A one-week plan to help you stay hydrated and healthy.
No doubt you’ve heard that it’s important to stay hydrated, but chances are you’re not drinking enough. “Fluid is important for every cell and function in the body,” says Pittsburgh-based sports dietitian Leslie Bonci, owner of Active Eating Advice. And being dehydrated can cause headaches, fatigue and irritability, plus potentially increase your hunger. So boost your hydration with our simple seven-day challenge.
Download our one-week hydration challenge chart
For every eight ounces you drink, check off a glass. By the end of the week, you’ll see if you’ve met your goal.
Drink from a marked water bottle
Use a refillable bottle with ounce markings and add your own time goals, like drinking eight ounces by 9 a.m., for example.
Get an app
Most apps allow you to log what and how much you drink, as well as set alarms to remind you when to drink. Waterlogged, Fitbit, iHydrate or Hydro Coach can get you started.
Simple and calorie-free, water quenches your thirst like no other drink. But if plain water isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Try sparkling water or jazz up your H2O with sliced ginger, lemon, or mint leaves or other herbs, says Bonci. Test out the flavor combinations below, then experiment with your favorite ingredients.
Prepare any of the combinations here or create your own blend. Add the ingredients to a two-quart pitcher and fill with water. Chill in the refrigerator overnight, then strain to remove the solids.
½ English cucumber, sliced ½ cup fresh mint leaves
4 cups cubed watermelon ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup sliced oranges 1 cup sliced limes
1 cup sliced kiwis 1 cup sliced strawberries
Water isn’t your only choice, but avoid beverages that pack calories without beneficial nutrients. Here’s what to drink—and what to pour down the drain.
SWater-rich fruits and vegetables can play a big role in helping you meet your hydration needs, says Bonci. The following produce consists mostly of water while also providing key vitamins, antioxidants and heart-healthy fiber.
It’s important to be consistent with fluid all day long so you don’t have to play catch-up at night,” says Bonci. Use these tips to keep the drinks flowing.
Start (and end) your day right.
Have a glass of liquid when you wake up and about an hour before bed.
Drink on a schedule.
Set an alarm on your phone to remind you throughout the day that it’s time to drink.
Keep your glass filled.
When you finish a glass or bottle of water, refill it right away.
Congratulations! You’ve made it through your first week of healthy hydration habits. Now the key is to avoid reverting to your old routine. Keep yourself on track with these helpful tips.