September 20, 2013

Each Friday, we share five things that are getting buzz around the Cooking Light offices—from what we’re reading around the Web, to what’s hot on Instagram, or even our latest favorite ingredient.

The hot summer days might be coming to an end, but that's no reason to stop worrying about how much water you're drinking. Our bodies can't store water, so we have to rehydrate each and every day. Yes, even in the fall and winter when it's definitely not hot outside. Women should aim for about 13 8-ounce cups of water per day, men about 16.

Here, five ways you can get more water easily.

1. Drink from a bottle you love. It might sound silly, but I love my Lifefactory Straw Cap Glass Bottle. I've only had mine (just like the one on the right) for about two months, but it's already showing how well loved it is. I take it with me everywhere. Bonus: it's glass, not plastic, so I don't have to worry about BPAs. Plus, I know exactly how much I drink because the silicone sleeve is marked to show both ounces and milliliters. And thanks to the new straw top, I can open this up with one hand while I'm driving.

2. Snack on water. Make sure the snacks you eat are rich in water. Instead of potato chips or crackers, try for water-rich fruits, like melon or apples. Citrus fruits have lots of natural water, too. One in the morning and one in the afternoon, and you're on your way to meeting your daily goal.

Also: FitSugar has a list of water-rich foods you can add to your day to up your intake.

3. Drink beer. Well, not as your primary source of hydration, of course, but beer counts toward your daily water goal. As do soda, coffee, and tea. All of these fluids are water-rich and can help you stay hydrated if you're tired of sipping on plain ol' tap. Just remember: Unlike water, these drinks can add calories to your day. Be sure to account for the extra calories in your daily total, or stick to calorie-free versions where possible.

4. Let a game motivate you. I have to admit, when my friend Phoebe told me about the Plant Nanny app, I thought it was goofy. But one month with it reminding me to water my plant--and myself--and I'm a converted believer. Set your water source--an 8-ounce glass, a 22-ounce bottle--and each time you finish off one serving, water your plant. If you haven't watered your plant in a while, the app will remind you. Go too long without watering your plant (and you), and your plant will wilt. Drinks adequate water, and your plant will grow. It's fun, it's addictive, and it's effective.

5. Eat a balanced diet. The foods you eat each day can provide you with 2 to 3 cups of water before you even lift a glass. Find out how you get a day's worth of water in this video.

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