Need more H2O
February 5, 2009 12:12 PM   Subscribe

I do not like drinking (plain) water, but I know I should. Is it healthy to only drink stuff like Gatorade? If not, how can I force myself to like water?

It does not matter what type of water I drink: tap, bottled, filtered, cold, warm. It actually unsettles my stomach; I immediately feel bloated and heavy. I don't like the taste, or maybe more accurately the lack thereof. I guess I'm not dehydrating because I do drink Gatorade, tea, and other things that contain water, plus my diuretic (caffeine and alcohol) intake is minimal.

However, I have chronically low blood pressure and one of my kidneys does not function (never developed from birth), so I really need to change this habit. Has anyone dealt with this before? If it matters, I'm a 34 y/o female, very petite (under 100 lbs), non-smoker, non-drug user.
posted by desjardins to Health & Fitness (61 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried adding lemon or lime to water? Or orange or some other flavor you do like?
posted by cestmoi15 at 12:13 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Citrus, mint, etc. are generally good and work incredibly well also to camouflage that plastic-y taste imparted to water by storage. If I'm carrying a nalgene thing I'll generally throw a slice of citrus in there or for longer trips squeeze one slice in, discard it, and then slide a fresh wedge into the bottle.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:18 PM on February 5, 2009

Can you just sun-brew weak green tea?
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 12:19 PM on February 5, 2009

How much water are you trying to drink at a single clip?

Are you saying you can drink the same amount of Gatorade and water, and only the water makes you feel bloated and heavy?

The next question I'd ask you is, what temperature? Drinking a giant bolus of ice cold water very quickly can throw your insides for a loop.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:19 PM on February 5, 2009

Seconding cestmoi15. Just adding a bit of juice to water can work wonders.

Although, I wonder why you think you "should" drink water. If you've been specifically and expressly advised to by your doctor, then yes you should, but if you just think you should because "that's what everybody says," then...well, everybody may not know, and you can be hydrated just fine with Gatorade, juice, etc. Coffee and soda aren't great options, but Gatorade, tea, and juice would do fine.

(Although, Gatorade has more calories than you'd think, by design. So just something to be aware of.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:20 PM on February 5, 2009

Seconding the solution of adding taste to the water itself.

(obligatory link to the excellent Idiocracy movie :) )
posted by XiBe at 12:22 PM on February 5, 2009

Gatorade has a ton of various sugars in it, including hfcs. Unless you are doing hours of cardio every day, you really shouldn't be drinking it exclusively.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:23 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Okay, at the risk of sounding more ridiculous than I usually do ...

Essential oils. Buy them, lots of them. Peppermint (lots, a 16oz bottle will last you for years). Spearmint (some). Wintergreen (a little). Lemon. Orange. Lime. Anise. And so forth.

Buy several small bottles with droppers ("take a hit out of the little brown bottle in my shaving kit") and a pipette of reasonable length (you do not want to try to tip that 16oz bottle of peppermint oil: one slipup will leave your entire life smelling like mint for months).

Mix up a variety of different complicated flavors. I have one I call green which I particularly enjoy (peppermint base, lime, spearmint, and anise). Make a citrus-y bottle. And so forth. Label them as such and store upright, as the oils will cheerfully dissolve the squeeze bulb on the little brown bottles.

Do not get the peppermint oil touch your body. If it touches your hand, your arm will feel cool and tingly for a couple of hours. If it touches any pink bits, it will burn, after about ten minutes, for about an hour. If it gets in your eye, you will not be having much fun. I have experience with all three.

I add just a little lethicin for an emulsifying effect, as some of the oils will want to separate out.

Add one to four drops ("you won't need much, just a tiny taste") to a quantity of cold, filtered water, then shake. Store these in nice metal thermoses.
posted by adipocere at 12:25 PM on February 5, 2009 [43 favorites]

I can relate...I suffer from Sjogren's Syndrome and am supposed to sip lots of water throughout the day. Only problem was I found water flat and tasteless, and like you, after a few sips I felt full and couldn't drink any more.

