By Elise Leise

They’ve done it with eggs, fruit, and whole grain carbs. Even coffee hasn’t escaped the scrutiny of researchers trying to determine what kills us, and what, as Kelly Clarkson likes to say, only makes us stronger.

Yet – and hear me out here – I can 110% assure you that they will never, ever come back in the latest issue of Health and Fitness Mag and say…”Sorry, everyone. False alarm. We’ve made a huge mistake and water isn’t actually essential for life.” It just won’t happen. 

That’s why, though my parents have told me since the beginning of time that everything I put out on the Internet can and will be used against me in a court of law later in life (kidding, Mom), I feel confident telling all of you that if you drink water, your body – which is up to 75% water! – will thank you.

In fact, according to the myriad of wonderful Internet sites devoted to health and wellness, you’ll witness your skin clear up, your brain begin to whiz at lightning-fast speeds, and you will be able to recover without a problem from yesterday’s workout. So, what’s not to love? 

Now that we’ve got the hard part over and done with, here are five quick and easy ways to stay hydrated this summer: 

Sip As The Sun Rises 

Set a glass of chilled water on your bed stand and reach for it as soon as you wake up to feel a rush of morning energy. Some say it’s better than an alarm clock to get you moving. To be honest, it also gets you started off on the right foot.

As humans, we tend to go for the “all-or-nothing” approach, which means that if we fail to meet our hydration goals at the start of the day, we often throw our hands up in despair and accept our fate as dehydrated husks of our former selves. For that reason, start off at sunrise, and keep sipping all day long. 

Get Into A Routine

Wait…don’t get scared off quite yet!

I know routines seem monotonous, but they sure are effective. It’s for that reason that some of the world’s most creative people have admitted that they follow incredibly detailed schedules for eating, sleeping, exercising, and yes, even drinking water. In fact, you don’t need to write down specific times or anything like that in order to get yourself into a water-drinking rhythm. Simply form what’s called a “keystone habit,” which is one small change that makes a big difference. 

In this case, choose something you do regularly, whether that is drinking coffee, getting up from your desk to stretch, or (shhh) covertly checking your Instagram feed, and pair that with a sip of good old H2O. It’s incredibly effective, and before the week’s done, it’ll be second nature. To help you nail the habit, I’m recommending my favourite aptly named apps: Hydrate Daily, Water Drink Reminder, and Hydro Coach, for starters. 

Take Your Drink To Funkytown

Cue the dance moves. Since we’re assuming that nobody’s hanging out next to the water cooler and gossiping all day long–if you are, skip onwards!–the first step towards proper hydration is finding a water bottle that you want to be with forever and always. I mean, don’t get too attached, but my beloved bamboo water bottle has gotten me through many a muggy summer afternoon. 

Here’s where the ‘Funkytown’ piece comes in to play. Between summer baseball games, beach days, and road trips, there’s more than a small chance that you could lose your closest companion. Don’t let that happen; instead, ratchet your hydration game up a notch or two by plastering your bottle with the most personalized, unique, and crazy stickers you can find. 

I’m getting carried away just thinking about it, but please do remember to actually drink out of this bottle after you decorate it to death. It’s not around just to proclaim your undying devotion to your favourite sports team, after all. (Though that IS a nice plus.)

Infuse It With Colour

And you thought cucumbers and strawberries didn’t go together. With a creative mind, your newly funkified water bottle, and some fruits and veggies, the world is your oyster. I don’t know if anyone else shares my burning desire to invent smoothie names–if that’s even an official occupation–but let me tell you: this is your chance. 

Do you know the little organic health shops that have all the names written in beautiful cursive up on their blackboard wall? (Body Blaster, Tropical Twister, Hangover Heaven.) Take the smoothie Pinterest boards you’ve been saving for years–don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about–and put them to good use naming your alliterative inventions. 

Call yourself…the Hydration Hotshot. 

Opt For Herbal 

I know we’re talking about water. But studies have come out that show that even drinks like coffee, milk, and tea (especially tea) can help boost you back to full hydration. To quote a New York Times write-up, “coffee and beer are not dehydrating, despite common beliefs to the contrary.” Be that as it may–yay!–we suggest winding down with some more, shall we say, restorative options. Chamomile, hibiscus, lemongrass, mint…the list is endless. 

Brew yourself a cup of herbal tea and take a few minutes to meditate at the end of a long summer day. After the stress of regulating your water levels all day, you deserve some rest and relaxation. 

Breathe in, breathe out. You’ve made it, H2O and all.