Our bodies are around 60% water, give or take. Staying hydrated is important.

Just because it’s cold and you may not be sweating as much, doesn’t mean we can’t get dehydrated in the winter!

Beginning stages of dehydration can make you feel a little lethargic, may cause headaches, cause a feeling of “hunger” yet it’s thirst, dry skin, chapped lips, and constipation. When too much water is lost from the body, the organs, cells, and tissues fail to function, which can lead to dangerous complications.

Water plays a role in metabolism, regulating our body temperature (sweating), aiding in digestion to break down foods, helps deliver oxygen throughout your entire working body, aids in digestion from saliva production (houses digestive enzymes), lubricates joints, helps our brains create hormones and neurotransmitters, keeps our mucosal membranes moist (re:lung and digestive tissues), transports nutrients from our foods (especially water-soluble vitamins), and keeps our cells rejuvenated, reproducing, and surviving.

It is commonly recommended to drink 8-10 8-ounce glasses of water per day, we are all different adjust depending on your activity level, climate, digestion, etc. You’ll need increased amounts if you exercise and sweat, if you’re active throughout the day, if you’re not eating enough water containing foods, or if you eat a high fiber diet.

Check your urine color can function as a simple indicator of your hydration status. If your urine is a light lemonade color, it’s likely that you are properly hydrated. Dark yellow urine (as in dark or darker than apple juice) typically signals dehydration and need for immediate rehydration.

Otherwise, chat with a licensed/registered dietitian to help you figure that out! Don’t forget foods also contain water — cucumbers, watermelon, celery, etc.

Trying to drink more water every day can seem at best boring and repetitive and at worst well, a little torturous. But with some simple tricks, making some fun rules for yourself, and maybe getting a product or two, it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Here are creative ways and tips to stay hydrated throughout the day and to help remember to drink enough water throughout the day.

1. Add flavor

You can add a little bit of excitement and flavor by steeping fresh fruit (grapefruit, strawberries, lemon), veggie slices (cucumber, ginger, celery), and herbs (basil, mint, lavender) in your carafe. The longer you let it steep, the tastier each cup will be. And you can play around with different combos, like cucumber mint or basil lemon.

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2. Drinking out of a clear container

This can help you visualize how much water you have already consumed and how much more you have to go! Bonus if you have sliced lemon instead for a little visual motivation and inspiration to sip.

3. Use an app

I don’t know about you, but for me, if an activity involves using an app, it’s a lot easier for me to get into that activity, and maybe even get a little excited about it. Keeping up with how many glasses you’ve finished can be easy (and fun) with the help of a free app like Daily Water Free or Daily Water. Download them to your phone to set daily reminders and alarms.

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4. Or take it a step further and get a high-tech water bottle

What better way to take your tracking to the next level than with the high-tech DrinKup and accompanying app? This nifty water bottle recommends your customized daily water intake, sends you notifications when it’s time to sip, and logs your intake. The DrinKup keeps beverages cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. It comes in four different colors and is super sleek.

5. Invest in a filter

Depending on where you live and what you have access to, filtered water could be more of a necessity than a luxury. Filtered water can still taste better than what’s coming out of the tap or water fountain. Consider filtration devices for your kitchen sink and for your portable bottle. Try Soma Water Filtration Carafe for home and the Bobble Classic on the go.

6.  Hourly alarms

Set alarms on your phone that encourage you to drink more water. It can be as simple as naming your alarm “Drink some water!”. Bonus, if you’re trying to get more steps in that day you can name the alarm “Get up to grab a glass of water!” A little reminder is all you need.

7. Make a tea

Technically not just “water” but adding a tea bag to your water can infuse it with a little flavor and little antioxidants from the tea leaves. What is tea but deliciously flavored water? Drink it hot in the winter and ice it in summer. Whether you like citrus, floral, spicy, or even chocolate-y, there’s a tea out there for you. I love making tea during the day because it gives me a mini break from work. I love drinking it in the evening because a warm, gentle beverage always makes me feel a little calmer. Lean in to tea, form a tea habit, and enjoy the hydration.

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So, what are your go-to tips to remember to drink enough water and stay hydrated? Comment below or tag us on Instagram to show off your hydration game #nutrition_connections

Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN