One of the first things I was told to do once I started seeing a cardiologist for my condition (even before getting a diagnosis... remember, I was doing symptom management long before ever receiving a diagnosis as it took 6 years) was to up my salt intake drastically as well as my water. At this point, I'm pretty good about maintaining my salt intake as I have learned to listen to my body's signs that I need more salt and have adapted strategies that are, by this point, ingrained habits that get my sodium in.
Water is a different issue though as I get lost in whatever I am doing and lose track of the time quite easily, especially if I'm out of my routine. The key I've found for my average workday is to keep two water bottles on my desk and just drink whenever I am thirsty... no stopping what I am doing, just reach for it and take a drink or two. Whenever I finish one I move on to the other... and usually fairly soon after that I need a bathroom break so fill the first back up while I'm already away from my desk. It's working fairly well so far when I have a normal day at work. I use two 0.75 L Camelbak bottles that I referenced in my travel post if you were wondering.
If I drink when I am thirsty and stop when I'm not, I drink between 3-5 liters per day. I don't know many people who drink that much water unless they are making an effort to do so personally but perhaps everyone I know is just dehydrated all the time (not unlikely). I've found that, for me, if I aim for 4L then I'm needing IV infusions of saline less... which is a plus. Unfortunately drinking too much water can make you nauseous so I have to be careful to space it out well... and you are constantly needing to take bathroom breaks it seems, which is a bit annoying. But you do what you have to do, right?
NOTE: I would not recommend drinking as much water as I do without taking care of your electrolyte needs as well so as not to end up with an imbalance. This is a point I cannot stress enough. I am not a doctor and do not claim to know about how much water you personally need for a happy and healthy body, I just know what I have to do for my specific body to function well. My needs are rarely the same as the 'norm' so do not take my daily requirements to be average in any way. If you are concerned you are not getting in enough (or too much) fluids please consult your doctor to ensure a healthy outcome.
But what about those days that are not 'normal'... or the weekends? Well, there's the issue. I simply do no meet even the 3L minimum it takes to stop me from being thirsty (which they tell me is a sign of dehydration... bad news for someone like me) and definitely not the amount that has decreased my trips to get IVs when I'm out of my normal routine. So I started looking for apps to help me track as I always seem to misplace a paper version of a tracker and I'm never going to remember how much water I've had from the beginning of the day to the end unless the number is super low if previous experience has taught me anything about myself.
I must've tried half a dozen apps and dismissed at least that many based on the reviews alone but I finally got down to the last three. I tracked with them both for a few days and finally landed on WaterMinder as the one I would keep due to its simplicity and ease of reporting.
When you enter the app (after registration) you will see an outline of either a woman or a man. Since I am a woman, I see this lovely outline. As the day progresses and you log more water the blue level raises and the percentages on the bottom portion labeled "Your Daily Fill" update. One interesting tidbit about that blue level is that it changes how it fills the outline based on the position of your phone, like water in a cup. I got a bit of fun out of that I'll have to admit. Anyways, to enter a serving of water simply click the plus sign and the 'cup' sizes you selected in the settings tab will appear for quick entry. A regular bottle of water is 500mL so I would click on the 500mL bottle to show I had finished one of those for instance. Since this is customizable it is completely up to you how many options you have, or if they are in in mL or oz.
As you can see, once I added a 750mL bottle to represent my Camelbak it showed up on the quick add menu. To add a custom 'cup' click over to the Settings tab and tap "Add Cup" then enter the amount of water you wish to represent. Since my app is in the mL setting it asked for the amount in mL but if you have set your settings to oz then yours will ask for it in oz of course, no conversion necessary.
Another way to add water quickly, if you are using an iPhone, is to add it directly from the Today tab in the Notifications menu. Simply swipe down from the top of the screen to access the Notifications menu.
The other two tabs on the app are History and Tips. I wasn't super impressed with the Tips area as they don't appear to ever change but rather has a small essay on the benefits of water. I found it less helpful than a tip a day type option personally and didn't learn anything new but it is worth a quick read through in case there is something new to you. I have added a screenshot of the table of contents below.
The History section was useful in that I can track my intake over just the day, the week, month or even the year. You can see that I had one day near New Years that I didn't come close to my goal in a quick glance as well as see an average for the time period and where I'm at today so far.
Other useful things about this app:
Have you found a water tracking app that is better than this? Have another app that you're sure I would love? If so, let me know! I'm always trying new health apps and would love to check it out.