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10 ways to drink more water

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again – water is good for you. It helps keep skin looking good, energises muscles, helps the kidneys flush out toxins and can aid in weight control. Still, many of us struggle to fit in the recommended eight cups a day.

water into glass

In fact, seven out of ten of us have gone seven hours or more in a day without drinking a glass of water, a study conducted by One Poll for Robinsons has found. Busy modern lifestyles are likely to blame for overlooking the amount of water we drink, with two thirds (67 per cent) claiming they are ‘too busy’ during the working day to grab a glass of water.

Dietitian Helen Bond says, “Our bodies are made up of about 60 per cent water, so staying refreshed is important in helping our brain and bodies function well – whatever age you are.”

Here are some strategies and tips for making sure you’re benefitting from the wonders of water…

1. Make it a morning habit

Get into the routine of drinking a glass of water as soon as you get up. While you’ve been sleeping for around eight hours without any liquids, your body has slowly become dehydrated. Drinking a large, cool glass of water after you wake up has been shown to fire up your metabolism by a whopping 24 per cent for as long as 90 minutes.

2. Drink tea or coffee

We’re told that tea and coffee dehydrates us, but that myth has now been debunked. According to WebMD, the diuretic effects of tea and coffee don’t diminish any of their hydrating properties, meaning they also count in your daily tally of water. For a healthier option, go for decaff versions of your favourite tea or coffee-based drink.

3. Use reminders

Most of us simply forget to drink more water. There are plenty of apps out there that you can use on your phone, such as Daily Water Free, that bleep and remind you to help you keep track of your water intake. Another simple solution is to set an alarm on your phone or calendar to remind you to drink every two hours or so.

4. Eat your water

Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal and beans. There are plenty of fruits and veggies that contain a fair amount of water, including cucumbers, celery, iceberg lettuce, strawberries, watermelon, grapefruit, radish and celery – these foods are packed full of nutrients too.

5. Keep water nearby

When you have to go out of your way to grab a glass of water – a trip to the kitchen at work can seem like too much when you’re busy – you’re more likely to forget. Set yourself up with a big bottle at your desk so you can sip it throughout the day.

6. Buy a water bottle

Drink your water on the go. Carry a water bottle everywhere – to work, the gym, in the car. You can get large ones that hold a quarter of your daily water intake in one go, so there’s no excuse now!

7. Add flavour to your water

If you’re someone who struggles with the taste of plain water, add some sugar-free squash – but make sure you’re not adding sugar-laden calories. Or if you want to be really healthy, infuse your water with fresh fruits such as kiwi, lemon, strawberries or grapes.

8. Suck on a homemade ice lolly

It’s so easy to make ice lollies at home – all you need is a mold, water and your favourite fruit. It’s cheaper and you get to control the amount of sugar you’re consuming, so there’s no need to feel guilty about any excess calories.

9. Compensate for alcohol

Make yourself a deal – for every glass of alcohol or sugary drink you consume, have a glass of water. No one is expecting you to give your favourite refreshments up entirely, but by compensating them with water you’re more likely to cut down on fizzy and alcoholic drinks, and in turn reap the benefits!

10. Create a challenge

See who can drink the most water with a friend, family member or work pal, or even via social media. A little healthy competition will spur you on to up your water intake.

Independent dietitian Helen Bond says, “As well as feeling thirsty, the taste, colour and flavour of drinks is what often encourages us to drink more often. So, one of the easiest ways to make sure you and your family are consuming the recommended intakes of water is to drink from a variety of different sources.

Despite the importance of staying refreshed, research has shown that 64 per cent of parents do not know how much water their children should be drinking each day, with 42 per cent saying their children find the taste of water boring.

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