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Why you might have a drinking problem & what to do about it


For 15 days, we’re exploring the topic of making our health and well-being a priority as part of the 15 Days to a Healthier You series. You can read Day 1 hereDay 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 hereDay 5 here, Day 6 here, Day 7 hereDay 8 here, Day 9 here, and Day 10 here

Most of us suffer from dehydration, whether we know it or not. Many times, we think we have some physical problem in need of medical attention, but the cause could be that we just need to drink more water!

Drinking more water boosts your metabolism, fights fatigue, improves your skin, encourages better digestion, relieves headaches, and might even improve your mood! Which is why it is so important that we make getting hydrated more of a priority.

How to Drink More Water Every Single Day

Need some encouragement to drink more water? Here are five ideas:

1. Track Your Water Intake

The average adult should drink at least 64 to 80 ounces of water per day. If you think you’re currently drinking that much, track your water intake each day for two weeks. You might be surprised to realize you don’t drink as much as you think you do!

There are many ways to track your water intake — apps like the Waterlogged app, printable worksheets to track water intake, or even a custom time-marked bottle with daily goals.

Lindsey emailed me and said:

“I’ve known for years and years that I need to drink more water. The problem wasn’t that I drank soda or juice instead of water….the problem was that I simply wasn’t drinking enough at all. I used to set goals for drinking more water and then I beat myself up over not achieving them. I thought I had a will-power problem, I thought I wasn’t trying hard enough, I thought there was something wrong with me, etc.

Then one thing happened that changed it all. My husband bought me this water bottle for Christmas last year — the Hydr-8 Water Bottle.

This bottle made drinking 8 glasses of water a breeze. My husband fills the cup for me before going to work and I only need to refill it once at the office! Yes! I know exactly how much water I am drinking (it’s like the water bottle version of the Dave Ramsey envelope system…it’s very easy to track how much money or water you have left).

[The only downside is that it looks a little funny to take to office meetings … so I keep a regular water bottle on hand at my desk for those.]

The big lesson that I learned is that we are too eager to beat ourselves up when we don’t achieve a goal. In my case of not drinking enough water, it wasn’t that I was a bad person or that I lacked willpower or that there was something wrong with me — the problem was that I needed a system that put water consumption on auto-pilot; I needed to put conditions in place that made success inevitable. -Lindsey

You might have a drinking problem & what to do about it

2. Find a Cup/Glass/Water Bottle You Love

I don’t really have any scientific proof to back this up, but I’ve certainly found it to be true in my own life: when I have a cup/glass/bottle that I love, I’m much more apt to drink more water. Splurge and buy yourself a cute cup or water bottle and see if this is true for you, too!

I love to drink out of Mason Jars with ice and a stainless steel straw. TJ Maxx usually has quite a great selection of cute water bottles, glass water bottles, and mason jars. You can also check your dollar store to see what they offer. If you are willing to spend a little bit more, you might check out the following bottles: Glass Water Bottle, CamelBak Water Bottle, and Contigo Water Bottle.

I’ve found it helpful to always have a glass of water nearby me, no matter where I am. And when it’s a glass or bottle that I love, it makes me smile and makes me reach for it more often.

3. Start Your Day With Water

Most of us do not drink anything for at least 6-8 hours overnight… which means that we wake up dehydrated every morning.

Chris Bailey from A Life of Productivity says:

One of the best things you can do after you wake up: drink at least 16oz (500mL) of water. Water fires up your metabolism, hydrates you, helps your body flush out toxins, gives your brain fuel, and may even make you eat less.

Many experts recommend starting your day with Lemon Water instead of just plain water. Here are some other beverage ideas to start your day with — most that are water based.

You might have a drinking problem & what to do about it

To be honest, the thought of drinking water right as soon as I wake up is a bit much. I usually get up, get dressed in my workout clothes, and go to the garage to workout. Within about 10-15 minutes, I make myself a glass of ice water and try to start sipping on that and get down at least 8 oz. before making coffee. I can definitely tell a difference in how I feel overall when I do this.

4. Drink Water Instead of Soda

Drinking soda pop is addictive and expensive. If you drink one pop per day and you get it on sale with a coupon, that’s still close to $100 spent per year for one person. If you pay for drinks from a restaurant or vending machine and you drink one pop per day, it’s going to be closer to $150 to $250 or more spent in a year for your soda pop habit.

There is almost no redeeming value in soda pop, except that maybe it tastes good and makes you feel good. {Though it does neither for me, but I also basically never drink it — because I’m weird like that! :)} The calories in non-diet drinks can wreak havoc on your weight and the chemicals in the diet drinks can wreak havoc on your health.

So, all that to say, I’d heartily encourage you to consider cutting back on the soda habit — or maybe even get brave and ditch it altogether?

One simple way to start: Order water at restaurants when you go out. Drinks are one of the most price-inflated purchases at restaurants. Order water with lemon and you’ll cut calories and costs. Not to mention that water is one of the most healthful things you can drink.

My husband's brilliant idea for getting us to drink more water!

5. Experiment With Flavored Waters

Don’t like the taste of plain water? Don’t despair! There are so many combinations for flavored water that can change things up. If you’re looking for Flavored Water Recipes, check out this post for lots of ideas and suggestions.

Earlier this year, Jesse came up with the idea to make Flavored Water for us on a daily basis. He went and found a jar at Kohl’s to use (Amazon has a similar jar available), and has been making new flavored water combinations for us. It makes me kind of feel like I’m staying at a high-end resort every time I get a glass of water! You can do the same idea on-the-go with an Infusion Water Bottle.

Other ideas for getting more water are to drink herbal tea (hot or iced) or one of the many, many variations of Good Girl Moonshine.

How to Drink More Water Every Single Day

Day 11 Project

1. Track your water intake for at least 2-3 days to see if you’re getting enough water on a daily basis. This might surprise you!

2. Pick one of the ideas listed above for making getting hydrated more of a priority and think of a simple way you’re going to incorporate it into your daily life.

3. Leave a comment and tell us what you’re planning to do in order to drink more water. I can’t wait to hear your creative ideas!

Looking for some more practical help?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

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  • Christine says:

    Love this! And so true. I take my water bottle everywhere with me – I even take it into the grocery store so I can sip while I shop. I definitely feel more lethargic and just “off” (for lack of a better word) when I don’t drink water throughout the day.

    Do you know of any frugal ways to have filtered water? The water filter in our fridge is $60 to replace (I found one for $45 on ebay which is the cheapest I could find). I just can’t pay that much! We don’t have room in our fridge for a pitcher and the sink filters don’t fit on our sink.

    • Rachel says:

      Hey Christine!

      What about this water bottle? It filters the water as you drink it and is much more affordable than the other methods that you mentioned.

    • We don’t have filtered water right now… maybe someone else has some ideas of ways to save there?

      • Heather says:

        I highly recommend buying a Berkey water filtration system. We bought ours 5 years ago and will not need to change the filters for at least another 5 years.
        It is amazingly yummy pure water, much tastier and healthier than bottled!!

        It’s expensive up front (we got a Royal size for our family of 6 for around $275) but it paid for itself within a year since we no longer had to buy so much bottled water. New filters are around $100 but will last many years (around 10 +/- depending how much you use) before replacing.

        We read lots of reviews and had to save up for a few months and we are SO GLAD to save so much long term.

      • Anna says:

        We have successfully been getting rid of the chorine taste of tap water 4 years.

        If your city/county water is pretty clean and safe to drink, you can easily get rid of the chlorine taste by filling up your water pitcher or water bottle and leaving the top off overnight. The chlorine evaporates and it will taste much better! If you are worried about something getting into the water, you can cover it with cheesecloth or have the top on (provided you leave at least 1 or 2 inches of airspace at the top for the chlorine to escape).

    • Heather says:

      We found Amazon has filters for our fridge for about $15 and they,last about 4 months. Just type in the model # on your current filter and it should bring up filters that will work.

    • Cheryl says:

      Get generic filters on Amazon. They work and are substantially cheaper.

  • Guest says:

    I so relate to Lindsey’s story. Some people think it’s odd but I just don’t get thirsty often. I used to go an entire day and realize after dinner I had not drunk anything the entire day.

    I started having some health problems a few years back and drinking at least 6 – 8 glasses of water each day has improved them. It’s really pretty incredible how something so simple makes such a big difference. One suggestion…don’t drink after around 7:30/8 o’clock or you’ll be up all night going to the restroom.

  • Hannah says:

    I challenge myself to drink a glass of water before I pour myself a cup of coffee. If I end up drinking 1-3 cups of coffee throughout the day, at least I am also increasing my water intake by a few glasses as well.

  • I completely agree on the mason jar. Read an article about how straw jars help us drink more water than regular water bottles. Talked about it in the blog post here:

  • Theres says:

    One of the most helpful things I discovered when trying to get my water intake up to 64 ounces was to consume the first 32 ounces before (and including) lunchtime. If I waited too late in the day, it became more difficult…and I’d be up in the middle of the night.

  • lyss says:

    Lately I’ve been drinking a glass of water soon after waking. It took some time to get used to it, but now I feel like I can’t start my day without it!

    For a while I was filling 2 quart size mason jars in the morning, and making sure I finished one before lunch and the other by supper. Not sure why I quit! Thanks for the reminder to do it again!

    I guess I’m the oddball, though…I don’t care to drink with a straw. I feel like it takes forever to drink something! lol.

