by Petra Guglielmetti
photo: Mark Leibowitz We all know by now that drinking plenty of water each day is an important part of having healthy, pretty skin--so seriously, why is drinking enough water so darn difficult? I'm not even one of those people who passionately dislikes drinking water, but I have still found it really challenging to drink more than a couple big glasses over the course of a day. Until recently, that is. Here are the tricks that have FINALLY gotten me fully hydrated.
1. Find your water-bottle soul mate. Several of my friends have water bottles they carry around 24-7 like security blankets. Now I can finally understand their obsession. Once you find that perfect bottle, it makes drinking enough water 100x easier, and you'll start to crave water constantly, and you'll always bring the bottle with you to avoid getting caught in sub-par hydration situations while out and about (like when you go to a friend's house and the only option is warm tap water, or when you have to resort to drinking directly from the gym water fountain).
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What makes a "perfect," life-changing bottle is a personal thing. From old-school Nalgenes to metalSIGGs to trendy Lifefactory glass cylinders, I've owned them all, but the only one I've formed a water-chugging habit with is my Contigo double-insulated water bottle. It keeps my water cold and fresh-tasting for basically ever. We're talking: I can leave it in the car all day while I'm working and my water will still be icy cold when I return. Craziness. Plus, I love how the metal doesn't get cold on the outside, and how I can sip water out without tipping the bottle, and it's nice and big so I don't have to refill constantly. I could go on.
2. Stock up on lemons. I grab a whole bag of lemons each week at the grocery store. I squeeze half of one into my bottle of ice water several times a day. I'm obsessed. It's like my totally healthy version of the Crystal Light I used to be addicted to. Bonus: Not only might lemon get you to drink more water, it has tons of vitamin C and supposedly an alkalizing effect that's beneficial to your skin and overall health (I'm not sure how scientifically proven those claims are, though).
3. Put it on ice. I've found I also do better with freezing-cold water, maybe because it instantly jolts me awake. Whatever the reason, adding ice makes me want to go in for another sip. Again, it's all about finding your own preference; I have friends who have to have their water lukewarm. Some people swear by cups of warm water with lemon too (not my thing, but I can see how it could be soothing to sip).
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4. Buy straws. I started grabbing packages of colorful straws at the grocery store for my three-year-old, but now I use just as many for my own glasses of water. (When at home, I sometimes use an old-fashioned glass instead of my water bottle.) Somehow, sipping water through a straw seems easier than chugging straight from a glass. And I admit, I have fun choosing a new color each day based on my mood. Or my inner three-year-old does.
5. Drink first thing in the morning.
When I first wake up, the last thing I want is water. I want my coffee, and I can't make it fast enough. However, I force myself to start drinking water while it brews, and I'm always shocked how I drain the whole glass, and fast. Truth is, we get so dehydrated while we sleep that it's really important to replenish in the A.M., especially if we're drinking coffee that can further dehydrate. I feel like starting the day with water also sets a healthy precedent and makes me sip more as the hours go on.
Other tricks you could try:
* setting smartphone alerts throughout the day that remind you to drink water
* stocking up on seltzer if you're more of a bubbly girl (yes, sparkling water counts!).
* making a big jug of water flavored with sliced cucumber--you'll feel like you're at a spa!
What are your tricks for drinking enough water each day? Is there a certain water bottle you're obsessed with?
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by Petra Guglielmetti