wikiHow to Get in the Habit of Drinking Water

Three Parts:Drinking More WaterHydrating from Other SourcesAvoiding Dehydration

Water is a vital part of your health and well-being. While common wisdom tells you to consume eight glasses a day, the Institute of Medicine actually recommends 9 to 13 cups (2 to 3 liters) of fluids each day.[1] With a busy schedule, it can be hard to remember something as simple as drinking water. There are a variety of steps you can take to prioritize drinking water. Small changes to your routine, such as bringing a water bottle to work each morning, can help you make drinking water a habit.

Part 1
Drinking More Water

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    Have a glass of water each morning. Before going for a cup of tea or coffee, have a glass of water each morning. Try to make this a daily habit. At first, pouring water down your throat each morning may feel difficult, especially if you're not used to drinking early in the morning; however, after a few days you should get used to drinking water early in the morning.[2]
    • If you're not a morning person, you may forget to drink a glass of water right away. It may be a good idea to leave yourself a note in a place you'll look right away in the morning, like near the fridge or coffee pot.
    • You can also set a daily reminder on your phone about drinking a glass of water. You can schedule it to go off each morning just after you wake up.
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    Carry a water bottle. Oftentimes, people forget to drink water simply because of a lack of access. If you don't have water near you during work or school, you may neglect to drink it. Try carrying a water bottle with you throughout the day. Keep it at your desk at work or place it in the book bag you take to class.[3]
    • Try to pick a quality water bottle that will not break easily. If you have to spend a little extra money for a higher quality water bottle, it may be worth the cost.
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    Stop at drinking fountains whenever you can. Try to make a point of taking the opportunity to drink water whenever you can. If you see a water fountain, stop and take a sip. Even if you're not feeling thirsty, make a point of stopping at a fountain to drink. These small sips of water will add up, resulting in an increased fluid take throughout the day.[4]
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    Drink water with each meal. Go for water with all your meals instead of juice, coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages. Have a glass of ice water when you eat at home. When you dine out, tell the waiter you're fine with water as a drink. Take a large sip of water before starting your meal. Then, take sips of water in between bites. Not only will this up your overall fluid intake, it will help you feel full faster.[5]
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    Flavor your water. Many people dislike water due to the lack of taste. You can take steps to flavor your water to help you enjoy it more, giving you the incentive to drink it.
    • You can infuse your water with fruit to help increase the flavor. Try adding kiwi, strawberries, lemons, or lime to tap water.[6]
    • You can also buy flavored waters at the local super market. Just make sure to read the label. Make sure the waters are flavored with natural ingredients and do not contain added sugar.

Part 2
Hydrating from Other Sources

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    Drink a glass of water for every non-water beverage you consume. You can use other liquids as an incentive to drink more water. Make a point of drinking one glass of water for every non-water beverage you consume. If you have one glass of orange juice with breakfast, drink one glass of water as well.[7] Two cups of coffee in the morning? Match it with two glasses of water.
    • This can be particularly helpful when drinking alcoholic beverages. If your stomach is filled with water, this can prevent binge drinking as you'll have less room for booze. Hydrating when drinking can also help prevent hangovers.
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    Eat water-based fruits and vegetables. Your water content does not have to be limited to pure drinking water. Your body will also benefit from water-based fruits and veggies. Go for radishes, zucchinis, strawberries, grapefruit, cucumbers, and celery.[8]
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    Consider sports drinks. If you exercise heavily throughout the day, you may benefit from sports drinks. Sports drinks not only help replace fluids, they also replenish things like sodium, potassium, and electrolytes. In an exhilarating workout, these substances are often drained from your body. If you exercise intensely, consider having a sports drink after a workout.[9]
    • Remember that sports drinks are loaded with sugar, so to really get the most from them, dilute them. Fitness enthusiasts recommend six parts water to one part sports drink; however, just watering it down to equal parts water and sports drink is a great start to help you get more hydration. Over time, just add enough sports drink to you water to flavor it.
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    Make homemade popsicles. Homemade popsicles are a fun and healthy treat that can help you up your fluid intake. You can puree your chosen fruit in a blender, mix it with enough water to create a paste, and place the mixture in an ice tray. Stick a toothpick or popsicle stick in the molds and leave overnight to freeze. In the morning, you can enjoy a nutritious, water-filled popsicle.[10]
    • Try to go for some of the water-based fruits, like strawberries, listed above for added fluid intake.

Part 3
Avoiding Dehydration

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    Assess your personal needs. When it comes to avoiding dehydration, you want to see how much water you need. As stated, 9 to 13 cups (two to three liters) of fluid, primarily in the form of water, is necessary for the average person; however, you may need to make a point of drinking more water under certain conditions.
    • If you exercise, make sure to drink extra water before, during, and after your workout routine.
    • If you're experiencing excess heat or humidity in your area, you'll need to drink more water than usual to make up for fluid lost through sweat.
    • When you're sick, particularly if you're vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, you'll need to drink more water to make up for lost fluids.
    • If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, you'll need more water. It's recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding women consume about 10 to 13 cups (2.4 to 3 liters) of water a day.[11]
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    Watch urine color. A good way to assess if you're getting enough water is looking at your urine color. Clear or pale yellow urine indicates you're consuming a healthy amount of water. Darker yellow urine indicates you need to up your fluid intake.[12]
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    Track your water intake. You should make an effort to make sure you're getting enough water. Try to keep a log, on your phone or in a journal, of how much water you're drinking each day. If you have a smartphone, there are many apps you can purchase that help you keep track of your daily water consumption.[13]
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    Avoid certain beverages. If you want to stay hydrated, certain beverages should be avoided. Certain fluids promote dehydration and should not be a part of a healthy diet.
    • Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages can cause dehydration. You should drink these beverages in moderation. You should also drink water while drinking alcohol, tea, or coffee to help counteract the effects of these liquids.[14]
    • Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, teas, and colas, promote dehydration. You should avoid such drinks in general.[15]
    • Fruit juices are often heavy on carbohydrates and not enough sodium. Try cutting them with 50% water first to help hydrate yourself.[16]
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    Learn the signs of dehydration. Dehydration can cause serious medical problems. If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of dehydration, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Signs of dehydration include the following:[17]
    • Fatigue
    • Lack of appetite
    • Red or flushed skin
    • Light-headedness
    • Dry cough
    • Dark urine


  • Another reason to keep hydrated? Your metabolism slows down even if you are slightly dehydrated. This means your body isn't burning as much fat and other systems, such as healing, slow down too.

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