How to Overcome the Challenges of Staying Hydrated

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Are you finding it challenging to drink more water?

While it may seem like a simple task, hydration can be difficult for those who haven’t formed the habit. But why do people struggle with something that seems so easy? In this article, we’ll explore the findings of a recent study that sheds light on this question.

In a study conducted by researchers from the University of Glasgow, 95 participants who reported drinking less than 1.2 litres (40 ounces) of water per day were recruited to examine the effectiveness of implementation intentions in increasing water consumption. The participants were divided into two groups: Group 1, who created implementation intentions to help them remember to drink water in specific situations, and Group 2, who agreed to drink three additional glasses of water per day without forming implementation intentions.

After five days, the participants who made implementation intentions consumed an average of 245 millimetres (8 ounces) more water than those who simply agreed to drink more water. However, it’s interesting to note that the implementers didn’t necessarily drink water more frequently throughout the day. Instead, many of them increased the volume of their pre-existing water intake. For example, someone might increase their typical morning intake from four ounces to eight ounces.

It’s important to highlight that the participants consumed more water, but the increase wasn’t solely attributed to the implementation intentions. To gain further insights, the researchers surveyed the participants to understand the reasons behind their water consumption habits.

These findings suggest that while implementation intentions can have a positive impact on increasing water intake, there may be other factors at play in influencing individuals’ hydration behaviours. Understanding the motivations and barriers behind drinking water can help individuals develop effective strategies for improving their hydration habits. 

Here are some practical tips to stay hydrated and overcome common challenges:

1. Set Implementation Intentions

Implementing intentions can be highly beneficial in overcoming barriers to success. Take a moment to envision the future you desire, such as staying hydrated throughout the day. Then, identify potential obstacles that may hinder your efforts, like forgetting to drink water or being too busy. Form “if/then” statements to tackle these obstacles head-on. For example:

    • If I forget to drink water, then I’ll set reminders on my phone or use an app to track my intake.
    • If I’m busy and distracted, then I’ll carry a water bottle with me wherever I go.

2. Use External Reminders

Sometimes, simply wanting to drink more water isn’t enough. Many people struggle to remember to stay hydrated. External reminders can be helpful in overcoming this challenge. Try these tactics to keep water consumption top of mind:

    • Keep a full water bottle in a visible location, such as your desk or bag, to serve as a constant reminder.
    • Place chopped fruits or infused water containers in the front of the fridge to make them easily accessible and tempting.
    • Leave sticky notes on unhealthy snack options, reminding you to choose water instead.
    • Set alarms or reminders on your smartphone to prompt regular water breaks throughout the day.

3. Focus on Preparation

Pouring a glass of water may seem simple, but it’s not always easy to prioritise amidst other activities. Before you can build the habit of drinking water, it’s essential to prepare and make it easily accessible. Consider these steps:

    • Fill up a large water bottle or jug first thing in the morning, so you have a readily available supply throughout the day.
    • Take a moment to prepare your water by adding a slice of lemon, cucumber, or mint to make it more refreshing and enticing.
    • Set aside a dedicated time, such as the evening or weekend, to prep your water bottles or infused water combinations for the next day.
    • Make hydration part of your routine by incorporating it into existing activities. For example, have a glass of water before each meal or whenever you brush your teeth.

Staying hydrated is an essential aspect of your overall well-being. By implementing these tips and making hydration a priority, you’ll be on your way to achieving optimal hydration and enjoying the numerous benefits it brings. Cheers to a hydrated and healthy you!


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