You know that you should be drinking plenty of water every day — eight 8-ounce glasses, to be precise. But it can be hard to meet this goal, especially if you hate water.
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Staying properly hydrated can help your body regulate its temperature and get rid of toxins, among other health benefits. But let’s face it: Water can be boring. If you just can’t stomach drinking water, here are five other ways to help you stay hydrated.
1. Add Some Sparkle
Sparkling water can be a great alternative to plain water. However, it’s important to pay attention to nutrition labels when swapping regular water for sparkling. Be wary if the ingredients list is lengthy or contains artificial flavorings or sweeteners.
Some sparkling waters, like the brand LaCroix, list only two ingredients — water and natural flavor — and are sugar-free and calorie-free. They make a good replacement for regular water because they’re as close as possible to water, but with some tasty carbonation.
2. Eat Your Water
Certain foods, such as soups, yogurt and applesauce, have a high water content and can be great choices for staying hydrated. In fact, according to recommendations by the Institute of Medicine, 20 percent of a day’s water intake should come from food.
Fruits and vegetables can also have a high water content. In fact, celery is about 95 percent water, and watermelon is about 92 percent. But one vegetable outshines both: cucumbers. Containing 96 percent water, cucumbers make for a healthy, hydrating choice. They also contain zero saturated fat and cholesterol.
Healthy salads are also good options if looking to eat some of your hydration — most lettuce is made up of 94 percent water.
3. Blend It
Beginning the day with a smoothie can be a great way to get a hydration boost — and vitamin C fix — first thing in the morning. “A smoothie for breakfast helps you get hydrated for the day, something soda and coffee won’t do,” according to The Science of Eating. Dairy-based smoothies made from water-rich yogurt and milk can also keep you hydrated.
When making a smoothie, choose fruits that are high in water content, including peaches, pineapples, plums, watermelon, raspberries and cantaloupe.
4. Make It a Game
For hydration motivation, invest in a hydration tracker that turns drinking water into a game. For example, H20-Pal is one such tracker that records your water intake and sends you reminders via a smartphone app. It even makes drinking water fun by allowing you to view your progress, complete four stages and collect special achievements.
5. Infuse It
Brighten up the taste of your water with fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. Infusing your water can make it taste refreshingly good — without the excess calories, sugars and artificial flavorings you might otherwise find in packaged beverages.
To ensure you’re not sipping on chemicals and pesticides, you’ll want to infuse your water with washed, organic produce. For flavor inspiration, try a zesty combination of cucumbers, strawberries, lime and mint. Or go simple and toss in blackberries and cantaloupe.
Really, the options are endless, so go ahead and play around with different fruit combos! But be warned: You'll never think of water as boring again.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you like or dislike water? What are your go-to ways to stay hydrated? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Read More: 10 Ultimate Smoothies for Any Time of Day