This One Easy Thing Could Make You Happier & More Productive—And It's Free

Plus get tips on how to easily stay more hydrated.

woman pouring water
Photo: Getty Images/d3sign

I don't think anyone could blame you for feeling a little less chipper or motivated this year. Especially with many of us dealing with lots of changes and loss, it can be harder to keep up with a healthy lifestyle. But there is one thing you can do every day that could be an easy way to boost your happiness and productivity. A new survey found that staying hydrated throughout the day could be linked to more than just clearer skin and better breath. It can be hard to make sure you are drinking enough water, but there are numerous reasons to prioritize staying hydrated. We dove into the research and include some simple tips on how to make sure you get what you need.

A recent survey conducted on behalf of Bosch home appliances took a look at hydration's impact beyond physical health. They used OnePoll to survey over 2,000 Americans on their hydration habits, happiness and perceptions of their own success. What they found was a clear link between better hydration and a more positive outlook on life.

About 46% of respondents who drank six or more glasses of water per day identified themselves as being "very happy". Only 12% of those who drank one glass or less per day could say the same. Additionally, those who drank six or more glasses of water per day were most likely to describe themselves as "successful at work" compared to any other group. Is this just because people who drink more water are generally more health conscious? Correlation in this case doesn't mean causation, so more research is needed to form any conclusions. However, upping your water intake can have plenty of other health benefits so it seems like it's worth a shot. Overall, this small survey produced strong findings to suggest that those who drank more water feel more optimistic, energetic and successful.

Tips on how to stay hydrated

In this study, people who drank six or more cups of water daily saw the most benefits. Here are some tips to help you reach (or exceed) that number.

Put it on ice

The study found that 56% of respondents said they won't drink water unless it's cold, since room temperature water is generally less appealing. 45% of Americans also reported that having a chilled beverage was the second most "satisfying" feeling, behind having a perfectly firm (or soft) pillow. Want to incentivize drinking water or make it more satisfying? Put it on ice.

Carry a water bottle

Bring a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go, even if you aren't leaving the house. Having hydration at arms reach allows you to sip all day long, which can help up your intake without even realizing it.

Choose seltzer over soda

Get your fizzy fix without the added sugar by choosing seltzer instead of a soda or energy drink. Drinks with a lot of added sugar actually dehydrate you, and are a major source of empty calories in our diets. Seltzers come in a variety of flavors, and can help you stay hydrated when you want to switch it up from plain water. Also, try opting for herbal tea instead of coffee for your afternoon pick-me-up as the weather cools down.

Munch on hydrating foods

There are several foods that can actually help hydrate you, and it is probably no surprise that most are fruits and vegetables. One cup of watermelon and one medium apple both provide nearly five ounces of water. A half cup of chopped tomatoes and one medium potato deliver three and over four ounces respectively. Working in plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to get an additional hydration boost.

Set reminders

If you are having trouble being consistent with drinking water throughout the day, try setting reminders on your phone or computer. This will help you get in the habit of reaching for water at least every hour, so eventually you won't need the reminders at all. If you haven't gotten up to use the restroom in several hours, it is another good indication you may not be drinking enough.

Bottom line

We all could use a boost of happiness, optimism and productivity to close out this year. Recent research has shown an easy (and free) way to do this is by making sure you are consistently getting enough water. There are several tips and tricks that can help you stay on track with hydration, from eating plenty of produce to bringing a reusable bottle wherever you go. Though more research is needed to establish a relationship between happiness and hydration, there are plenty of good reasons to drink up today.

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