While Coleridge’s “Water, water, everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink” is often misquoted as “Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink,” we think that Homer Simpson’s version has a much more positive ring to it: “Water, water, everywhere, so let’s all have a drink!”
As Americans, many of us are spoiled by our easy access to water. There are certainly places that have drought-related water scarcity issues — California’s current water crisis is one that is immediately called to mind — and others with undrinkable, unhealthy, tainted water (we’re looking at you, Flint), but much of our population can safely count on Grandmother’s time-tested recommendation of eight glasses (or 64 ounces) of water daily.
Exactly how much water we should take in is up for debate. The Institute of Medicine released a report that says we should have a bit more water than 64 ounces. It states that men should have 125 ounces of total water (from beverages and food) a day, while women should have 91 ounces total per day. We asked nutritionists ourselves how much water to drink every day and got mixed messages in return.
When we’re born, our bodies are about 78 percent water. By the time we reach adulthood, this number drops to somewhere around 60 percent. Our bodies are made mostly of water (and overdosing on water is incredibly difficult to do), so we feel that taking in more than the Institute’s recommendation is a great idea in warmer weather. We’re talking about striving for one gallon (128 ounces, two-times as much water as Grandma told you to drink) daily throughout the year, especially in hotter months and when you’re more active.
In the warm summer weather, your water intake should increase as you’re more prone to losing water through sweat. The same goes for those who exercise intensely throughout the year. In addition to the following hydration hacks, we suggest avoiding these 9 Foods That Will Dehydrate You and considering some of our 12 Ice-Cold Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer. Otherwise, grab your glass and get ready for 14 of the coolest ways to convince yourself to drink more water this summer, getting happier and healthier with each ounce you drink.
1. Add Fruits, Roots, and Leaves for Flavor
If you’re one of the many people who dreads drinking plain old water over and over throughout the day, consider adding healthy fruits like watermelon, berries, lemon, and cucumber in for flavor and nutrients. Roots such as ginger are popular in detox drinks, and there’s no reason not to add a little ginger into your water throughout the day. Green leaves like rosemary and dill can also add flavor to your water, and by choosing mint you may even gain the added benefit of appetite suppression. Consider trying these healthy infused water ideas.
2. Don’t Want Chunks (or Cancer) in Your Glass?
Invest in an infuser pitcher. These pitchers allow for the flavor of whichever plants you put in them to be infused into the water without the solid fruit being present in your glass, but don’t choose just any pitcher. Nearly 70 percent of American canned food packaging includes BPAs, and they appear in many plastics used for bottling water and making water-carrying vessels. Recently, BPAs were shown to affect the nervous system as well as the reproductive system and they can even inspire the growth of cancerous cells. It would behoove you to make sure that your plastic infuser pitcher is free of the harmful chemical, and if you don’t mind the chunks you still better make sure your standard pitcher is BPA-free.
3. Download a Hydration App
There are plenty of apps that let you keep track of what and where you eat, but did you know that there are apps specifically designed to track your water intake as well? Apps like Plant Nanny factor in your weight and activity level in order to track your hydration throughout the day. With Plant Nanny, not only is your own body’s hydration at stake but the life of an adorable, virtual plant is on the line as well. If you don’t hydrate properly, your plant will wilt — do you want that kind of blood on your hands?
4. Drink Water Every Time You XYZ
Does your job require you to send emails? Do you use the bathroom during the day? Are you a student, financially bound to class attendance? Water can be incorporated into all of these things and more: Drink a glass of water every time you send an email (if you’re a publicist who sends out hundreds of emails in one day, we understand that this may be quite literally impossible). Each time you relieve yourself or attempt to navigate through the office fridge, have eight ounces of water right afterward. Try to enjoy water before or after every class, or, if you have a five-minute break in the middle of your class, drink water then. Use your daily routines, tasks, and commitments as a way to form healthy hydration habits.
5. Eat Water-Packed Fruits
Many of the fruits that are popularly infused in water are, in fact, teeming with water themselves, cucumbers, watermelons, and cantaloupes being great examples. Eating these melons in addition to other foods with a high water content (strawberries, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes are a great start) will help you add to your daily water intake without having to down another glass of H2O. Additionally, these 12 recipes will help you stay hydrated.
6. Forget “Straight, No Chaser”
Every time (and we mean every single time) you drink anything that isn’t water, follow it up with a glass of water. Chasing with water is not only a good hydration habit, but it can help to flush things like caffeine, sugar, and other chemicals out of your system if you decide to have a diet soda or caffeine (two substances that are potentially decimating your sex drive).
7. Have a Little Bubbly
It’s perfectly acceptable to drink sparkling mineral water, and you shouldn’t fear seltzer either (but please avoid the new, trendy alcoholic seltzers, as alcohol dehydrates you). When we say seltzer, we also don’t mean club soda (the difference being that club soda contains mineral-like ingredients while seltzer is purely carbonated water). While seltzer is carbonated by humans, sparkling mineral water is naturally bubbly (but more times than not humans will, in fact, remove the bubbles while purifying the water, adding carbonation back in afterward to match the original level) . Both of these drinks are perfectly healthy ways to add some fizz to your daily hydration menu.