I eventually found that I could tolerate lightly carbonated water, such as Perrier, or even Club Soda or Faygo Sparkling Water (either plain or Lime or Grapefruit flavor). (Note: Faygo water has no suger/sucrose or other sweeteners; it's just sparking water with a touch of flavor.) Anyway, my rheumatologist told me that carbonated water was better than no water, and better than diet pop (which was my other beverage of choice). After a year or so of sparkling water intake, I managed to develop a taste for plain water, but only if it is ice cold. Since we work at home, Mr. Adams bought me a small in-house water cooler, and luckily our new refrigerator has an ice dispenser. I started out with a very small glass (a "glass" glass, not plastic or paper cup - for some reason this makes a difference to me) filled with a few cubes of ice and the cooler water. Sipped on it, found it somewhat refreshing. Kept refilling it, moved on to a larger glass, etc etc. Now I find myself actually craving ice water when I get thirsty. (Mind you, I still can't stomach water out of the tap, or room-temperature water; it has that "flat" taste to me.)

Hope this was of some help to you - I wish you luck in finding palatable hydration!
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:28 PM on February 5, 2009

I really don't like water either nor do I like the taste of flavored water. What worked for me was to buy a carbonator from The Soda Club and I lightly carbonate my water. Something about a little carbonation does it for me and if you don't carbonate it too much it won't make you too burpy.
posted by teg4rvn at 12:29 PM on February 5, 2009

I am a big fan of True Lemon.
It really helps to have add a flavor without adding bad gunk.

No, I don't work for them.
posted by Drasher at 12:30 PM on February 5, 2009

I can't drink water straight up sometimes either, I know what you mean about that bloated feeling.

Sometimes I dilute juice (orange, cranberry, punch) half and half with water, so you still get a bit of taste of the juice but it's more refreshing and thirst quenching. Helps with that bloated feeling too, somehow. I also like drinking carbonated water like Perrier or just plain club soda... I like the pop feeling on my tongue.

And making iced tea yourself is a good option too, like -- some of the fruit flavored green teas and herbal teas, for instance, are quite nice. Flavor with lemon or a bit of honey, if you need some sweetness. I find commercial ice teas way too sweet and I wish more unsweetened teas were available bottled.
posted by lizbunny at 12:30 PM on February 5, 2009

I'm not qualified to judge whether Gatorade is a healthy drink, so I'll leave that question alone, and address your other question: If not, how can I force myself to like water?

If you (and your doctor, maybe?) determine that you do need to be drinking more water, there are ways to overcome the taste that you find so unpleasant.

Things I drink instead of (or in addition to) plain water:
- a splash of juice (orange, grapefruit, grape, cranberry) in a pint glass, topped up with seltzer.
- water, sparkling or flat, with a generous wedge of citrus (lemon, lime, or orange). First, give the citrus a good squeeeeeze, then rub the rind all over the inside of the glass, which smears the delicious citrus oils all over. Then fill up with ice and water. (In cold weather, I sometimes use boiling water and a mug instead of cold water and a pint glass. Very warming, very fragrant.)
- cucumber water: in a pitcher, place half a dozen slices of cucumber, then fill with water and chill several hours. Drink in a chilled glass. The taste is subtle, almost grassy, very clear and pleasant.
- non-medicinal herbal tisanes, chilled or hot. (You say above that you drink tea, and I don't know if you're including herbal tisanes in that category.) I'm particularly fond of peppermint tea, brewed hot and strong, then poured over a lot of ice.)
- a friend makes something she calls "strawberry water," which is a few strawberries run through a blender with a lot of ice and a little water. It's a thin slushy drink, incredibly refreshing in the summer. I've also had it with melon; really lovely.

I used to use a charcoal filter, which markedly improved the taste of my tap water. I don't find it necessary where I live now, but you might try it if you haven't yet.
posted by Elsa at 12:32 PM on February 5, 2009 [3 favorites]

Gatorade has also been linked to tooth decay. Even though it does add electrolytes better than plain water, that doesn't make Gatorade good for you. Your body has tons of electrolytes already and only athletes (who've been sweating profusely for hours) would benefit.
posted by meowzilla at 12:32 PM on February 5, 2009

Another thing you may try is to mix your gatorade with water. I have heard it recommended because it dilutes all the sugar. Also why not try things like vitamine water, propel and etc.
posted by thenuts at 12:35 PM on February 5, 2009

Seconding Drasher's suggestion of True Lemon. It comes in little packets like sugar does and it tastes just like you dropped a lemon into your water. I carry some with me wherever I go. And for a twist, I add True Lime or True Orange. It's simple, portable and tasty.
posted by bristolcat at 12:41 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Are you saying you can drink the same amount of Gatorade and water, and only the water makes you feel bloated and heavy?


