It’s important to drink water to maintain balance of fluids in the body, energize muscles, moisten tissues, keep skin healthy, regulate body temperature and maintain kidney and bowel function.
Studies suggest it takes 21 days to create a habit but, bottom line, bad habits can always come back, so think “long-term lifestyle change” instead of “short-term fix” by incorporating more water intake into your daily routine. How much water you need depends on your gender, age, size and activity level, so for starters drink enough to maintain a pale urine color.
Here are a few tips to get you started with better hydration habits:
Drink a glass of water as part of the morning routine. Make it something you do with breakfast or after brushing your teeth — drink 8 to 16 ounces. Warm, cold, with or without lemon, however you enjoy it most.
Pack a water bottle. Having water on hand makes it easier to increase intake because it’s a constant reminder and easy access. Remember to fill it up a few times throughout the day, especially after meals.
Serve water with dinner. Having a pitcher at the table is a good idea so refills are easy and encouraged.
Opt for water over alcohol. Women should limit themselves to one alcoholic drink per day, while men should limit consumption to two drinks per day. If you have more than one alcoholic beverage, have water after your first drink. You could also try seltzer water with a slice of citrus, cucumber or mint-infused water instead of another drink.