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Have trouble keeping track of your water intake? Check out our picks for the best hydration apps. They may be able to help you out.
- Editor’s pick: Waterllama
- Best for simple use:
- Best for customization:
- Best multiple beverages:
- Best for graphics:
It isn’t always easy to know for sure that you’re getting the right amount every single day. That’s where hydration apps come in.
There are many reasons that you might find it hard to stay hydrated in a typical day. You might be stuck in meetings at work (at an office or in your own home), working outside for long periods without direct access to a water source, or simply forget to stop and take a sip here and there while you’re focused on an activity.
And hydration doesn’t look the same for every person. While you may hear people say that about 64 ounces (oz.) of water a day should be enough, that’s simply not true. Some people need less, and others need much more — it can depend on your diet, activity level, metabolism, and overall weight.
One good tool to assess how hydrated you are is your pee color. The darker it is, the more likely you’re dehydrated and the more water you should drink. And the Adequate Intake (AI) level chart from the National Institute of Medicine can also be a good benchmark for water intake. Measures are in ounces (oz.) and milliliters (ml).
|Total water||Total beverages|
|Males, ages 19–70||125 oz. (3,700 ml)||101 oz. (3,000 ml)|
|Females, ages 19–70||91 oz. (2,700 ml)||74 oz. (2,200 ml)|
But if you want to get more exact with how much water you should be drinking every day, try a few of these apps we recommend for tracking your water intake and helping you stay hydrated.
We all need water to survive, and you probably try to grab a sip or two when you feel thirsty. So what’s the point of a hydration app?
Being thirsty is just one of the body’s signals that you need fluids. And when you’re occupied by daily responsibilities, you might even ignore your thirst because you feel like you’re too busy to take a water break. Repeat this over a long period, and it can lead to more noticeable symptoms, such as:
- dark-colored urine
- feeling dizzy
- feeling thirsty even after you take a drink
You might also need to drink a certain amount of water if you’re at risk for a health condition like chronic kidney disease, liver disease, or a urinary tract infection (UTI). Comprehensive hydration apps that allow you to track your activity levels and how much you pee can help you
- Information quality: We looked through most apps we could find online that provided information from reliable, peer-reviewed sources and experts with specializations in dietary intake, such as registered dietitians and nutritionists.
- Usability: We looked for apps that were easy to download, quick to get you registered, easy to use on a daily basis, and useful enough to get you to use them regularly.
- Personal needs: We included a variety of apps for different intake needs, such as during pregnancy or to accommodate weight loss plans.
- Reviews and ratings: We sifted through the details of hundreds of customer reviews and asked some of our own friends and family members for their input.
- Vetting: We use a standardized vetting process to ensure that all the apps we choose meet our high medical and business standards
At Healthline, we respect and acknowledge an individual’s sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Throughout this article, we use the term ‘sex assigned at birth’ instead of each apps’ use of ‘gender’ when asking about yourself. Within most apps, the options for ‘gender’ are listed either ‘male’ or ‘female’. There is one app listed that has the option to choose nonbinary when asking about ‘gender’.
- Rating: iOS 4.9 stars
- Price: free (with in-app purchases, including $8 lifetime fee)
- Pros: beautiful design, simple interface, compatible with Apple Watch
- Cons: limited functionality, no history or statistics, no compatibility with Android
Waterllama is a super simple app with bright colors and adorable animal characters that make it feel like a treat to log your liquid intake.
With widgets for your iPhone and Apple Watch, you can set reminders to make sure you quickly get hydrated and document the category of liquid you drink. The app also offers fun and healthy challenges to help make and break hydration habits, such as caffeine and alcohol intake.
Our commerce editor, Christy Snyder, has been using this app since November 2022 and loves the way it looks on her smartwatch. She loves, particularly, that the notifications are smart: “I only get pinged by the app if I forget to add my beverage intake. It’s so nice to get a nudge on days I forget.”
She mentions that you can also choose most frequently used beverages so it’s easier to log. They have everything from water to coffee, and from milkshakes to alcoholic beverages.
“The app also includes the percentage of hydration you will get from the beverage, and depending on what beverages you have in your day, your hydration levels will go up or down accordingly,” Snyder says.
How it works
This app allows you to select from a large variety of drinks to log whenever you take a drink. As you drink, your character art fills up until you reach your goal. You can also set water intake goals and track your water usage over several days to build streaks that last for days at a time.
“Your daily goal is set up by sex assigned at birth (limited to male, female, pregnant, or breastfeeding), as well as weight, daily activity (low/medium/active), and weather of where you live (hot/warm/temperate/cold). Units can be measured as milliliter or ounce,” Snyder says.
