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Summer revolves around water: weekends at the beach, laps at the pool, and sweat-drenched runs. But despite how much time we spend swimming and sweltering, many of us forget to drink our daily dose of H2O. Though recommendations vary, a general rule is to aim for half your body weight in ounces of water, more if you’re working out intensely or in the heat.
Water helps your body keep a normal temperature, lubricate your joints, protect your spinal cord and sensitive tissues, and flush your body of waste. Hydration is an important part of staying healthy and feeling great. It’s very important for runners as well because even being just slightly dehydrated can hurt performance.
As the days get hotter it becomes more and more important to stay hydrated, especially for that temperature regulation bit. Whatever your excuse for not drinking enough—you don’t like the taste, you’re too busy, you’re forgetful, not thirsty—here are some easy fixes to keep you hydrated through all your summer fun.
1. Fancy It Up with Fruit
Give your drink a little oomph with some fresh-fruit flavor. Slice up a few lemons and limes, add them to a big pitcher of water, and let it sit overnight in the fridge to enjoy the next day. Or pick up an infuser water bottle and fill with strawberries and blueberries to enjoy delicious, antioxidant-packed water at your desk. Craving something more exotic? Try mixing and matching flavors for a unique beverage—grapefruit and mint; peach and ginger; blueberry and thyme; or cucumber, melon, and lime.
2. Bring It on the Go
You can’t drink water if you don’t have it with you. Invest in a large reusable water bottle that you only have to refill a few times to meet your quota. Look for one with insulation to keep liquids at the perfect temperature all day; we like the Yeti Rambler 26 oz for keeping our water ice cold. Whether you like your water ice cold or room temperature, just make sure you make your bottle an extension of your arm and keep it with you constantly.
3. Pop the Bubbly
If you think water is the absolute most boring thing on earth, make it a little more interesting with some fizz. Try plain or flavored seltzer water and muddle a few fresh berries or mint at the bottom of your glass for an extra kick.
4. Let Technology Lead the Way
You’re way too busy to stare at the clock all day. So set an alarm on your phone for a few different times throughout your day, and down a glass every time it goes off. And don’t forget to have one when your alarm first gets you out of bed in the morning to rehydrate and set the tone for the day.
Or try downloading an app like Waterlogged or Water Your Body to help you track your consumption and get reminders to sip more often. Plant Nanny even gamifies it by making your hydration key to keeping a virtual plant alive. Even when you’re busy checking emails or just zoned out on your phone, you’ll still be able to stay on track.
5. Make it a Habit
Start drinking a glass of water after the activities you do on a daily basis—brushing your teeth, getting your afternoon latte, picking up your mail, or right when you get home from a run. Before long you will automatically drink a few glasses every day without even realizing it.
6. Drink at Meal Time
Get into the habit of having a glass of water with your meals and ordering water when you eat out at restaurants. Another way to ensure you’re downing the good stuff? Make your meal on the spicier side and enjoy the refreshment.
7. Sip with a Straw
If all else fails, stick a straw in it. This is by far the easiest tip to follow. All you need is a straw and…that’s it! Thank to the convenience factor and the mechanics of straws, you tend to drink more liquid when using a straw. You’ll be amazed at how easily it goes down and how much more water you’ll drink just by switching up the way you sip.