’re at your desk or working out, and you’ll be able to take sips throughout your day.
2. Eat your fruits and veggies
Aside from all their great vitamins and other nutrients, fruits and veggies are composed primarily of water (that’s why they’re so good for your waistline). If you build in your recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables throughout your day, you’ll be taking in at least a cup or two of water through these means alone.
3. Don’t forget about electrolytes
Staying hydrated isn’t just about taking in enough water—you also need to make sure that your body can actually absorb it, and that’s where electrolytes come in: sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. A balanced diet should provide you with enough of these nutrients on a daily basis, but you may also want to supplement with a daily multivitamin.
4. Keep track of your urine color
Kinda gross, yes, but your urine really is the most reliable method of tracking your hydration level throughout the day. If you’re trying to stay well-hydrated, you should be trying for clear urine . If you notice your urine is yellow, you need to actively try to drink more water.
5. Hydrate before bed
The nighttime is when a lot of crucial bodily processes take place. It’s when your body repairs itself. You likely won’t feel thirst while you’re sleeping, but it’s a great idea to get used to drinking a large cup of water before bed so you can be properly hydrated ‘til morning.
6. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water
Too many people wait too long to take a drink. Instead, since you’ve got your bottle with you all day, focus on drinking a bit throughout the day rather than waiting for thirst to take over and then drinking a bunch of water.