Gatorade has a ton of various sugars in it, including hfcs. Unless you are doing hours of cardio every day, you really shouldn't be drinking it exclusively.

Are you referring to weight gain? I'm the type of person who can eat cheesecake all day and not gain weight. I know sugar isn't good for me, but I won't gain weight from it.
posted by desjardins at 12:43 PM on February 5, 2009

I can't ever force myself to drink enough water either. In addition to the seltzer and citrus suggestions above, a lot of times I'll put a packet of EmergenC in either a 20 oz. or 32 oz. bottle. It's much more dilute than the instructions suggest, but it still imparts enough flavor that I don't mind drinking the water, and I feel like it's not too high a mineral/salt : water ratio.

Plus, I love them B-Vitamins.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:52 PM on February 5, 2009

I've heard that watered down orange juice gets you the same or better results as Gatorade (can't find a suitable link, sorry). There are plenty of recipes to make your own, but it's mostly adding sugar and salts (more or less). Gatorade has more sugar than is necessary, which plays into the erosion of teeth.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:52 PM on February 5, 2009

EmergenC will actually even send you a few free samples so you can try out different flavors if you're so inclined.

I swear I don't work for them
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:53 PM on February 5, 2009

I don't like water at all either. And I've gotten "addicted" to Gatorade from time to time. The only water I like is Poland Spring (and it must be bottled at Poland Spring; the stuff from Clear Spring, Hollis, Maine tastes terrible to me), Fiji water (not as much as the Poland Spring stuff) and sparkling Pellegrino (but I don't like Perrier at all). So, I guess what I'm saying is that it might be an issue of finding which water you like. I also really like a glass of 1/4 Orange juice, 3/4 Pellegrino, which I find much more refreshing than Gatorade.
posted by miscbuff at 1:01 PM on February 5, 2009

I think tea is a perfectly fine choice. I drink lots and lots of it. A little with caffeine, but most of my blends are fruit or herbal blends. There are so many choices that there must be many teas you like. I have a water boiler in my room and I pretty much always have a hot pot of tea on my desk. It's just like water...but it has added health benefits and it is tasty.
posted by melissam at 1:01 PM on February 5, 2009

I think I know what you mean about feeling bloated and heavy after drinking water. I've found that I drink seltzer a lot slower and in smaller sips than flat water, which reduces that effect. I got a seltzer maker a while back and it's basically all I drink anymore besides tea or coffee. I have the same brand as teg4rvn, Soda Club, and as long as you refill the canisters yourself (see: crazy seltzer people on the internet, they'll explain how you do it) it's dirt cheap once you have your own big CO2 tank (I think we got one for about $50 from a boating supply company).

That said, if your doctor (and your dentist) sign off on the Gatorade… why mess with what works?
posted by Meg_Murry at 1:02 PM on February 5, 2009

I'll second the suggestions of "water plus a little juice" and Emergen-C. (The latter can be a little frothy & overwhelming if you use a whole packet; you could start with half of one.) I think different flavors of Gatorade have different ingredients, but I'd regularly steer clear of anything with high fructose corn syrup.
posted by lisa g at 1:05 PM on February 5, 2009

As an alternative to Gatorade, there's a product that used to be called Gookinaid, and might now be called Hydralyte or something else, that performs the same function that Gatorade's supposed to (replacing electrolytes and all that) but I don't think it has as much sugar, since it's not marketed to the general public. It's sold as a powder in single-serving packets as well as large tubs, which I get. I typically make it somewhat more dilute than the directions recommend since I don't really need the full strength, but it does impart a subtle flavor to water which might be helpful to you. At full strength, it has 10g of sugar per 8oz of water. I usually go 1/2 to 3/4 of that.

