The hottest season has arrived. If you’re like me, you’re waking up to temperatures in the high 80s or low 90s before noon everyday. That means it’s time to swim, relax, and hang out with my friends on this break from school. What it also means is beginning to religiously carry my water bottle around everywhere I go. Not only am I against plastic bottle usage, but I enjoy being hydrated. 

This may seem obvious, but hydration is incredibly important in general, however, it becomes severely important in the summer. Being out in the heat, working out, and simply staying active cause you to lose water and energy fairly quickly. We need to be very focused on making sure we don’t pass out from heat stroke. Water intake requirements vary by person, but the rule of thumb is usually 1 gallon of water, especially for those of us who are remaining active. 

I prefer using a reusable water bottle to decrease my carbon footprint. Since I know I’ll be drinking a lot of water in a day, I don’t want to throw away multiple plastic bottles of water in a day. I purchased a reusable water bottle that holds a quarter gallon to refill throughout the day. It makes it easy to carry, saves from wasting plastic, and I have a bunch of stickers on it to customize it. Almost anyone who has been around me knows what my water bottle looks like because I carry it around everywhere. Plus, the stickers make it easy to identify because I have stickers for certain clubs and organizations I’m a part of. It’s personally identifiable and makes it more fun to carry around. 

How to Drink a Gallon A Day

Drinking a full gallon of water per day seems daunting. I used to barely drink a glass or two of water per day, so the switch to a gallon was a difficult one. If you’re holding out because of how scary it is, I promise, there are ways to make it easier. I will explain the tips that helped me and those around me. Your water intake is incredibly important, especially as activity levels increase in a person. (And when you're taking creatine...)

All Day Gallon Bottle

The all day gallon bottles make it easy to reach your water goals. I’ve attached the link to one I’ve seen work for friends. These kinds of bottles are under $20 and make it easy to get through your day as it maps your water intake out for you. There’s little guesswork and you don’t have to stress falling behind or drinking too much too early as long as you follow the little markings. The only cons I see in these are the size of the bottle and it’s brit the best insulator. I am attaching a link here, however, there are so many options. Window shop around to find one that best fits your lifestyle and your individual needs. 

Gallon Bottle Jug

A gallon bottle jug is almost similar to the last one, however, there are minor differences. This is for those of you who want the ability to have a more personal touch and keep the water cold throughout summer. I recommend this bottle for those who don’t have access to ice or a fridge for their bottle throughout the day. This way, the water doesn’t become too warm before the day is half done. My mom has one with a rope handle that makes it easy to carry because she slides it onto her wrist and walks into work with it and all her other papers and bags. These bottles will run close to $50, which can be a bit pricey. The link for one I've seen and loved is here. If this isn’t worth it for a water bottle to you, I get it. There are cheaper alternatives, which I will go over as we continue.     

Reusable Bottle

I'm going really into the specific bottles and how they are all beneficial, but I promise, this is the last one. This is the option I personally used and have been using for the last four years. Buy a smaller bottle that you can refill. It's easier to see progress if you are able to finish a bottle multiple times in a day. It isn't as big as a gallon bottle, so you'll feel like you are actually getting somewhere.  I vouch for the simply modern bottles, specifically. I love them. They’re cute. They keep my water ice cold all day and I often find my ice in tact after almost a day in it. 10/10 recommend. I’ve had my current bottle for three academic years and will push it through a fourth one this upcoming year hopefully. It’s taken some rough hits because I throw it around, however, the insulation still pretty strong. I’ve added stickers throughout my time with it and have a few more I need to add to my collection. This one is easy to carry around and breaks my day into four. I do have to refill it a few times (three times) w day, but it helps break the gallon into smaller parts. This allows me to ration out how much I drink at certain times of the day. This option is cheaper, however, the con is needing to refill it multiple times to reach the daily gallon goal. 

Spice it Up

DO NOT ACTUALLY ADD SPICE!!! Unless you know of a good combination of water and spice that I've never heard of. Then, I need to hear it, so I can try it. Here, I want to explore how we can make water more fun, as someone who never liked water because it was plain. Mixing water with things like lemon to make lemonade, adding fruits into the water, or for my South Asians, adding Rooh Afza, are all solutions to making water less boring. You would still inch closer to reaching your water goal while adding something to the water to make it more pleasant. I used to count the cup of water I mixed my pre workout in as part of my water intake. Making water visually more appealing or adding a flavor that makes it more pleasant is probably the best way to increase the amount of water you're drinking. The only issue I have is when the water is consistently mixed with an incredibly sugary substance. You are simply adding more unhealthiness into your body. If you are wanting a somewhat sweet flavor, add honey to warm water and maybe lemon. It's a tasty drink and can help through detoxing. 

Using these tricks can make getting a gallon in per day the easiest thing in the world. If you’re not getting anywhere close to a gallon, you may want to slowly increase the amount you drink in increments. I did it in weeks, so I upped it by a quarter gallon per week and within a month, I was drinking a gallon a day. As you begin to it a gallon regularly, it becomes natural. There won’t have to be any thought out into it and you’ll be biting a gallon through the habits you would have built.

Aatina Shaikh 

Aatina is a second year pre-law student at the University of Texas at Austin. She loves reading, going to the gym, and constantly expanding her intellect! Writing has been a passion of hers entire life and she hopes to continue with it on the side throughout her career. She is obsessed with fast food (Cane's and In N' Out specifically) and loves expressing herself in any way she can.  

Instagram: @aatina_k_shaikh

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