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We all have heard the millions of reasons why water is vital for both our mental and physical health. Bottom line is, H20 is kind of a big deal. Yet, most of us don’t make it a priority to drink enough of this refreshing- tasteless to others- elixir of life throughout our busy schedule.

Staying hydrated can be a daunting task. We often become riddled with excuses: I’m too busy; I forget to; It taste too plain; It makes me pee every 5 minutes. Swallow those excuses with a swig of water because those explanations are no match for the endless health reasons why you should be drinking more. Think of the big picture: Staying consistently hydrated will save you thousands of dollars in medical bills later down your lifeline.

Here are 5 simple ways to help you increase your daily water intake, coupled with crucial health benefits on why you should make the effort.

1 Make water apart of your routine.

Humans are creatures of habit. We thrive on routine. The reason why many of us “forget” to drink water is that we haven’t established it as a necessary task within our day. When you wake up in the morning (feeling like P Diddy), drink a glass of water. Get in a habit of drinking a cup of water when you sit down at your desk for work, before you leave the office to beat traffic, and right before you brush your teeth before bed. If you adhere better to set times, schedule specific moments- such as 9am, noon, 3pm and 6pm- to plan for your glass of water. Setting mini alarm/s on your phone will serve as a “drink water” reminder and may help you stay hydrated throughout your day

Health reason #1– Water, second to coffee, is a productivity booster. A glass of water could really help you stay focused and refreshed. The next time you’re stuck in an afternoon slump, down a few cups of water to reenergize yourself. More often than not, dehydration may be the culprit for tiredness and fatigue.

#2 Purchase an eco-friendly water bottle you’ll actually use.

Most of us, if not all, tend to be drawn to things that are aesthetically pleasing to our eyes and personal taste. Purchasing a water bottle that displays your favorite color, pattern, or matches the usual color schemes to your everyday outfits, may encourage you to drink more water from that bottle because you actually want to bring it around. It will not only be beneficial for your health but you’ll be part of the good fight that protects the earth’s environment by living a more green lifestyle.

Ever since I purchased my 40-oz neon coral Hydro Flask (pictured above), I easily stay hydrated on a daily basis. The best part is, I no longer waste endless plastic cups of water during my frequent trips to coffee shops. When I take my Hydro Flask out and about (which is pretty much every day), I try to drink all the water in order to lighten the load of my bag. Depending on how you look at it, this could be either good or bad, but that 40-oz water bottle can get surprisingly heavy as I am lugging it around. BUT, it keeps from becoming dehydrated. From my experience, my Hydro Flask helps me stay on the hydration track. I try to drink one whole bottle before noon, another before 3pm or after a workout, one before dinner, and as much as I can before bedtime. That’s almost 4.72 liters which equates to a gallon and some change.

There are plenty of creative and environmentally friendly water bottles that will fit both your style and lifestyle. Check out this list of anything-but-basic water bottles compiled by Health Magazine.

Health reason #2– Staying hydrated may help prevent joint and muscle pain. Think of your joints as sponges. Water helps the flow of nutrients keep those sponges moisturized and prevent the scenario of two hard sponges rubbing together. Two wet sponges rubbing together move much easier than two hard sponges. According to LiveStrong, staying properly hydrated allows sufficient blood volume to transport nutrients into your joints and allows waste products to move out, keeping them lubricated and healthy.

Add some personality to your water.

Water can get difficult to drink, especially if you don’t feel thirsty. Mix in some fruit slices (berries, lemon, orange), veggies (cucumber or ginger), or herbs (basil, mint or lavender) to dress up that pitcher of water. If you really hate the taste of water, purchase some sparkling water and mix it with your favorite juice, or add in some fruit and veggie options listed above, to force yourself to drink more H20. The carbonation of sparkling water may help you wean down the sugar intake and up your water intake.

Health reason #3– Several health studies have proven that water aids in weight loss goals because it helps you feel fuller, which may prevent you from overeating. Reported by Women’s Health Magazine, drinking water boosts your caloric burn and increases your metabolism.

Drink water before your meals.

I’m sure you’ve heard of this tip a million times– Make it a habit of drinking a full glass of water (or two) before each meal and snack. Forming good habits is just as important as creating a routine. It may be difficult to drink a full glass of water before each meal, but with anything in life, the more you practice, the easier it gets. Just as Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov conditioned the dog to salivate each time he heard the bell ring for food, you will start to WANT to drink water before each meal once you start making it a point to do so. Intentions will eventually become habitual.

Health reason #4– Hydration on a consistent basis aids in digestion, promotes healthy bowel movements and prevents constipation. No need for ridiculous juice cleanses, consistent water intake helps flush out toxins and gets rid of unwanted waste from the body. H20 can help boost your immune system which will help you stay strong and healthy.

Eat your water.

Eating foods that are high in water content is a sneaky way to up your water intake. Healthy foods such as watermelon, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, broccoli, baby carrots, spinach, and strawberries are at least 90% water by weight, reported by Health Magazine. Frequently consuming these earth-based foods will not only keep you hydrated but will fill your body up with vital nutrients and vitamins.

Health reason #5– Drinking water may make you smarter. In a 2012 study performed in London by British Psychological Society, students who brought water into their exams scored higher than those who didn’t. Researchers believed that the students who stay hydrated had lower anxiety and improved thinking power, reported by Everyday Health.