7 Easy Ways to Increase Your Daily Water Intake

We all know drinking water is good for us, yet most Americans struggle to get enough water each day. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, adults consume an average of 39 ounces of water a day, a mere 60% of the standard recommended 64 ounces of water a day.

What’s more, those 64 ounces actually fall short of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations of 2.7 liters per day for women (about 92 ounces) and 3.7 liters per day for men (about 125 ounces). 

Water makes up about 60% of the human body by weight. It is essential for the proper functioning of every cell in the body and performs important jobs such as:

  • Regulating body temperature
  • Carrying nutrients and oxygen to different cells in the body
  • Keeping the eyes, nose, mouth, and other mucous membranes moist
  • Lubricating joints
  • Protecting organs and tissues
  • Eliminating waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements

Not drinking enough water leads to dehydration. Even mild dehydration can make you feel run-down and tired. More severe dehydration can be life-threatening and lead to heat stroke, urinary and kidney problems, or seizures. Signs of dehydration include dark urine, fatigue, dizziness, extreme thirst, and confusion.

If you struggle to drink enough water to maintain optimum hydrations, here are seven tips to help.

1

Add a Splash of Citrus

pitcher of water with slices of lemon and lime
Meredith Heuer / Getty Images

If you just can't drink glass after glass of plain water all day, try infusing your water with some citrusy flavor. Just slice up some lemon, lime, or orange, or even all three! Then add to a pitcher or bottle and let it infuse your water with fruity flavor. Keeping a pitcher of this in your fridge at all times will double your water intake in no time.

Other great infusers? Strawberries, mango, cucumbers, and mint. You can also find flavored waters on supermarket shelves, but read the labels carefully and watch out for added sugar. 

2

Carry a Reusable Water Bottle

Playing with water splash filling bottle of water from the river.
Artur Debat / Getty Images

Toting around a refillable water bottle is a surefire way to increase your water intake. Pick up a cute one at the grocery store or mall and be sure to wash it often. Prefer to drink out of a straw? Look for bottles with built-in straws. Like the fruit-infusion idea in tip number 1? There are reusable water bottles with a special section for fruit slices. 

3

Go for Sparkling Water

Close up sparkling water in glass
Norman Posselt / Getty Images

Because bubbles make everything more fun, try alternating flat water with the carbonated kind. Experts say carbonated water is just as good for you as flat. Fizzy water is especially good if you're trying to cut back on soda. There are even options available with a hint of flavor. Just remember to check those labels for added sugar or sweeteners.

4

Spice Up Your Food

World map with spices and herbs
Yamada Taro / Getty Images

Think about it: A little heat at mealtime is guaranteed to send you straight for some refreshing water to cool down your mouth. Try seasoning your food with a little cayenne pepper or hot sauce. There are some fantastic spicy salt-free seasoning mixes out there too. Bonus? Guzzling water in between bites will help you feel full faster, so you'll be less likely to overdo it on portions. 

5

Change Up the Temperature

Hot water served with a slice of lemon at Hisaronu,Izmir.
Emreturanphoto / Getty Images

Start your day with a cup of hot water with a squeeze of lemon. Some people prefer ice-cold water, especially after a workout, while others find that sipping room temperature water is easier than sipping it cold. Try switching it up until you find the temperature that works best for you. It could be that you like different temperatures at different times of days.

6

Use a Tracker App

Overhead view gay couple preparing smart watch, checking fitness app on smart phone
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Set a daily goal on your phone app and update it throughout the day. You don’t want to realize at the end of the day that you still have more than half of your daily water left to drink. Who wants to drink that much water before bed? Having the reminder at your fingertips can be really helpful. A few helpful apps include Waterlogged for iPhone and Carbodroid for Android users. No smartphone? Set an alarm to go off throughout the day as a reminder.

7

Use a Straw

Glasses of water with straws
David Crockett / Getty Images

Using a straw is one of my favorite tips for getting a lot of water in a short amount of time. Something about sipping through a straw makes the water go down easier. As mentioned in tip number 2, you can even find reusable water bottles and cups with built-in straws.

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  1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Get the facts: Drinking water and intake. Updated December 3, 2020.

  2. Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intake: Electrolytes and Water. Published 2005.