McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder and CEO

We all know we need to drink more water, but are there also fun and creative ways to stay hydrated? Yes, there are!

You can always resort to drinking plain water, but there is a lot you can do to stay hydrated that’s enjoyable and integrates into your daily life as well. Try these four creative ways for how to stay hydrated, including getting your water from vegetables or smoothies, plus a trick I use with clients.

Staying hydrated is incredibly important and plays role in nearly every aspect of health. In particular, hydration is essential to:

  • Metabolism
  • Cellular membrane function
  • Body temperature regulation
  • Digestion
  • Delivering oxygen to the body
  • Saliva production, which contains digestive enzymes
  • Lubricating joints
  • Hormone and neurotransmitter synthesis
  • Flushing out toxins through urine and bowel movements
  • Nutrient absorption
  • Cell function

Now that you know why learning how to properly hydrate is so important to your health, let’s look at a few tips for staying hydrated in a way that’s sustainable and fun.

When I start nutrition coaching with a client, we typically go over their entire day including activities, stressors, the food they eat, and what they drink amongst other check-ins. One not-so-secret trick I use is to work by dividing a persons day into segments based on their lifestyle, which is where we make real change happen. You can do this too! As you’re reading these ways to stay hydrated, keep in mind how you can get creative with your schedule and timing to squeeze in more hydration.

1. First thing in the morning

The best way to stay hydrated is to start your day off on the right foot and hydrate first thing in the morning. Try adding lemon, fresh minced ginger, lime, mint or try any of the variations of Simply Infused Waters. I recommend drinking something warm or hot in the morning to stimulate digestion and bowel movements (hello, happy belly) followed by drinking more water or tea.

Try these recipes in the morning: Matcha Latte, Turmeric Milk, Turmeric Latte, Zinger Tea (time hack: use Traditional Medicinals Everyday Detox tea), or Simply Infused Waters (made hot)

2. After breakfast/before lunch time

One effective strategy for how to keep hydrated is to start thinking of the space in between meals as being your “hydration times.” This is how my clients learn how to stay hydrated throughout the day versus just hydrating well in the morning but not keeping up with it all day long.

From kombucha, sparkling water, tea, water with lemon, to chia seed water, the key is to make it feel a little special so it gives you extra motivation for staying hydrated at work after lunchtime, which is when most people typically hit a 3:00 pm energy crash. Sometimes that energy crash can come from eating too many processed sugars or even whole food carbohydrates at lunch with too little protein or healthy fats. In some cases, it could also mean you’re not getting enough fluid and need to figure out a method for how to get hydrated that works for you.

3. After lunch/before dinner

For most of us, this time period after lunch and before dinner usually means you’re about to leave the office to go home or you’re at least wrapping up your workday. Although not everyone has a 9-5 job, this is an easy example of how you can use hydration as a way to start a routine that signals to yourself when work is done for the day.

Again, I’m a big fan of routines since they help hardwire our brain to these routines, which affects our behavior and ultimately how we feel. So why not make a special drink such as sparkling water with lemon, kombucha, or a delicious matcha latte to behaviorally start the process of shutting down work for the day and start unwinding?

4. In the evening

I love drinking tea throughout the day, but it can be especially sooting at night. Plus, it’s a great strategy for how to stay hydrated without drinking water since there are so many different types and variations of tea available.

We know there’s something comforting about rituals and routines that help us maintain our healthy habits, and even the simple act of making tea can help trigger relaxation if we establish this as part of our evening routine. From turning the kettle on, putting a tea bag in the mug, pouring the hot water, adding lemon, and setting it on the table, it’s one of my favorite routines that I’ve turned a lot of my clients onto as well!

Not all tea is the same, so look for herbal teas that don’t contain caffeine; my favorites are Traditional Medicinal’s Cup of Calm, Nighty Night Valerian, Hibiscus, and Peppermint.

Another tip for if you’re not in the mood for hot tea for staying hydrated in the summer (hello, Nashville weather) is to try a tea mocktail. To get started, simply brew up a cup of Hibiscus tea. Then, add ice cubes to chill with some sparkling water, fresh sliced strawberries, and a little mint for a fancy mocktail that tastes delicious and keeps you hydrated.

This post was in partnership with Traditional Medicinals — we only partner with brands that are NS approved and all our opinions are authentic and remain our own.

How Do You Apply This In Real Life?

Staying hydrated is important to several aspects of health, from cell function to metabolism and beyond. Fortunately, staying hydrated doesn’t have to be tricky! There are plenty of easy and effective ways to squeeze help some extra water into your day.

If you’re looking for more support and ways to stay hydrated, then check out our best-selling Online Education Programs. We offer programs to give you the tools you need for meal planning, learning how to stock your kitchen, give your body a reset with whole foods, and more. Click here to explore what programs are right for you. Or if you’re ready to get started now with making Healthy Eating Simple, then taking our free 4-part series, click here to join!