In addition to its smart logging, Waterllama provides access to information and studies about hydration in different drinks, linking to quality studies and resources.
Best for simple use
- Rating: Android 4.6 stars, iOS 4.7 stars
- Price: free with in-app purchases | monthly subscription: $3.99; yearly subscription: $27.99, but $24.99 for first year
- Pros: good design and animations, awards for milestones achieved, reminders easy to set
- Cons: very basic features, some performance issues and lag
This hydration app is simple and easy for helping you remember to drink enough fluids.
There’s a tracker and a diary feature for keeping a log of your water intake, restrictions that you can place around drinking caffeine, an alarm reminder for drinking water throughout the day, and a tool that lets you build a custom drink to see how it fits into your hydration goals for the day.
- Rating: iOS 4.7 stars
- Price: free with in-app purchases | monthly subscription: from $4.99-$9.99; yearly subscription: $59.99
- Pros: simple and focused interface with cool animations, many beverage options, calendar for daily tracking, detailed personal statistics
- Cons: most advanced features require purchase, relatively expensive compared with competitors, not available on Android
Use this simple, intuitively designed app to enter your personal health information and find out exactly how much water you need to drink. Set reminders that align with your schedule, add other fluids besides water, and keep a daily log of your water consumption to look at how your hydration patterns develop over time.
How it works
When you first sign up, you can decide whether to try the free trial or purchase the app outright. Then, you choose your sex assigned at birth, weight, and water intake goal to start your tracking. Add a beverage from the simple navigation menu and watch your hydration levels increase.
- Rating: iOS 4.8 stars, Android 4.4 stars
- Price: free with in-app purchases | monthly subscription: $1.99; yearly subscription: from $7.49-$14.99
- Pros: compatible with health apps, allows option to specify as nonbinary, calculates specific goal based on detailed factors like activity level and climate, shows hydration history, allows sharing with other users, offers challenges and achievements
- Cons: a bit expensive, can be glitchy, limited features on free app
This easy, intuitive app calculates appropriate hydration amounts based on your body weight or personal goal. Then, it sends reminders all day long, making it easy to hit your target intake. Create custom cups for fast, simple logging, and browse your hydration history to see your progress.
How it works
You’ll fill out a relatively detailed survey when you first open the app. You’ll get a specific goal calculated based on these inputs and see your daily progress as well as your history over weeks or months as needed. You can also share achievements via text or social media.
Best for customization
- Rating: iOS 4.6 stars, Android 4.5 stars
- Price: free with in-app purchases | without ads: $1.99
- Pros: highly customizable, rich detail in interface, participate in challenges
- Cons: disruptive ads in free version, interface can feel cluttered and hard to navigate, too many unnecessary options and features
Aqualert notifies you throughout the day to keep you properly hydrated. Plus, it uses your activity level to calculate your daily water requirements so you’re getting what you need. A handy bedtime mode keeps the app from reminding you during the night, and a graphic display of your hydration level and daily consumption keeps you on track.
How it works
This app allows you to see a real-time estimation of the water intake you need based on your weight, sex assigned at birth, activity level, and even whether it’s a hot day or not. You can change these specifications at any time in the app by tapping on the main Home Screen and set notifications as well as set challenges with other users of the app.
Best for multiple beverages
- Rating: iOS 4.7 stars, Android 4.2 stars
- Price: free, but full-version is offered | monthly subscription: $4.99; yearly subscription: $39.99
- Pros: allows many options for beverage entry, adjusts hydration based on type of beverage, Apple Watch connectivity
- Cons: requires credentials to log in, emphasizes being “skinny” rather than healthy, many typos and errors in interface
Remembering to drink water shouldn’t be hard. This app helps make drinking enough water each day easier, with a calculator for how much you should drink based on your body measurements, regular reminder notifications for the times you should be drinking water, visual representations of the stats of your water intake, and even bonus rewards for when you achieve your water drinking goals.
How it works
You’ll be asked to sign in to use this app. Then, you can enter your beverage intake using many different options, including water, tea, soda, and much more. The app will automatically adjust your intake based on the exact beverage you enter, and even subtract ounces when you drink alcohol. You can also use this app for weight tracking and adjust your hydration needs as you gain or lose weight.
- Rating: Android 4.6 stars
- Price: free with in-app purchases | prices range from $1.49-$8.49 per item
- Pros: simple interface, easy to use, calculates exact intake based on type of drink, advanced stats breakdown
- Cons: limited features in free version, somewhat costly, not available for iOS
Need regular reminders to drink water? The Hydro Coach app allows you to set your target intake, or use the app’s calculator to determine an appropriate daily goal. The app will remind you when it’s time to drink up, and it can be customized if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
How it works
Specify your sex assigned at birth, weight, activity level, and daily goal when you set up the app. Then, you can add individual intake based on drink type and ounces. With the premium app, you can set “quick taps” for drinks you have often, and track your detailed stats in a calendar view.