  • Laura says:

    I’m trying to drink more water after a nasty battle with kidney stones. Water is really the only thing I drink, but I just wasn’t drinking enough of it.
    I’ve found that I can drink a lot more water if it’s at room temperature or only slightly chilled than ice water. Maybe this is just a weird quirk of mine though! 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    I just laughed out loud at the title of this post. So awesome. And the tips are great too — I seriously never drink enough (and it doesn’t help that I eat so much salty food)!!

  • Heather says:

    The “drinking problems” sure grabbed my attention! My immediate thought was “WOW, she is going to get really REAL with us today!”

  • Busy Mom in AL says:

    Here is how I meet my goal! I fill up my 24 ounce water bottle before bedtime and set it on the bathroom counter. In the morning when I’m getting dressed I’ll try to drink 15 sips of water. My next goal is to finish the bottle by breakfast. Then I try to drink another whole bottle by lunchtime and another one before dinner. I can definitely tell a difference if I don’t make my goals. If I get off during the day, that first 15 sips helps. 🙂

  • elle says:

    i’m the opposite and i recently went to the emergency room for the second time of hypernatremia. i had water intoxication.. it is serious when you drink too much water so tracking is good to have it written, but also listen to ur your body otherwise can end up like me, unemployed, with an emergency room hospital bill that costs me 25,000 this time around- not fun. i love our water filtration system at home too, but dont love it too much to the point your using it for everything and consuming overboard.

    • Wow, Elle! I’ve heard of this happening have never known anyone who has experienced it. Am I right that the symptoms are similar to being super de-hydrated as well? That sounds like a terrifying experience to go through.

      Prayers for you and your family – recovery and high medical bills are the pits. I hope your life gets back to normal soon.


    • Ruth says:

      I too drank extra water when on WeightWatchers. At the next checkup with my doctor, my sodium was low. Everyone should keep a check on their sodium level when drinking extra water. It’s very dangerous to have low sodium.

  • Michele says:

    From a 1908 Special Edition of The Standard Domestic Science Cookbook

    “Drinking water neither makes a man sick, nor in debt, nor his wife a widow.”-Neil

  • Mary H says:

    This is a really good reminder, thank you for posting all the great ideas.

    I did find the inserted ads really distracting. In this article alone there were 8. Perhaps it is because I am reading on my phone?

  • Maryalene says:

    I need to get back on the water train, but it’s tough when you are in the car a lot. I used to diligently drink 8 cups a day and regularly found myself rushing frantically to wherever I was driving so I could use the restroom. Can anyone else relate or am I the only one who has water run right through me?

    • Guest says:

      Completely empathize. I also can’t drink water after probably 7/7:30 or I will be up all night using the restroom. I will say, though, that if you have a week off from being in the car so much (vacation, etc.) your body does get more used to it. I found it took several weeks to ‘acclimate’ to drinking so much more water.

  • Tracy says:

    My dad last month had severe heat stroke and his kidneys shut down because he wasn’t drinking enough water. His kidney specialist told me that one of the main reasons adults don’t drink enough water is that as children if our parents didn’t model drinking more water and make us drink water we lose the signal for thirst as we age. That night I went to the local target and found a cute water bottle that has the measurements for 4 cups of water and I try to drink two of them a day.
    I also created a rule in my house that before my son can drink anything else he must drink his water bottle. It has worked really well for us. Also my son has stopped drinking so much pop lately which is great.

  • Having a good water bottle makes so much difference for me, which seems so silly, but you’ve got to go with what works for you. I fill up my bottle before bed and put in the fridge so that I’ve got good cold water ready for me first thing in the morning. I’m pretty terrible at drinking too much soda and too little water, but I’m working on it!

  • Jess says:

    My mom pointed out to me that long term straw drinking might lead to the same lip lines as long term smokie (agh!!) So I quickly switched to a Tupperware shaker bottle with an airtight flip lid. I can take it EVERYWHERE without worrying about spills. Has helped me a TON.

  • Lindsy says:

    When I am out somewhere instead of bringing a water bottle I will often run through a drive through a ask for a large water. That way it feels like more of a treat for me, something fancy! Star bucks has awesome triple filtered water and you get to feel cool with a big ol’ Starbucks cup and they dont charge even for a venti ice water! Or I will swing into McDonald’s or Sonic and get a large ice water with lemon. It stays nice and cold in the insulated cups and the lemon detoxes the liver. Usually these places charges 25-40 cents but I don’t mind digging some change from the floorboards to pay!

  • Micah says:

    It’s absolutely all about the bottle!! I love drinking out of a blender bottle (without the whisk ball). Th top is perfect so the water flows out so nice it makes me chug and easily drink 1/3 of it in a shot and 3 of them a day is perfect for me.

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