Here's How I Finally Got Myself to Drink More Water Throughout the Day
I used to drink water religiously. I was on the track team in college, and I lived in fear of showing up to practice or a meet dehydrated. I dutifully carried my plastic water bottle everywhere, sipping throughout the day and "checking my hydration status" (in other words, staring at my pee), as our trainers told us to do. I found that my workouts were much easier when I was hydrated, so I was obsessed with making sure I drank plenty of water before my repeat sprints.
Today, I sit at a desk for most of my day—and even though I still exercise regularly, my workouts are less strenuous, and I've found I crave a lot more coffee than water. But as a health reporter, I know how important it is to drink plenty of H20: mild dehydration can lead to irritability, low energy levels, headaches, dry skin, and even weight gain. While the amount of water you should drink every day can vary depending on age and activity levels, the Institute of Medicine recommends men aim for 125 ounces a day and women aim for 91 ounces, including water from foods and other beverages.
Over the years, I’ve tried dozens of strange contraptions to encourage myself to drink more water, from setting phone notifications to testing out almost every new water bottle on the market. While many of these strategies have been too complicated for everyday use (or simply haven't worked at all), a few genius products have helped me increase my water intake. Here, five anything-but-basic water bottles and high-tech hydration gadgets that I've tested and loved.
Hydro Flask 21-oz Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Sports Water Bottle
I love Hydro Flask water bottles—they’re virtually indestructible and last forever. Plus, they actually keep your water cold for up to 24 hours without getting condensation all over your desk (or backpack or hand). I find that I'm more likely to drink water if it’s cold, and with a Hydro Flask, you don’t have to keep filling your bottle up with ice to make it refreshing.
To buy: $36; amazon.com
Camelbak Eddy Glass .7-Liter Water Bottle
I’m a huge fan of Camelbak’s bite-and-sip straw. Many people claim that drinking from a straw helps you drink more water, which I have found to be true. This bottle is glass but has a silicone sleeve to make it more durable (and easier to grab!).
To buy: $25; amazon.com
If you like fitness trackers, you’ll love this high-tech water bottle. It connects to an app on your phone using Bluetooth and delivers helpful stats about your hydration. It also factors in your physical activity, the weather, and your weight and age. If you haven't sipped in a while, the app pushes gentle reminders to your phone. While not cheap, I found H20 Pal to be a fun way to monitor my daily hydration.
To buy: $98; amazon.com
Kinzi Sport Fruit Infuser Water Bottle
Fresh fruit is a delicious way to add subtle sweetness to plain H20. Prep fresh slices in the morning (strawberries, lemons, and cucumber are all delicious), then add to the built-in container in this water bottle for natural flavor throughout the day.
To buy: $30; amazon.com
This little device is a light mounted on a rubber band that goes around any water bottle. The light has an accelerometer inside, so it can sense movement when you pick up the bottle. If you haven’t moved it within 40 minutes, it starts blinking, reminding you to take a drink. Since the only way to make it stop is to take a sip, it definitely helped up my water intake. Bonus: The replaceable battery lasts six months.
To buy: $25; amazon.com