- Rating: iOS 4.7 stars, Android 4.5 stars
- Price: free with in-app purchases | monthly subscription: $7.99; yearly subscription: $69.99
- Pros: links your hydration to taking care of plants, unique designs and artwork, lighthearted notifications, adjusts hydration goals by activity level
- Cons: expensive, can feel like a lot of work, busy interface can distract from main goal of hydration in favor of winning the game
The Plant Nanny app takes hydration challenges to the level of a video game. Choose from a variety of different plant characters to plant and water as you intake water or other fluids. The more you drink, the faster your plant grows and the more achievements you get.
You can also customize plant personalities, buy new pots for them to grow in, and basically raise a farm of your own plants that reflect your hydration goals.
- Rating: iOS 4.7 stars, Android 4.3 stars
- Price: free with in-app purchases | to remove ads and data forever: $9.99
- Pros: easy to use, basic interactivity with no frills, celebratory animations when you add water intake
- Cons: limited features on free app, can’t specify types of beverages, minimal tracking over time, disruptive notifications
Set your daily water intake goal and then log every ounce (or milliliter) with just a tap. View a detailed stats update after every glass to see how close you’re getting to your daily goal, or review 7- and 30-day charts for an idea of your overall progress.
How it works
This app has a very simple interface. Just choose your sex assigned at birth, weight, and daily goal to get started. Then, slide the water intake counter up as you drink water. You’ll hear applause and see confetti on the screen each time. You’ll also hear a celebratory pop song when you reach your daily goal.
Try to avoid any water trackers that don’t take your weight or activity level into account.
These two factors can greatly impact the exact amount of water you need. For example, if you exercise a lot and lose a lot of water through sweat, you’ll need much more water than someone who is less active and not sweating as much.
Try also to find trackers that allow you to specify the type of beverage you’re drinking.
Some apps even adjust your relative hydration measurement for liquids that may have less water content that your body will metabolize. The more specifically you can track your liquid intake, the more useful an app can be.
And don’t feel pressured to buy an app that’s more than you feel like paying. There are plenty of apps available, so it doesn’t hurt to find one you like that also fits your budget.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of dehydration to watch out for:
- dry mouth
- feeling tired or fatigued
- eyes that look sunken in
- not peeing as much as usual
- darker urine than normal
- cramps in your muscles
- feeling lightheaded
Most of these symptoms can be treated by drinking enough water to get hydrated again.
Seek medical help if you notice any of these more serious symptoms of dehydration:
Here are some tips that can help you stay hydrated:
- Start your day with a glass of water.
- Get a water bottle you like to give yourself an incentive to make water a habit.
- Set reminders or alarms once or twice an hour to make sure you’re drinking water regularly.
- Drink water as soon as you feel thirsty.
- Start each meal with a glass of water.
- Add some calorie-free, sugar-free flavoring to make your water tastier.
- Drink some water if you notice that your pee is a dark color.
- Limit drinks that have high levels of sugar or calories, such as soda or alcoholic beverages.
- Choose a daily goal for water intake.
- Participate in hydration challenges with other users of your hydration apps or with your friends and family.
Is it possible to drink too much water?
Yes. Drinking too much water can lead to water intoxication. Symptoms can include:
- muscle cramps or spasms
- losing consciousness
There’s no exact amount of water that’s considered too much. But if you notice any of the above symptoms when you’re drinking a lot of water, slow down your intake until the symptoms subside, or seek immediate medical help.
Do I need a water tracker?
Not necessarily. If you feel that you’re drinking enough and aren’t experiencing any significant symptoms, you may not need any trackers to help you drink water.
But if you’re having trouble getting enough water or feel that you’re still having discomfort even when you’re drinking a significant amount of water, try a water tracking app or see a doctor to make a plan for your diet and water intake and help you get hydrated.
How much water should I drink in a day?
There’s no single amount of water that’s right for every person. It depends on your diet, lifestyle, level of activity, and overall health.
Ask a doctor or registered dietitian to learn how much water you should be drinking every day to stay hydrated.
Being properly hydrated is linked to many health benefits, including reducing your risk of kidney and liver conditions.
And drinking enough water throughout the day can also make you feel more alert, encourage you to be active, and help you stay focused. Many of these apps lean into your need to hydrate throughout the day by making it easy and satisfying to log your liquid intake.