I get it at REI, but you could probably get it at any running or fitness/nutrition store. It is made locally (for me) so it may not be available at retail outlets in your area. If that fails however, I think Gatorade also makes their product in powdered form, so you can dilute it down and not have to pay for packaging or create extra waste, etc.
posted by LionIndex at 1:08 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

I love to drink water plus a little grapefruit juice. Also, flavored and regular seltzer.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:10 PM on February 5, 2009

I bought a SodaClub device after seeing it recommended on AskMe. It's a home carbonator for one-liter bottles, and you can add their specialty syrups or just make plain seltzer. I drink a LOT more water when it's carbonated, and this is much cheaper than buying flats of carbonated water at the store and then having to deal with the recycling.

I dislike powdered add-ins, but a few bottles of Torani sugar-free syrup are enough variety for me.
posted by catlet at 1:11 PM on February 5, 2009

Drinks like Gatorade are very high in sugar. Even if you're not worried about your weight, drinking them constantly will be bad for you because it will cause spikes in your blood sugar.

Asian electrolyte drinks like 100Plus or Pocari Sweat are refreshing but much less sugary than their Western equivalents. You can buy them from Asian grocery stores in bottles or as a powder.
posted by [ixia] at 1:16 PM on February 5, 2009

Dr. Weil suggests watered-down fruit juice or, and this is what I do, green tea. It's mostly water, doesn't have much caffeine, and it has green anti-cancer health molecules or something.

Get a box of green tea bags (I'm too lazy to do loose leaf for my day-to-day drinking) at the asian store for close to nothing.
posted by Tacodog at 1:19 PM on February 5, 2009

I have low blood pressure and need to drink more water. I find it a huge challenge. My doctor actually recommended Gatorade to me for the salts. I drink the G2 variety for its lower calories/sugar. But even the original only has 50 calories a cup, which is about 3 tsp sugar, just over the amount I put in my tea.

I feel similarly to you that water is flat. And when I drink it, I get this feeling of water just heavily sitting there, sloshing around and it makes me feel very uncomfortable. But if I drink, say, a Coke, I don't get that at all. It's baffling.

Carbonation in water doesn't help me and I hate seltzer. For me, it helps to drink the water cold. Very, very cold. But that's hard to do in the winter.

I use those little mix-in flavoring packets a lot. Lately, I've been drinking the Propel kind. Celestial Seasonings makes a type of mix-in tea packet without any artificial sweeteners (contains stevia).

Various studies over the years have come to the conclusion that the 'ideal' 8 glasses isn't a necessity and that food intake, juices, teas, and even coffee contribute just fine to your daily water supply. I almost never feel thirsty enough for 8 glasses of anything anyway.
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:32 PM on February 5, 2009

tea, i usually just make a large pitcher of sun tea. If you are staying away from caffeine you could try green, white tea or herbal teas. A favorite mix of mine is a little Chinese green (gun powder) lemon grass and mint leaves.

I also used to add Ribena concentrate to my water (black current).

There are many other fruit and mint concentrates easy to find. Mint is probably my favorite.

As a slightly less healthy alternative i love Mystic Chai.

I guess you could also go with a little bit of that generic instant iced tea powder if your too lazy to make real tea.
posted by Black_Umbrella at 1:35 PM on February 5, 2009

My solution to this same problem: Water plus squeezed lemon/lime plus mint leaves plus ginger plus a little bit of maple syrup. Chill for a few hours. Yum! And healthy-ish.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 1:46 PM on February 5, 2009

I always drink m water in a glass, not a plastic cup. Believe me, it helps. Second, my favorite infusion is courtesy of a local restaurant here in Phoenix: line the bottom of a glass pitcher with ginger and sliced cucumbers. Fill with water. Refrigerate. Indulge. It's absolutely delicious and very refreshing.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 1:47 PM on February 5, 2009 [3 favorites]

Ummm... Preview, njfb, preview. I always drink "my" water. Never had "m" water before.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 1:48 PM on February 5, 2009

