How Rubber Bands Can Remind You to Drink More Water

March 8, 2016 | By | Comments (9)

Illustration: Christina Harrison

“I don’t really drink water,” I told a friend a few weeks ago. She was baffled and immediately started listing the reasons that my lack of hydration was so awful. She went on to tell me how drinking water would make my skin more clear, it would make me feel more full so I would eat less, and of course, she told me how important it is to keep your body functioning properly.

I know all of these things already, but for some reason, water just was not a part of my routine. I drank water when I was thirsty and lived mainly on coffee throughout the day. Everything my friend said about hydration made complete sense, but I was “yes-ing” her until she would stop and we could move on to any other topic.

Then she made a suggestion, a suggestion that made drinking water sound like a game or a challenge–a simple, way-too-easy way to track my water intake: “Put a few rubber bands around your water bottle and every time you finish a bottle you get to remove a band.”

For some reason this simple act changed the way I think about drinking water. Every morning, I put 6 rubber bands on my 20-ounce water bottle, and every time I finish a bottle, I remove a rubber band and put it on my wrist.

“Victory!” I think to myself. It was such a small, insignificant challenge that I knew I could do it. I never said to myself “I MUST DRINK 120 OUNCES A DAY!” I simply started off small. One rubber band at a time. 20 ounces at a time.

I’ve been taking this daily “rubber band challenge” for around two weeks now, and I must say I feel fantastic. I have more energy, my skin did get kind of glowy, and I have been snacking a lot less. Apparently, the rubber bands are an old trick, but the simplicity of it is what is working for me. It has also been a bit of a conversation starter around the office, I think I’ve even sold the idea to a few coworkers.

So what are you waiting for? Raid that office supply closet and get some rubber bands on your bottle!


  1. jessica

    similar to rubber band…H2O Tally band, just as simple but gives a bit better of a visual cue, the website is

    July 29, 2016 at 3:24 pm
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    […] cups of water per day, and a man requires about 16. If you forget to hydrate throughout the day, rubber bands might help with reminding you, or there several other ways to trick yourself into drink more […]

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    […] first thing you should do is find the fountain to fill it up. You can also check out our awesome rubber band tip to keep track of your water consumption throughout the busy day of awesome bands and […]

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  8. Brenda

    On WebMD, it says this: “It depends on your size and weight, and also on your activity level and where you live,” Nessler says. “In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.” For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. If you’re living in a hot climate and exercising a lot, you’d be on the higher end of that range; if you’re in a cooler climate and mostly sedentary, you’d need less.

    March 19, 2016 at 10:50 am
  9. mkaufmann2009

    Why 120 ounces? That’s almost double what the medical recommendation used to be. Nobody “needs” that much water in a day. Sounds like you’re taking a ride on the woo train. If you are truly drinking 15 eight ounce glasses of water a day you might want to get your electrolytes checked out with your doctor.

    March 12, 2016 at 12:01 am

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