Regularly staying hydrated throughout the workday can be surprisingly challenging. There are plenty of opportunities to get distracted by a bustling inbox, back-to-back meetings, or as you move from one project to the next. If you’re looking for motivation to help yourself reach your water intake goals, consider these 12 creative options.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Sometimes, the idea of drinking a big glass of water is unappealing, and may deter you from your hydration goals. If you find yourself in this predicament, consider reaching for a snack instead. Many fruits and vegetables naturally have high water content. By consuming them, you're also getting a healthy dose of hydration. For example, the water content of these foods are as follows:
- Peaches: 89%
- Lettuce: 96%
- Oranges: 88%
- Cantaloupe: 90%
- Cucumbers: 95%
- Watermelon: 92%
- Strawberries: 91%
Fruits like strawberries, apples, and oranges are easy to snack on at your desk. You could also make time to chop up a cucumber and enjoy it with some lime and salt for a satisfying, hydrating snack.
Consider More Dairy
Skim milk is 91% water, and drinking it is actually more hydrating than drinking water. Because of the protein and electrolytes in milk, the body can more readily absorb fluids.
Have a glass of milk on your break, or a cup of yogurt or cottage cheese for your midday snack. Make sure to steer clear of sugar-laden options that may do more harm than good.
Don’t Give Up on Coffee
You may have heard that coffee is dehydrating and wonder why it’s on this list. Coffee, or more specifically caffeine, has a mild diuretic effect on the body. This can help flush toxins from the body, but isn’t necessarily dehydrating.
You can get away from the effect altogether by drinking decaf coffee. Look for decaf made with the Swiss Water method that uses an environmentally friendly, chemical-free process to remove the caffeine.
With a legendary insulated bottle or mug, it’s easy to keep your favorite coffee hot and easily accessible throughout the workday.
Unlike coffee, alcohol is dehydrating, and you probably can’t enjoy it at your desk anyway. However, you can have fun with non-alcoholic versions of your favorite drinks.
Mix a little lime with simple syrup and club soda for a refreshing “no-jito” or mix strawberries with honey and lime for a scrumptious take on a daiquiri.
Eat More Soup
In addition to containing plenty of water, the salt content in broth-based soups helps the body absorb and retain moisture. As a bonus, soups are often packed with hydrating veggies.
It’s simple to make up a big batch of soup and divide it into portion-sized containers you can take to work. You can even stash them in the freezer so you can knock out making several workday lunches at once, but not have to eat the same thing for a week.
Choose More Grains
It might seem counterintuitive, but the right kind of grains will add to your water intake. Think about how much water oats, rice, or couscous absorb while being cooked. That’s all moisture that you then consume when you eat those grains. Consider adding some oats to your morning smoothie or including rice with your lunch.
Always Keep Water With You
Make water accessible and you’ll be prepared to drink more of it with less effort. Keep a stylish growler or flask filled with water on your desk while you work. Travel tumblers are perfect for fitting in the cupholder of your car. Insulated water bottles with easy grab-and-go handles make it simple to carry water with you as you’re out and about.
Space Out Your Meals
Your body works to maintain the proper water balance in your body. Drinking large amounts of water at once can disrupt this balance and even cause serious side effects like confusion, headaches, or seizures. This is another reason why it’s helpful to carry water with you and sip small amounts throughout the day.
Get More Breathable Clothing
Even the clothing you wear can have an impact on your water balance. If you’re too hot, you’ll sweat more which causes your body to lose water.
Non-breathable clothing keeps heat trapped against your skin, contributing to a rising temperature. Breathable clothing, however, allows this heat to escape and will help your body maintain the proper temperature and thus the proper water balance. This is especially important for staying hydrated during vigorous activities like exercising.
Try Out an App
Get Attractive Drinkware
Attractive drinkware can add some extra motivation toward your water drinking goals. You may find that you’re more inclined to remember to bring your nice drinkware with you — which means you can readily drink more throughout the day.
Plus, it’s nice to have quality drinkware that will keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold to put on your desk and carry around with you. And when you head out hiking on the weekends, a sleek water bottle clipped to your pack will help keep you properly hydrated.
Develop a Cooking Hobby
We’ve already seen how what you eat can affect your fluid intake. Get into the habit of making a big batch of soup on the weekends that you can take to work for lunch. Fill your fridge with fruits and veggies and prep them to easily take for snacks at your desk. Explore new recipes that incorporate water-rich foods to help keep your taste buds engaged and excited. Consuming water doesn’t have to be bland or boring; you can spice up your intake in any number of ways.
Whether you decide to experiment with delicious foods, invest in quality, portable drinkware, or pursue technology to help you achieve your goal of staying hydrated at work, options abound. Once you decide to invest in building this good habit for yourself, your body will reap the benefits down the road.