I'll nth that Gatorade is pretty bad in terms of sugars. Personally, I'm more worried about my teeth than my sugar intake, and I use packets called electro mix - I think it's the same company that makes emergen-c. They have it at my local co-op - it's geared towards athletes, but I do like the flavor, so hopefully that helps.
posted by antonymous at 1:56 PM on February 5, 2009

I also don't like drinking plain water. I've found that I can drink huge amounts of roasted barley tea. The toasty flavor makes it easy to drink, and it doesn't have any caffeine or sugar. I get tea bags from my local Asian grocery store, they're usually sold in bags with 55 tea bags, and each tea bag is good for about a liter and a half of tea. Barley tea is good both hot and cold.
posted by needled at 2:02 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

decaf coffee.
posted by goethean at 2:22 PM on February 5, 2009

Caffeine isn't actually that much of a diuretic, particularly when compared with straight water which is also mildly diuretic itself. I used to have a reference showing direct comparison but haven't been able to find it after a quick search. This may be helpful though. Some fruit juices can have diuretic effect so you need to be a bit careful on that front.

If you're really just worried about dehydration then a proper hydration drink is going to do a better job than straight water anyway. I don't know how good or bad gatorade is, not even sure if it's sold in my country, and you'd want to check you're drinking a sports drink aimed at hydration rather than energy replacement (although it sounds like you're not too worried by a few extra calories). Personally I use powerade isotonic - the tubs of powder are much cheaper than buying premade and I can make it half strength - and it does a good job of making me feel hydrated without upsetting my tummy (water gives me reflux). A sports shop should be able to recommend a sports drink that is good for fluid replacement and lighter on the carbo loading / protein replacement type stuff.

If you have kidney problems then you may need to worry about the type and/or concentrations of salts you're putting into your body. In that case straight water may actually be your best option, I assume you can talk to your doctor about this. If this is the case then I'd go for a squeeze of lemon or lime in the water followed by throwing in a slice (thus adding aromatic oils from the skin), that makes it go down a lot easier without adding sugar or salt, even if it doesn't help the stomach side so much. Also in this case you'd want to be cutting out the gatorade.

Really I think you should ask your doctor your questions. They'll know what kind of fluid is appropriate given your health issues, can confirm or deny the assumptions within your question (assuming it wasnt a Dr that already told you to drink more water, you don't say), and should be able to give you ideas of how to work with your preferences etc while still giving the health benefits you're looking for. I know accepted wisdom is that 'everyone must drink water and only water' but it's far from being scientific fact ('everyone must' rarely is). .
posted by shelleycat at 2:24 PM on February 5, 2009

I quit my soda habit in 2005, I drink water pretty much all day now, with a cup or two tea later in the day. Are you drinking bottled water or tap? I hated tap (at first), so I tried a bunch of bottled waters. Nestle Pure Life was crap, Dannon water was crap, Evian was crap, Deep Park was good, Poland Spring was the best. Ironic, I know, because Nestle owns 3 (or maybe all) of those 5 brands.

Anyway, I say try different bottled waters until you find one you like.

Are you referring to weight gain? I'm the type of person who can eat cheesecake all day and not gain weight. I know sugar isn't good for me, but I won't gain weight from it.

Don't forget about diabetes.
posted by exhilaration at 2:33 PM on February 5, 2009

Gatorade is high in salt and sugar on purpose - it was originally meant to be used after heavy sweating when you're in need of intense energy replacement. In those cases, the sickly sweet taste is hardly noticeable and it just feels like rejuvenating energy.

DOes water always taste the same to you? I know there are times when water is just the most absolute best tasting beverage that exists to me, far more pleasurable than soda or juice or tea... I feel as if those times are when I've been eating well, exercising but not overdoing it, and perhaps when it is warm out. Then water is just the purity of thirst-quenching, and the idea of particular flavors is a distraction and often seems artificial.

To me, what tastes good definitely does change when my habits change - if I stay at an ashram for a bit and live on brown rice and organic veggies and herbal teas etc, and do yoga / meditate/ etc every day, I start to really like the taste of that kind of food, and having a coke seems completely unappealing. But then if I get into caffeinated library mode in the city and stop bothering with exercise or even cooking for myself, just order greasy chinese on my way home, then a coke is exactly what I want. Getting in charge of my own habits is the hard part! But I do know that my tastes will adapt once I adjust the rules.

