Nutrition Articles

12 Tips to Drink 8 Cups a Day

Water Tactics that Make Every Day an 8-cup Success

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Eight glasses of water every day? No matter how you pour them, that’s a lot of liquid. We're talking cups and cups…and cups. Even knowing about the many benefits of meeting your daily quota—increased fat burning, healthier skin, more energy, better digestion, fewer cravings—doesn't make drinking it (or dealing with increased bathroom visits) any less of a struggle for many of us.

If you feel like you're barely treading water when it comes to drinking your water, don’t despair. There are lots of little secrets—time-honored tricks that those elusive "water drinkers" use—that even you can try to transform yourself into an H2O-guzzling machine.

For best results, try the two that Spark your interest immediately, then add one each week until you’re getting all the water you need. And remember, there is no magic number. The recommended eight cups a day is not a one-size fits all. You’ll need more if you’re sweating through workouts; less if you eat a lot of water-rich fruits and vegetables.

1. Try comfort water
This is a great tactic for coffee and tea drinkers. While you’re waiting for the coffee to brew, nuke a glass of water (or herbal tea), squeeze in a bit of lemon and sip while you wait. Try another cup of warm water after you’ve had a mug or two of coffee. Hot water is also a great treat on a cold afternoon or evening. Invest in a new kind of herbal tea every time you grocery shop until you’ve found a couple that are just right.

2. Tag your water bottle
Splurge on the perfect reusable water bottle. Whether it's your favorite color or a unique design, the more you bond with your bottle, the less likely you'll be to lose it. Slap an inspirational sticker or image onto it, or even write on it with a permanent marker. Now you're ready to drink from it throughout the day—don't forget to refill it as soon as it's empty.

3. Sip up
Gulping all that water can seem daunting. So get a package of straws to slowly sip it instead. You can even pick up a water bottle with built-in straw.

4. Become a connoisseur
Think of water drinking like wine tasting. Taste the various brands and types of bottled waters available (sparkling, spring, mineral, vitamin-enhanced, reverse osmosis, filtered, fruit-flavored, etc). Be sure to read the labels as some "waters" have significantly added calories. Many bottles of water contain two to three cups of water.
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Member Comments

  • The oft-repeated advice to drink 8 cups of water a day does not have any supportive data behind it. One should drink to satisfy thirst. Coffee, tea, soup, jello, etc. all contribute to fluid intake. Ideally one's urine will be a pale yellow color. As well, I do not think it is healthy for the planet to promote the use of bottled waters. - 12/15/2014 12:24:21 AM
  • Good advice! Every evening I put 2 plain green teabags in my water bottle and let them "cold brew" overnight in the fridge, to drink at the gym the next morning. It actually tastes good without adding sweetener! I wish people would use fewer purchased bottled waters since the plastic is a valuable resource. If you do, please at least put them in the recycling bins! Also, I keep hearing that sucking your liquids through a straw contributes to developing fine lines around the mouth. - 12/6/2014 2:17:08 PM
  • i attended a conference the other day and I counted the presenters and the goal was to drink a glass of water per presenter. That took me a long way to getting in the 8 glasses before dinner time. - 12/6/2014 9:20:48 AM
  • You can get flavored water at Sonic. After a walk, I'll go to sonic and get a water flavored with one of their Sugar Free flavorings, or ask them to add fresh lemon or lime. Peach Mango Water is divine! - 10/25/2014 11:16:40 PM
  • I used to drink water all the time, now I have to force myself to drink it. Part of the problem is that I am a teacher and am forbidden from leaving the classroom to go to the washroom, so like many teachers I avoid liquids at all costs and have bladder issues because of it. I am afraid of drinking water and being able to hold it for hours at a time. Now, I try to up my intake on weekends but it's hard. Personally I think bottled water is a real no-no. Our planet is already covered in toxic garbage. Do we really need to be paying for water and trashing the planet in the process? - 10/25/2014 1:33:35 PM
  • FOXGLOVE999
    I really hate water. I incorporated a 40 ounce bottle of flavored sparkling mineral water into my diet earlier this year, and now my doctor wants me to up my water intake further. Apparently, my kidneys aren't looking great. It's very difficult for me, as 40 ounces is about all I can tolerate. - 10/9/2014 8:42:18 AM
  • my daughter put a cute sticker of an elephant on my water bottle . She is 19 made me laugh . Then wise girl says elephants always love a watering hole , ps it will remind you that if you don't drink your water and fill up you may one day look like one. you bloat more when you have less water. Smart biology major and up and coming doctor. great article thank you . - 9/7/2014 8:36:01 AM
  • I freeze a 1.5 bottle of water (after removing a little water to make room for expansion) to take to work every day. By the time I've setled in and have my cup of coffee, the water has started to melt and I can sip ice cold water all day. I also freeze smaller bottles to take with me on road trips, walks, etc and they also work great in coolers for picnics or travel. - 9/7/2014 8:02:38 AM
  • How can I join your Spark Team? - 8/25/2014 1:18:24 PM
  • I use the the "Water Your Body" app on my android phone both to remind me to drink water and log how much I drink. - 7/23/2014 3:30:10 PM
  • LAURAPEB
    Love that tea counts!! Fixing me a nice herbal right now! - 7/1/2014 8:27:07 PM
  • Be careful with the tip about leaving bottled water in your car. BPA is a real problem, and it leaches out of bottles when they get warm. So, if you leave them in the hot car, you might be getting a hefty dose of BPA. Check to see if the bottles you buy have BPA in them. - 7/1/2014 2:56:54 PM
  • I drink a lot of water myself. Everything from my own tap to sparkling water (which I love, not sure why all soda fountains do not have the soda water option). I only drink water, tea, coffee and the occasional beer so it's easy to get the water in. I don't like pop, it's way too sweet, so guess what I drink when out. - 7/1/2014 12:15:12 PM
  • I find that if I keep my water icy cold, I drink more of it. If my glass of water gets warm before I finish it, I add ice to it. I have a reusable water bottle with a wide mouth so I can put lots of ice in it. When I go out to run errands, I take a cooler bag and ice packs to keep my water bottle cold when I have to leave it in the parked car. - 7/1/2014 9:48:09 AM
  • I have no problems drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Usually, it's more like 16 glasses a day. That creates a whole new problem. I need to GO all the time! - 4/24/2014 11:11:08 AM

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