As the summer heats up, it becomes even more essential than ever to hydrate. If you’re taking care of yourself by working out, forgetting to drink water can undo your good work. The results can be everything from exhaustion and feeling faint to dull, tired skin and breakouts, to overeating because you think you’re hungry, to painful headaches.
Theoretically, hydrating is easy and relatively cheap, so why do we so often mess this one up? For many of us, it’s simply that we fail to make the small amount of time it takes to grab water or get tempted by something else like lemonade (loaded with sugar) or iced tea (the caffeine is dehydrating). So here are a few tips for amping up your hydration.
- Open up and say spa. If you’re at a spa and have some cucumber water, you probably go back for more. It feels luxurious. So make spa water in the morning and leave it chilling to quench your post commute thirst when you get home. Just toss fruit or veggies into a pitcher full of water: berries, watermelon, cucumber, citrus, even cilantro makes for a refreshing treat.
- Bring on the sparkle. Sparkling water is another way to mix things up. Try sparkling water in single serving cans or mini bottles, so you’re never settling for something flat. This is something you want to stock up on when there’s a sale. (And on a side note, you get that secure feeling, like you can survive a natural disaster.)
- A little drop will do you. You never want to add sugary syrups to your water, because the unwholesome ingredients undo its healthfulness. But you can find syrups that are whole and unprocessed with no added sugars that work very well, especially with sparkling waters. A touch of coffee syrup is great with sparkling lemon, echoing the combination of lemon rind on a cup of espresso. Another great combo is apple cider vinegar and pure Vermont maple syrup in plain sparkling water, for a sweet/tart treat. The apple cider vinegar has many other added health benefits, and can even stave off hunger.
- Be a square. Make water pretty and fun by adding frozen fruit ice cubes. It’s as simple as dropping some fruit chunks or berries into a standard ice cube tray. Added bonus: very Instagram-friendly.
- Revert to childhood. Have you ever found that you drink more when using a straw? Who knows why that is, but it doesn’t just work for sangria. It works for the good-for-you stuff too. Pick up pretty paper straws, reusable metal ones, or extra long stir spoons with handles that function like a straw. Find these things at Crate + Barrel or even Amazon.
- Hold your liquor. Alcohol is very dehydrating, again undoing all the good work you do with your water. Why not redo some of your favorite cocktails, giving them a hydrating twist? Try lemon sparkling water in place of vodka for a Bloody Mary that will make your morning more productive. Added bonus: drinking these Bloody Marys at work is totally acceptable. Or mix up a healthful margarita (no processed sour mix, please) and replace the tequila with sparkling lime water. Out for drinks with friends? Go half-and-half. Ask the waiter to give you half the tequila and replace the other half with sparkling water.
- Be a better barista. Temper caffeine’s dehydrating effects by adjusting your coffee house order. Instead of a heavy, filling iced latte, which may have hidden sugar in the milk too, go for an iced Café Americano, replacing the milk with water for a lighter, more summer friendly crema. Added bonus: make it a decaf. Or half caf. Baby steps!