Of course, YMMV, but especially if what you tend to like is sweetened beverages, I would try cleansing your system and focusing on a low sugar, high fiber type of diet with decent low impact exercise for a few weeks, and see if anything shifts... At least then you would know how much of a variable it is.
posted by mdn at 2:37 PM on February 5, 2009

I am like you; I really hate drinking water. But I must do it.

Mysteriously, drinking it thorugh a straw makes it far easier to get down than drinking from a glass or cup. No idea why -- maybe I'm bypassing my tounge? But now I manage to get through a 32 oz Nalgine before lunch, and often a second 32 ozs after lunch.
posted by anastasiav at 2:44 PM on February 5, 2009 [2 favorites]

You're absolutely right; plain water is disgusting. It always make me sick to my stomach. DC tap water doesn't help, of course.

I'm a huge fan of Crystal Light, which (as far as I can tell from the packaging) only adds a few calories to the water. Raspberry Ice, or the Safeway knockoff equivalent, is my water substitute.
posted by orrnyereg at 3:12 PM on February 5, 2009

orrnyereg beat me to it, but:

I keep a box of my local grocery store's generic version of this in my desk at work. I find that I don't even need to use a whole packet; 1/2 of a packet in a smallish bottle of water is more than enough. This is more workable for my situation than adding real juice.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 3:16 PM on February 5, 2009

I am the opposite of people who drink from a glass. I prefer clear plastic or little paper cups. I have no idea why this makes a difference, but it seems from all the reponses you may wantto try combinations of temperatures, natural/artifical flavors, and vessels. I am now getting excited at the idea of creating a spreadsheet for this, so I better go have a (boozy!) drink myself.
posted by pointystick at 3:20 PM on February 5, 2009

Seconding the Soda Club Fountain Jet carbonator idea. You need to filter the water, or it still tastes horrid. Soda water is nicest when it is cold, so I keep a Brita filter jug in the frig and only carbonate it when I want a drink (which is fun, in a geeky sort of way!).
One way to make water a lot more palatable and still be good for you is to add a small amount of fruit juice. I use Tropicana Orange or Grapefruit juice, diluted 1 part juice to 10 parts fizzy water. It tastes good -- like soda but without all the coloring/flavoring/HFCS ... :-)
posted by Susurration at 3:22 PM on February 5, 2009

Thirding Crystal Light. My husband will drink it and he just won't drink plain water.
posted by immlass at 3:33 PM on February 5, 2009

I just discovered lemongrass tisanes. Get some fresh lemongrass, chop/bash it up a bit, and steep it in boiling water. Lovely hot or cold.
posted by Emilyisnow at 4:15 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

I agree. Plain water is horrible. It's "heavy" to me, as well.

There are low calorie Gatorades called Propel and G-2 that I drink after I run. There also a low-cal PowerAid.

Most people don't realize that Diet Coke is 99% water. And sometimes the caffeine jolt is great after a long run.
posted by Zambrano at 4:34 PM on February 5, 2009

Try about 1/2 teaspoon of grade b maple syrup per pint of water.
posted by hortense at 4:38 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

I learned to really like water when I drink it from a water bottle. I can drink it all day that way but don't care for it at all in a glass or cup. Weird but true.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:49 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Plain water actually takes longer for the digestive system to absorb than sugar water. IIRC, Tim Noakes in Lore of Running writes that a 10% glucose solution is absorbed most rapidly, but that's a memory that dates back to the early '90s, so treat with caution.

So you might well feel more heavy or bloated after drinking water than after drinking Gatorade because the water is sitting in your stomach longer.

To answer the question, though: it might help to try a range of mineral waters until you find one you like. Try drinking some distilled water first; its truly neutral flavor (or lack of flavor) should help you identify the subtle flavors of waters with some mineral content.
posted by brianogilvie at 5:55 PM on February 5, 2009

This is not going to be as good or useful as a lot f these posts, but FWIW, I don't like water, either, bottled, tap, or anything. Except Gerolsteiner.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 6:11 PM on February 5, 2009

Response by poster: Well, thanks for all the useful tips and tricks! I was thinking I was some kind of freak for not liking water.
posted by desjardins at 6:30 PM on February 5, 2009

An Altoid is an easy way to flavor water without adding much sugar. You can drink it hot or cold. Hot is great if you have trouble with allergies.
posted by stray thoughts at 8:25 PM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Don't forget about diabetes.

