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How much water do you need? What if you don’t like water? Here are tips to help you hydrate.

Over 60 percent of the human body is made up of water. Water helps our bodies do miraculous things and is essential to human life. It aids in regulating body temperature, flushing out waste, lubricating joints and metabolizing food. But we constantly lose water, through sweat, urine and even when we breathe. That’s why it’s so important to stay hydrated.

During the summer, when temperatures are warmer and many people are more active, it’s more important than ever to up our fluid intake. Although some health advice suggests that people should drink 6 – 8 glasses of water every day, that isn’t a hard and fast rule. Some people need more fluid than that and some can get by with less. The amount of water you need is based on a variety of individual factors, including your activity level, gender, health status, environment and more.

No matter what your ideal fluid amount is each day, here are some tips to help you stay hydrated:
  • Drink water first thing in the morning. Before you grab that coffee cup, drink a glass of water. This will give you an energy boost and helps to get your metabolism revving. It’s also a good reminder for the day that you need to make drinking water a priority.
  • Drink water before each meal. Get in the habit of drinking a glass of water before each meal. It will help you feel full faster and digest your food better. It will also make it easier to get a few glasses of water in without thinking about it.
  • Get a fun water bottle. Find a water bottle that will encourage you to drink water throughout the day. Whether you prefer one with measurements for tracking intake or just an inspirational saying or fun image that makes you happy, a favorite bottle may just get you to drink more.
  • Choose your drinks carefully. Plain water is best for keeping you hydrated, but it’s not the only thing that does the trick. Unflavored carbonated water or seltzer is an option if you want some fizz. Adding natural fruit, veggies or herbs to water or seltzer adds some pizzazz if you don’t like the taste of plain water. There are many drinks on the market that make all types of health claims, but when it comes to hydration, it’s best to stick to drinks without sugar, caffeine, alcohol or lots of calories. Drinks with added electrolytes usually aren’t needed unless you have done a lot of exercise or it is extremely hot.
Best and Worst Drinks for Hydration

BAD

  • Soda (regular or diet)
  • Lemonade or sweet tea
  • Energy drinks
  • Caffeinated coffee or tea
  • Beer, wine, hard liquor or any canned or bottled drinks made with alcohol

BETTER

  • Sports drinks (watch sugar content)
  • Coconut water
  • Fruit juice (watch sugar content)
  • Milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • Decaffeinated coffee or tea

BEST

  • Water (plain or fruit-infused)
  • Seltzer (plain or fruit-infused)

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Date Last Reviewed: May 15, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Jane Schwartz, RDN, CLT

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