1. Start each day with a glass of water (no ice). Drink it down before you have coffee, tea or juice. It will help replace fluids lost overnight and get your hydration efforts off to a good start. Also fill a water bottle you can take with you in the car, or keep with you and refill during the workday.
2. Eat two or three servings of fruits and vegetables at every meal. They are brimming with water and include the minerals that help your body absorb and use it properly. Keep in mind that most processed foods (including sugars, flours, salty snacks and processed meats) result in a lowering of the body’s water table. Eating a lot of meat puts pressure on your kidneys and tends to increase your body’s need for water.
3. Establish regular water breaks, if possible. Tailor your drinking to meet your needs. For instance, drink an extra glass of water if you worked out or didn’t squeeze enough fruits and vegetables into your day.
4. Substitute sparkling water and low-sodium vegetable juice for soda and fruit juice. While it’s true that all beverages count toward your daily tally, the sugar in regular soda and fruit juice, as well as the chemicals in diet versions, can trigger a host of unwanted reactions in the body, including blood-sugar spikes.
5. Install water filters in your home and use a pitcher-type filter at the office. Resort to bottled water when you must, but beware of the drawbacks: It’s expensive and environmentally wasteful, the plastic contains harmful chemicals that can leach into the water, and there are no guarantees that bottled water is any better for you than the water flowing from the tap.
6. Cook with high-quality sea salt. A good, unrefined sea salt is rich in trace minerals, which are key to cell health and hydration. Bonus: Sea salt is also lower in sodium than table salt.
This was excerpted from “Drink to Your Health” which was published in the June 2010 issue of Experience Life magazine.