How to drink more water during the day

Monday, April 17, 2023

I recently conquered the habit of drinking plenty of water during the day. I wanted to share my steps through the acronym W-A-T-E-R:

What is the goal? • This is a fair question. What is your goal? Goals demand that we become specific about why we want to drink more water than before. 17 years ago my reason was just that I didn't drink enough water. 10 years ago my reason was marathon training. 4 months ago my reason was better health during my everyday activities. I've also had the goal of weight loss in the past. Think about your reason to drink water. Once you do that, decide how much water you need. I recommend a consultation with a doctor or a medical professional. Once you decide what your goal is, get very specific. Here is what I am doing as an example:"I will drink 100 ounces of water by 3 pm on weekdays."

Ambiance matters • Your ambiance or environment, determines if you will succeed in drinking water. I learned to set up my environment for success. I have a bottle of water at my desk at work. At home, I have a water cup by my bed. I have a large bottle of water by the coffee maker and two water bottles in my car. These are my visual cues to help me remember to drink water. If I have a day when I'm far away from my desk at work, I can drink water on the go. Think about your environment. How can you modify it so you can drink more water? I talked to two ladies at work who drink a lot of water as a habit. They told me they keep water bottles everywhere: in the car, in different rooms at home, etc. This is their way to remove any barriers that may cause them not to drink water. 

Track your progress • It's been said that you can't multiply what you won't measure. I encourage you to find a way to track your water drinking. I include it in my food journal as a line item. It is easier because I'm going to track my food anyway so I can easily track my water. The visual reminds me of how much water I need to drink. It also encourages me to do it again tomorrow. There are tons of apps where you can track water. I don't believe in creating more work for myself. I believe in utilizing something I'm already using such as a food journal. What is an easy way you can track your water? I've heard people set reminders on their phones (as an alarm) to cue them to drink their water. Find an easy and effective solution for yourself. 

Embellish your water • It is not uncommon for people to say "But I don't like the taste of water." I learned to embellish the taste with lemon slices or mint. One of the most interesting embellishments I tasted recently was coconut slices. It was incredibly refreshing and surprisingly good. The key thing is to find something that will appease your taste buds. 

Repeat it tomorrow • Zig Ziglar said repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment. I agree with Zig. What I would add here is the fact that I started small. I didn't start drinking 100 ounces on day one. I just drank a little bit and repeated the same thing the next day. I am learning to be content with repetition for it leads me to consistency. When I consistently drink water I feel better. 

Extra tips: 

• During marathon training season I would prep my water the night before my long runs. Whether I had a hand-held or a Camelbak, I always prepped my water the night before so I don't forget it. 

• I always had a water plan. Where would I refill my bottle if I was running by myself? When I ran with a group there was always a plan for the group. Having a water plan helps me stay hydrated during the runs. 

• Electrolytes were my friend during the week as well as during long runs. Consult a medical professional for specifics. 

• Remind yourself and others around you to drink water. When I was part of running groups, our habit was to remind one another to drink water. This was helpful because sometimes we'd forget. 

• Drink water during the day after you arrive from your long run. I know that feeling of being so tired you just want to veg out all day. I would be sure to drink a lot of water throughout the day as well as replenish my electrolytes. 

• Know the signs of dehydration. I've been dehydrated and it is not fun. It is important to know the signs of dehydration so you can prevent it or treat it.  

I hope this was a helpful topic! Happy water drinking friends!