10 Tips for Drinking More Water

Practical and Budget-Friendly Steps for Staying Healthy and Hydrated.

Growing up, I was not a water drinker. Even when I did start drinking it in early adulthood, I could easily get sidetracked because caffeine of some sort always took priority. Now, my drink selection is made up of herbal tea, 96 ounces of water a day, almond milk as part of my smoothie and the occasional glass of wine thrown in for good measure. If you’re thinking that 96 ounces of water sounds like it would be impossible to drink in one day, I can tell you that it really isn’t if I follow the simple routine that I’ve set for myself. Because I often have people asking me what that routine is or how I drink so much water, I wanted to share these 10 practical and budget-friendly tips for drinking more water that will help you stay healthy and hydrated.

Photo of purple water bottle as an example of tips for drinking more water
Photo by Julia Sakelli from Pexels

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How Much Water Do We Need?

Before we get to how to drink more water, it’s important to have a fairly good idea of how much we actually need. While this varies from person to person, there are general guidelines that are helpful to follow with most of them coming in quite a bit higher than the eight 8-ounce glasses a day or 64 ounces rule. I got my 96 ounces amount by following the advice of Dr. Brooke Goldner when I spoke with her about her journey from disease to health. That is an amount that definitely works well for me. 

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Mayo Clinic follow the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s recommendation of about 11.5 cups per day (92 ounces) for women. Approximately 20 percent of that usually comes from food1,. That means that we need to make sure that we’re drinking at least 74-80 ounces of water a day. 

Tips for Drinking More Water

Here are my tips for how to drink more water.

1. Get a 40-ounce water bottle

This is a crucial part of how I drink so much water every day. I know exactly how much is in my water bottle, and I know that it takes filling it up twice a day to get the majority of what I need. For me, the simpler that I can make things, the more likely they are to happen. Drinking two bottles is much easier for me to think about than six glasses. 

While the initial cost of investing in a good stainless steel water bottle may seem a little steep compared to the price of a soda or some other drink, just think about the fact that you’re going to use this bottle over and over again for years. There’s simply no comparison when it comes to cost. A re-usable bottle is the way to go. My favorite water bottle is Klean Kanteen’s Classic Stainless Steel 40-ounce Water Bottle (Affiliate Link). 

2. Sync drinking water with daily activities

If you sync drinking water with your daily activities, it simply becomes a regular part of your routine. For example, drink while you exercise; drink after every time you go to the bathroom (but not past 8 or 9pm); and drink water with every meal.

3. Drink 16 ounces first thing in the morning

Fill your 40-ounce water bottle first thing and drink nearly half of it within half an hour of waking up. Trust me, it’s a great way to help you feel good in the morning, and it puts you well on your way to achieving your goal of drinking more water. 

4. Drink 40 ounces by Noon

In addition to my 40-ounce water bottle, this is my second most important step in being able to drink so much water. If you drink at least 40 ounces by Noon, getting the rest in during the afternoon and early evening is a breeze. My general routine is to drink 40 ounces by Noon, my second 40 ounces by 5:30 p.m. and then have water for dinner. This makes sure that I’m spacing it out throughout the day, which lends itself to less frequent and more predictable bathroom breaks. 

5. Flavor water with fruit

If you aren’t already a water drinker, adding fruit may give you the flavor that you’re looking for to be inspired. Many people add lemon slices to their water, which is delicious in and of itself, but don’t forget that you can add other fruit as well. I like raspberries, strawberries and even kiwi. Once you get used to the more toned down, natural flavor of fruit in your water, you may find that drinking it without anything in it is more enjoyable as well. 

6. Replace at least one soda or other drink with water

If you usually drink soda, coffee or anything else with sugar or caffeine in it throughout the day, replace at least one of those with water. This is a great way to drink more water overall and to give your bank account a boost. Drinking water is so much cheaper than other drinks that if you do this on a daily basis, the amount that you save will really start to add up. 

7. Drink water 30 minutes before eating

Drinking water 30 minutes before eating is a good idea for both snacks and meals. In fact, a study published by The Obesity Society in 2009 shows that drinking water before a meal lowers the amount of calories consumed while eating2. In other words, drinking water before eating makes you feel full and less likely to overeat. Along the same lines, if you start to feel hungry mid-morning or mid-afternoon, try drinking it before snacking. Wait 15 minutes or so and then see if you’re still feeling hungry. If so, have a healthy snack

8. Eat foods high in water content

Eating foods high in water content is an easy way to drink more water. Strawberries, watermelon, peaches and oranges are some of the fruits with a high water content. When it comes to vegetables, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and spinach are good options3,4,5,6,7

9. Drink herbal tea with no caffeine 

This is my personal preference speaking here. Yes, coffee and caffeinated tea and any other beverages made with water count toward your overall water intake8, but I’m always going to advocate for as little caffeine as possible. In my book, herbal tea is like flavored water with many health benefits. 

