By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
Did you know that eating a balanced diet and responding to thirst signals helps you to do a really good job of keeping you hydrated in normal situations (excessive sweating from heat and exercise are not normal conditions), per several studies? This is a main reason why I always carry a water bottle around with me, as a reminder to sip to stay hydrated. But I also make sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, since you can get water and meet your hydration goals from many sources—especially important if you’re not a fan of regular water.
And some research suggests that for certain people, a higher water intake may help reduce calorie intake and beneficially impact weight. Water needs can vary, but women typically require 91 ounces per day, while men on average need 125 ounces daily. This includes water from all sources: water, other beverages such as tea, and food.
While this all sounds easy enough, it may be more challenging for some people to stay hydrated throughout the day. Follow these tips from myself and my dietitian colleagues to help make it easier!
Choose your cup of choice. “Find out what type of cup you love to drink out of, and use it daily!” suggests Stacey Mattinson, MS, RDN, nutrition blogger at StaceyMattinson.com.
“You might do better with a straw, a cup with a lid, an insulated cup, or an everyday cup filled to the brim with ice.” Also consider choosing a pretty container. “I often encourage my clients to get a water bottle or glass they'll like to look at so they associate drinking water with something pleasant,” notes Jessica Cording, MS, RD, a dietitian in New York City.
Add some bubbly. Not a fan of flat water? Drink sparkling water, either on its own or with a splash of flavor from just a Tablespoon or two of juice.
Add simple flavor. “I pour water into a huge clear pitcher and fill it with cut, ripe fruit like watermelon, mango, and peaches,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It. “At the end of your glass of water, you'll find delicious fresh fruit.”
Mix up unsweetened tea. This counts as water! Try this recipe for Iced Licorice Tea, 0 SmartPoints ® value, or ice your own unsweetened green or black tea.
Freeze your water. “I keep homemade fruit popsicles in the freezer year-round,” says Stacey Orner, RD, a dietitian in Jacksonville, FL. “They are a delicious, hydrating snack before and after a workout!” Nosh on these Key Lime Pie Pops, at 3 SmartPoints value per popsicle, or these Pineapple-Chipotle Popsicles, a 2 SmartPoints per pop.
What are your favorite ways to stay hydrated? Tell me on Connect @amy_gorin!
Read more posts from The Eat List.