There’s an ayurvedic way to drink water (and you probably aren't doing it)

Hey, you. We need to talk about that half-empty S'well bottle sitting on your coffee table.

Sure, you know you’re supposed to drink eight glasses a day to stay fully hydrated (but realistically, you probably drink more like four—us, too). And because you’re so busy and totally forget, you usually go for long stretches without drinking, followed by huge gulps like you’ve just gone on a ten-mile hike through the desert. But hey, at least you’re drinking something, right?

Not according to ayurvedic medicine (pronounced ay-er-vey-dic), the ancient Indian practice of healing the body through food and herbs. Our pals to the east think it’s not only about how much water you drink, but how you drink it—and they have an excellent point.

Related: Train yourself to stay hydrated 

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10 ways you can drink more water
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10 ways you can drink more water

1. Add flavor

Spa water, anyone? 

If you're not about that plain water life, simply cut up some fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs and add it to a jug of ice water. Some of our favorite additions include lemon, cucumber, strawberries and basil. 

2. Keep a bottle of water near you at all times

Sometimes, you just forget! But if you keep a glass or bottle of water in many places, it'll be a constant reminder to hydrate. We like to keep one in the car, at our desks, on our nightstands and so on. 

3. Try SodaStream

According to a recent survey, SodaStream drinkers drink 43% more water than consumers who don't own a machine. Forget store-bought bottles and opt for this convenient, eco-friendly and affordable magical machine. We're a big fan. 

SodaStream Power Metal Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit, White, $133.99

BUY IT

4. Opt for the one-to-one rule.

Drinking? No problem. We're big enthusiasts of this rule. For every drink you have, supplement it with one glass of water. Shots included!  

5. Download a water tracking app.

Track your water consumption with your phone. Apps like Hydro Coach and Water Time Pro can offer in-depth statistics on your water drinking habits. Whether you're drinking teas or eating a lot of healthy fruits, these apps take your diet and exercise into account. 

6. And with that said, eat your water! 

Fruits and vegetables are not only packed with great nutrients, but more water than you probably realize. Here's a breakdown of some of our favorites. 

  • Watermelon: 92% water
  • Tomatoes: 94% water
  • Peppers: 94% water
  • Celery: 96% water
  • Cucumber: 96% water

7. Invest in a water filter

You might be more inclined to drink water if it's from a crisp, cold pitcher. Especially if you're not a fan of tap water, the Brita helps clean out murky different tastes coming from the faucet! 

Brita 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher with 1 Filter, BPA Free, White, $36.30

BUY IT

8. Drink a glass before every meal

Get yourself into a routine to drink a glass of water before every meal. And then continue drinking! It'll also fill you up. 

9. Invest in a nice water bottle

If you spend a little cash on it, hopefully you're more inclined to use it, right? And you'll want to show it off! We're loving these adorable bottles from Swell, like this one that's also insulated.

It's worth every penny.  

S'well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Double Wall, 17 oz, Turquoise Blue, $35.00

BUY IT

10. Set goals for yourself

Now, with that snazzy new water bottle, grab a role of tape and measure out how much water you'll want to have had before a set time! And stick to it. 

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You’ve heard that practicing mindful eating, or allowing your body to slow down and really focus on the process of chewing and enjoying your food, can help reduce stress levels and improve digestion. And ayurvedic experts, like our friends at Vasanti Health, believe sipping water slowly and deliberately throughout the day is much more beneficial to your body than sudden gulping.

Why? In ayurvedic medicine, the aim is to always keep your body in as relaxed a state as possible to reduce stress and keep your organs running efficiently. So instead of shocking your system with a sudden gush of ice water, try more frequent, gentle sips of room temperature or warm water.

BRB, filling up our water bottles…slowwwly.

RELATED: Stop drinking out of a water bottle 

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5 reasons you should never drink out of a plastic water bottle
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5 reasons you should never drink out of a plastic water bottle

They can release harmful chemicals into your water

Plastics are made to withstand a variety of temperatures -- but at a cost. The hotter the bottle gets, the more potential there is to release chemicals known to cause diseases like cancer, especially if you use them over and over again. 

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Chemicals in the plastic may make having a baby more difficult

Those same chemicals in the plastic, like BPA, could make having a baby more difficult by affecting fertility. Researchers found that men and women undergoing in-vitro fertilization who had high levels of BPA in their blood, urine, and work environment were less likely to have a successful pregnancy. This is according to a 2013 review of 91 studies published in Reproductive Toxicology

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It could raise your risk of heart disease and other circulatory issues

Humans exposed to the highest levels of BPA have an increased risk of heart disease, according to a 2012 study published in Circulation. Researchers think this could be due to BPA's link to high blood pressure. 

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Refilling plastic bottles may expose you to harmful bacteria 

Both reusable and disposal plastic bottles break down from regular use over time, meaning that even teeny cracks can welcome in bacteria, according to an article published in journal Practical Gastroenterology. And while most bacteria is usually harmless, bottles can harbor norovirus-, cold-, and flu-causing bacteria. And while usually we'd advise you to wash with hot water and soap, that could cause the plastic to break down even more!

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They're awful for the environment (Duh!)

Many of the bottles are still ending up in the garbage even after they are recycled once. The solution? At home filters. Or bottles made of steel, aluminum or polycarbonate because as they say it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

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RELATED: THIS NEW COOKBOOK IS TOO INCREDIBLE TO NOT TALK ABOUT

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