10. Set alarm for drinking water every hour

If you really need to kickstart your water drinking habit, setting an hourly alarm is a good reminder. This is a good way to space your water consumption throughout the day. 

Bottom Line

The bottom line on drinking more water is that once you start doing it, you will likely find that it’s easier than you thought it would be and more naturally what you want on a daily basis. If you use any of these tips to help you get started, be sure and let us know how it’s going in the comments below. 


  1. Eat Right. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. How Much Water Do You Need?https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/how-much-water-do-you-need
  2. Dennis EA, Dengo AL, Comber DL, Flack KD, Savla J, Davy KP, Davy BM. Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Feb;18(2):300-7. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.235. Epub 2009 Aug 6. PMID: 19661958; PMCID: PMC2859815. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19661958/
  3. NutritionData. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2477/2
  4. NutritionData. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2439/2
  5. NutritionData. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2639/2
  6. NutritionData. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2682/2
  7. NutritionData. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2626/2
  8. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source. Water. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/water/

What is Real Health?

Actionable Steps to Achieve Real Health.

Have you ever had periods of time where you simply feel right? We’re talking both mentally and physically. You feel in balance, you feel strong, you feel… well. That’s what I call Real Health.

If you have felt that or you still do, this website is geared toward helping you maintain that incredible state of being. If you haven’t felt that in a long time or maybe ever or when you did, it was fleeting, helping you achieve your version of Real Health is what Peppermint Tea & Me is all about. That’s why we need to define what Real Health is as well as lay out some actionable first steps that you can take to achieve it.

photo of rice and vegetables in bowls on white tablecloth as an example of what to eat for Real Health

Please Note that as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through some of the links included on this page. 

What is Real Health?

As you’ll be reminded frequently if you hang out in this space regularly, I believe that Real Health is achieved by recognizing that every part of us – mind, body and nutrition – is connected. Monique Class, MS, APRN, BC agrees. She’s a board-certified family nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist in holistic health at The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Monique Class, MS, APRN, BC

In a conversation about holistic health, Monique told me that “the mind, body and spirit (if you want to use that word), are all connected and are a unified whole. There’s bi-directional communication, meaning what happens to the body influences the mind and the emotions and what happens in the mind influences the body.”

This is understanding that when it comes to our health and overall wellbeing, causes and effects are not simply either physical or “mental.” Most of the time, they’re both. Melissa Grabau, PhD reminds us in her book, The Yoga of Food: Wellness From the Inside Out (affiliate link) that “How we feel day to day, our general health and energy levels, and our overall sense of safety and peace in our own flesh have an enormous impact on how we feel about ourselves and our capacity to function effectively in the world.”

Role of Nutrition

Julie McGregor, MD

So, what does all of this have to do with nutrition? Everything! Julie McGregor, MD works with the Integrative Medical Clinic of North Carolina and is a board-certified internist and nephrologist trained in integrative medicine. She told me that, “Nutrition is a part of building up our physical cells, but it’s also an emotional choice and has a lot of overtones. What we choose to eat has to do with where we are emotionally and also then leads to an emotional response in our body.”

This connection can lead to a healthy, well-oiled machine when it comes to our body and our mind. Failure to recognize this relationship though can lead to us living a life that is less than our best or even worse, spiraling through physical or mental issues that we have more control over than we may think.

Photo of ice cream in cups beside ice cream cones surrounded by candy and toppings as an example of barriers to Real Health
Photo by Teejay from Pexels

Common Barriers to Real Health

According to our experts, the most common barriers that many women run into when it comes to achieving Real Health can really be narrowed down to two primary areas.

1. Unhealthy relationship with food.

Both Monique and Julie say this is one of the primary issues they see when women especially don’t recognize how connected everything really is. Some of the primary reasons for this unhealthy relationship can include emotions, social or community expectations, or programming.

Monique gives the example of coming home at 8:00 p.m., going straight to the freezer, pulling out the ice cream and eating it until the whole container is gone. If you do that every night, it becomes a pattern. “We know physiologically that every time you do that pattern, you create wiring in the brain. It’s called neuroplasticity. So, neurons that fire together wire together. Every time you do something over and over again or choose a particular food over and over again, you get hardwired into the brain where that choice becomes automatic and not conscious.”

The same concept is true of emotions. If you reach for chocolate or something sweet every time you feel anxious or stressed or alcohol every time you feel angry, you’re hardwiring your brain to react to those emotions with food.

