So you’re looking for some hydration challenge ideas huh?
Water makes up 60% of your body. Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough of it. We live in a nation where clean water is at our fingertips yet research has found that about 77% of Americans don’t drink enough water every day. What’s more, about 25% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration.
If you’d like to avoid being a statistic, the solution is simple: drink more water every day. However, it’s often easier said than done.
Work, home life, care of the kids, and other important tasks crowd out even important priorities such as keeping your body in good working order. At the same time, the average American person drinks three cups of coffee and 1.3 cups of alcohol a day.
Both drinks are diuretics, which means they drain water from your body rather than replenishing your liquid reserves.
A 30-day hydration challenge may be just what you need to help you remember to drink enough water every day.
The simple goal of this challenge is to drink eight cups (64 ounces) of water every single day for a whole month.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’re more likely than not to drink enough water on a daily basis.
Just how can you successfully complete a 30-day water hydration challenge? Here are some ideas to keep you hydrated.
Take it With You
- Water bottle
- Water bottle carrier
Buy a water bottle and carry it with you throughout the day. There is no one “right bottle size”; simply pick one you like and that you feel is a good size for you personally. Make sure it fits comfortably in your handbag or purse so you can take it to work with you.
If you enjoy outdoor activities, a water bottle carrier is a good option so you can keep your hands free as you walk, run, jog, fish, go boating, or what have you.
Use a Timer
- Your phone
Some people have set times when they drink water; i.e., with meals, with snacks, when they enter the office, and/or right before leaving the office. However, you can set your timer for whatever times suit your needs. Hourly reminders during daylight hours are ideal if you don’t want to drink large quantities of water in one sitting.
The timer should be loud enough to get your attention; silencing your phone defeats the purpose of setting reminders in the first place. If you have to put your phone on mute or turn it off, consider using a wristwatch or alarm clock instead of your phone.
- Pen or pencil
- Post-It Notes
- Printed water drinking posters
- Bulletin board and tacks (optional)
- Scotch tape
Put up reminders around your house and office so you’ll remember to drink water throughout the day. A few simple post-it notes on the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, and your office bulletin board should suffice.
However, if you want to remind yourself why you took up the 30 day hydration challenge in the first place, some quotes about drinking water are sure to come in handy. You can find plenty by doing a simple image search on Google or Bing; select the ones you like, print them, and put them where you’ll see them regularly.
Add some Flavor
- Slices of fruit. Can include lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, or even cucumber
- Fresh herbs such as basil, ginger, and mint
Are you tired of continually drinking a beverage that has literally no taste? If so, adding some crushed fruits, vegetables, and/or herbs to your water for flavoring can make it easy for you to drink eight cups a day. Experiment with different flavors to see which ones you like best.
Bear in mind that you’re only adding a small touch of flavoring to your water, not creating juice or a smoothie. I’ll cover this topic later on, but suffice it to say that drinking juice isn’t a substitute for the water you need on a daily basis.
- Carbonated water (also knonw as mineral water)
Carbonated water is still water and you can find it for sale online and at local grocery stores. Check the can or bottle to make sure there is no sugar added, pick your favorite flavors, and enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What about other healthy beverages such as milk, juice, broth, or herbal tea? Can I use these to replace water during the day?
Answer: That’s a loaded question. There are a lot of beverages that people suggest you can drink to replace water. The short answer is that none of them will really take the place of water, but for those who want more detailed information regarding why I’d like to offer some detailed explanations below.
- Milk doesn’t hydrate you as well as water does because milk has fat in it. There are some indications that skim milk can effectively hydrate your body but it’s still best to go with water. Drinking too much milk can lead to increase weight gain, digestive problems for individuals who are lactose intolerant and/or even an increased risk of bone fractures.
- Non-dairy milk options such as almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, and coconut milk are best avoided. These milk alternatives often contain added sugar, preservatives, artificial flavorings, and other chemical components that are really bad for your body. Instead of hydrating your body and cleaning out toxins, non-dairy milk alternatives will contribute to your body’s toxic waste levels even though you might not feel thirsty after drinking them.
- Commercial fruit juice contains a lot of added sugar, preservatives, and additives, making it a poor option for anyone who wants to get hydrated. Even homemade or 100% natural fruit juice isn’t going to do the trick because fruit contains high levels of sugar. Drinking too much juice is bad for your teeth and organs, and it won’t replenish liquid reserves in your body.
- You can make broth at home or buy it ready-made at a store. I would recommend making it at home because commercial bone broth and bouillon cubes commonly used to make fast broth at home contain additives, artificial colors, and other chemical components. Homemade bone broth is certainly healthy and if you want to substitute a cup of water for a cup of homemade broth from time to time, it should be OK. However, you don’t want to use broth to replace water on a regular basis.
- Herbal teas often have sugar added as they don’t taste all that great on their own. Furthermore, herbs are powerful natural substances that can negatively impact your body if you drink too much herbal tea. While a cup of tea can be good for your health, it shouldn’t replace water during your 30 day hydration challenge.
Question: Should my water hydration plan include a plan to cut out diuretic drinks such as alcoholic beverages, coffee, and soda?
Answer: Drinking plenty of water every day will likely quench your urge to grab a soda, so you don’t have to worry about a separate plan for stopping soda intake. While soda certainly isn’t good for your health, it’s best to focus on one health challenge at a time. As for coffee and alcoholic beverages, there’s nothing wrong with drinking these in moderation.
Don’t worry about cutting them out of your diet unless you’re trying to lose weight, in which case you’ll probably want to stop drinking alcohol and limit your coffee intake to regular coffee rather than the deluxe, dessert-style coffees offered at Starbucks and other local coffee shops.
Question: What if I miss my water intake goals for a day or two? Do I need to restart the challenge from scratch?
Answer: That’s up to you but I would advise against it. The goal isn’t to be harsh on yourself but rather help yourself remember to drink water throughout the day.
If you’ve missed your goals for a day or two, step back and assess why. Do you have water handy at work, in the car, and at home? If not, what you can do to solve this problem? Does the lack of water intake stem from the fact that you don’t feel thirsty?
If so, set an alarm and put up reminders. If you’re in the habit of grabbing a soda rather than a cup of water, don’t keep soda at home and stay away from the soda machine at work as much as possible.
Question: Can I include my kids in the 30-day hydration challenge?
Answer: Children ages one to seven should drink the number of water cups equal to their age. In other words, a two-year-old should drink two cups of water a day, a five-year-old should drink five cups of water a day, etc.
Once your child turns eight years old, he or she should drink eight cups of water a day. So, from this age onwards, it’s perfectly safe and even a good idea to include your child in the hydration challenge if he or she would like to be included.
Why Completing a Hydration Challenge is Worth It
Is completing a 30-day hydration challenge worth the time and effort? The answer is a resounding yes. Water keeps your muscles working smoothly, helps your body maintain a stable temperature, boosts energy levels, and improves brain performance and even your mood. Additionally, drinking enough water every day can prevent kidney stones, constipation, and headaches.
Water also helps your body maintain a healthy weight and shed extra pounds. If you’re participating in a hydration challenge while trying to lose weight, drink a cup of water about half-hour before eating a meal. The water will help fill you up so you aren’t tempted to eat more than you should.
Granted, you don’t have to participate in a 30-day hydration challenge to benefit from all that water has to offer. However, a hydration challenge can help you get off to a good start by giving you an incentive to pay attention to your daily water intake.
As an added benefit, a hydration challenge may catch the attention of family members and/or friends who can also benefit from increasing their own water intake. You simply can’t go wrong by putting a priority on your health by making sure you’re drinking enough water every single day.