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11 Tips for Drinking More Water in the New Year

Hydration is so important. These tips for drinking more water will help you hydrate better this year. Ready? Let’s go.

Three reusable bottles are shown with a lunch box and a painting of carrots in the background.

Have you seen the memes that circulate on social media every so often that poke fun of hydration culture? They all go something like “how did we ever survive our childhood without water bottles?!” Though somewhat humorous, the means also point to something curious: carrying water bottles to school, the park and around the city wasn’t a thing before the 2000s. What happened?

At the same time, so much of culture has changed, including as it pertains to what we drink. Back in my childhood in the 80s and 90s, lunch boxes carried a juice box or two and people routinely used water fountains. We also drank a lot of soda and juice, and meals always included a drink that had to be finished. It was a different time.

At the same time, it wasn’t. I remember being mindful of my water consumption in high school — drinking glass after glass of water at home to make sure I got the recommended amount. And water coolers have been a thing in offices for a long while, so there’s that too.

Maybe we were hydrating all along, but we just weren’t carrying oversized water bottles? Who knows.

As I’ve raised my children, I’ve been conscious of keeping them hydrated. It’s also made me more conscious of my own hydration too. We tote water bottles on hikes, fill them for road trips and seldom leave for school (or work) without one. It’s a good habit.

As we step into a new year, one simple yet incredibly impactful goal to improve your overall health is to drink more water. Staying adequately hydrated is crucial for overall health, keeping your cells functioning well, your body temperature better regulated and keeping your skin (and mind!) healthy.

A glass of ice water is shown on a counter with a kitchen towel nearby and a painting of carrots in the background.

Here are 11 practical tips for drinking more water (and embracing better hydration habits!) in the new year.

  1. Start your day with a glass of water: Kickstart your metabolism and rehydrate your body after a night’s sleep by drinking a glass of water when you wake up.
  2. Carry a reusable water bottle: Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day, making it convenient to sip on water whenever you feel thirsty. Many people already do this. But is yours large enough? Consider carrying a bigger one (or a second one) if you are finishing your bottle before midday.
  3. Set hourly reminders: Use your phone or smartwatch to remind yourself to take a water break every hour. This simple trick helps create a consistent hydration routine.
  4. Infuse your water: Infuse your water with natural flavors by adding slices of fruits, vegetables, or herbs. This not only enhances the taste but also makes drinking water more enjoyable.
  5. Create a water routine with meals: Drinking water with meals is a good habit to have. Make a point to drink a glass before, during or after (or some combination thereof!) each meal. It aids digestion and helps ensure that you consume an adequate amount of water throughout the day.
  6. Use a water tracking app: Several apps are designed to help you monitor your daily water intake or otherwise have water tracking functionality. Set goals, track your progress, and receive reminders to ensure you stay on top of your hydration game.
  7. Opt for water-rich foods: Hydration doesn’t only come from what you drink. Some foods can help too. Eating foods with high water content, such as watermelon, cucumber, and oranges, can help your overall hydration.
  8. Try alternatives: I get it. Plain water can be boring. But there are alternatives. For instance, sparkling water has a fizzy twist without added sugars or calories. Coffee and tea can also count toward your hydration goals too.
  9. Experiment with temperatures: While I love icy cold water, it’s not for everyone. Some people find it easier to consume water at room temperature or even warm. Experiment and discover what goes down easiest for you.
  10. Reward yourself: Look, I’m not saying you should have a chocolate treat or buy a new book every time you reach your daily water goal (I’m not not saying that either) but trying small rewards to hydration goals can make it more fun to reach them. Maybe it’s a small treat purchase for every week you reach the goal consistently.
  11. Know why it’s important: Learn about the numerous health benefits of proper hydration from a trusted source (this hydration fact sheet from the Harvard University School of Public Health is a good place to start). From supporting bodily functions to promoting clear skin and improved concentration, understanding why water is essential can motivate you to drink more.

Making hydration a priority in the new year is a small yet powerful step toward a healthier and happier you. Cheers to drinking more water in the new year.