Tips for increasing water consumption

With dedication, you can make hydration part of your daily routine.

Has your New Year’s resolution fallen flat already? Here’s to a delayed resolution to a new you: Resolve to drink more water. Sorry to spoil your anticipation of a good reason to drink more of anything else. Most of us do not drink enough water to keep our bodies well hydrated for the long haul of life. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a great read on Water and Nutrition. Getting enough water is important for many functions in the body, but you don’t have to only get hydration from plain water. The CDC suggests that you can get fluids from high water content food that you eat, foods like melons, fruit, and some vegetables. We all know there are many benefits to drinking water, see Kris Swartzendruber’s article on Water Health Benefits , but many of us may still fall short.

Tips to help increase water consumption:

Access how much water, in cups, you currently drink in a given day, and resolve to drink one cup more. If you don’t like to drink water, consider drinking flavored water at first, then water it down gradually. Alternate flavored water with pure water throughout the day. Add fruit, like sliced lemon, lime, peaches, cucumber or mint for a more natural water flavor additive. Just be prepared to visit the restroom more frequently, and you may want to plan drinking around facility availability at first. Be intentional about taking water with you wherever you go, planning makes a difference.

As your body becomes accustomed to consuming more water, add yet another cup. Be sure to start and end your day with a cup of water. Put containers of water all around your home, car, work or school - this will encourage more drinking. You can even encourage a friend or family member to start with you and compare consumption regularly. If it will help, treat yourself to a new water containers from time-to-time.

Don’t make this about money; water, for the most part, is free. When you’ve adjusted to increased water consumption, try to add a true cup (8 ounces) to your daily routine. Most importantly, don’t give up! It takes approximately 21 attempts to create a habit. Become a habitual drinker.

By the end of this year, you should be well on your way to making drinking more water a successful resolution. Visit other health and nutrition sites at Michigan State University Extension.

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