2. Lack of self-care.

Julie says this is a huge issue for women because we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect in every aspect of our lives. To have perfect careers, to keep a perfect home, to be a perfect mom, to be perfect daughters and to be perfect friends.

“There’s a lot of pressure that we put on ourselves, and the one who ends up coming last is ourselves. So many of my female patients who are in their 50s or 60s come to me fatigued, worn out, completely depleted, having not concentrated on wellness for themselves. They were out trying to achieve perfection in every component of their lives for, you know, 50 or 60 years. Then, they just can’t keep going because there isn’t that attention of self-care or focus on wellness for oneself.”

She’s found that this often leads to obesity, depression, thyroid disorders and general physical unwellness that plagues us around the time of menopause. “This, coincidentally, is a lot of times when we’re retiring or when we’re empty nesters, or during these transitions when the adrenaline stops and the body is just feeling the effects of decades of neglect.”

Photo of water being poured into a glass as an example of steps to take toward Real Health

First Steps Toward Achieving Real Health

To shift away from these barriers, there are several first steps that you can take to achieve Real Health.

1. Love yourself and be happy with yourself just as you are.

There may be things that you want to change, but Monique says that accepting and loving where you are right now has to come first. Then you can identify and become aware of the areas that you want to change in a healthy, realistic way.

2. Carve out time for self-care.

We may not be able to exercise for an hour every day, get a massage once a week or meditate for 30 minutes every morning, but there are plenty of things that we can do. It’s all part of making sure that we’re the best versions of ourselves now and that we don’t end up tired and depleted when we finally do feel like we have the time.

3. Become aware of the choices that you’re making.

According to Monique, this is critical for making any kind of change in your life. She suggests that as you reach for that ice cream every night, that you notice the behavior and check in with yourself and think about what you’re feeling, what you’re eating for, or what you’re hungry for. More times than not, you’ll find that you’re not hungry for the food, you’re looking for something else.

The first step, she says, isn’t taking that food or behavior away. You have to first recognize the behavior and then begin to figure out what you’re really hungry for or what you really need in that moment. At that point, you can substitute the behaviors that truly address those needs for the ones that aren’t serving you well.

4. Drink more water

You may think that you don’t like water, but your body does. In fact, the U.S. Geological Survey says our bodies are made up of up to 60% water, so we have to have it to survive. Since we want to do more than just survive, we want to thrive, Julie puts this step toward the top of the list for achieving Real Health and adopting an attitude of overall wellness.

5. Get better sleep.

Julie says this has to be a priority. I’m the first to acknowledge that this isn’t always as easy to do as it sounds, but there are things you can do to not only make sure that you’re getting the amount of sleep you need but that it’s quality sleep as well.

6. Move as much as you can.

Here are some ways that you can work movement into your day, whether you have 30 minutes at a time or 5-10 minutes here and there.

Photo of coins pouring out of a jar as an example of Real Health on a budget

Real Health on a Budget

“That all sounds great, but even if I can find the time to take care of myself and to eat more healthy, nutritious food, I can’t afford it.” If that’s what you’re thinking, I’m here to ask you to be willing to think differently. Gym memberships are not a requirement for achieving Real Health and neither is having someone else to watch your kids while you focus on yourself.

Yes, whole, nutritious food is going to be more expensive than a 99-cent fast food burger, but in the long run, it evens out. Without health issues that could have been prevented with different lifestyle choices, you’ll likely save money in a number of ways. These include doctor’s visits and prescriptions as well as not missing work or losing opportunities among many others.

Real Health on a budget isn’t about an attitude of lack, it’s about an attitude of abundance. It’s being grateful for what you have and recognizing that healthy can be affordable. It’s also allocating your dollars in a way that supports your priorities rather than automatically spending money in ways that don’t serve you well. 

The concept of Real Health on a Real Budget is such an important part of this website that you’ll find budget-friendly tips and realistic suggestions incorporated throughout. There’s also an entire section dedicated just to that idea. Feel free to check it out here.

Mind + Body + Nutrition + On a Budget = Real Health

Julie sums it all up in a beautiful way. “How we exercise and what we choose for our physical wellbeing as far as movement and environment and choices about stretching or meditation, and our choices with our nutrition all affect how we think and our emotions. In turn, all of our emotions affect how we move, where we put our bodies and the choices we make for our physicality and our diet.”

Because of how entwined these factors are, Real Health looks different for everyone. Yes, the general steps outlined here are good places to start in achieving it, but Real Health is very individual. What it looks like for me probably won’t be the same for you. The goal for all of us though is to live in that place of personal wellness as much as possible and to draw on the strength and power that brings to live our best life possible.