You don't get diabetes from eating sugar, that is a myth.

As for water, I have one kidney, and had to adjust from a massive Diet Mountain Dew habit to no caffeine and much more water.

It is tough. I still don't particularly like plain water, unless it is really good water (well water from the next county over is so good I can drink that constantly.)

I use generic Crystal light at about 3/4s strength and I can drink much more of it. I love Walmart's generic stuff (I know, I know MeFi hates WM, but I'm too cheap to avoid it) and it is so much cheaper than the brand name.

Another thing is I have a Sigg bottle that I love. I will drink straight water out of it better than a glass. I also buy myself neat glasses once in awhile so I can drink out of something I enjoy looking at.
posted by SuzySmith at 8:25 PM on February 5, 2009

Are you on lake water or ground water? I've found the water out here tastes like total ass and can only drink it filtered.

I used to drink exclusively soda and one day I quit. I gave myself a couple of weeks on juice and then I switched to water. I did not like it at first but after a few weeks I found that I enjoyed it more. Now I really look forward to it, but those first few weeks, not so much. I drink only water, for the most part, now.
posted by sugarfish at 11:28 PM on February 5, 2009

Hiya desjardins...lots of responses here, but I thought I'd share my experiences too. I also found I wasn't drinking enough water, and didn't like the taste of our local water. I started adding some lemon juice to the glass prior to filling it up, but then found that my throat was getting irritated.

I later found out that the standard grocery store lemon juice uses a very common preservative that is also a very common allergen. So, I stopped that and started buying an organic lemon juice that has no preservatives. It made all the difference - no more irritated throat and I can now happily drink 3-4 LARGE glasses a day. Just something else to try!
posted by Richat at 3:27 AM on February 6, 2009

Get a water bottle you really like, I prefer the Sigg brand. The trick is not to drink a lot so much as drink small amounts regularly throughout the day. Make sure you empty the liter bottle at least once a day, twice is better if you can. I usually shoot for one, but I have a couple glasses of water with every meal and a bunch in the morning when I'm running as well.

Yeah, sure, Gatorade is bad for you on a regular basis if you're not into distance running or something, but its not as bad as chugging a couple of cokes a day. I like to fill the first 3rd of the glass with gatorade and the top 2/3rds of it with water, it tones down the sugary-ness and makes getting more water down easier.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:23 AM on February 6, 2009

Me too. Add as much water as possible to whatever you drink.
. I make tealade - pitcher of lemonade from concentrate, combined with a big pot of fresh tea, then chilled and served on ice.
. Lowered sugar grapefruit juice - 1 packet Crystal light ruby red & 1 bottle of unsweetened grapefruit juice.
. Use lots of crushed ice in cold drinks.
. Make juices from concentrate and add a lot of extra water. Chilled, somewhat diluted cranberry juice is very pleasant.
. Add fizzy water to juice.
. Decaffeinated and herbal teas.
Drinking full-strength juices, gatorade and sweetened sodas throws off my taste buds and makes me think that much sugar (corn syrup) is how things should taste. They're really, really sweet.

You can also get water into you by eating more homemade soups, and cooking foods with lots of liquids. And even though you don't love drinking water, try to keep a cup of water nearby, even for sipping during the day.

And, of course, beer is made with water.
posted by theora55 at 10:27 AM on February 6, 2009

Black_Umbrella mentioned Ribena further up, which will be familiar to most Brits.

I'm surprised that we've got this far down without mention of squash! It's a fruit-based concentrate, that can be sugar free, that you mix with water to make it taste nice/different. (Example of some of the flavours) I grew up drinking orange squash and still do when I want a drink but not something full of sugar.

Based on this entry of someone moving to America and the answers here it would appear that you don't really have an equivalent. It might be worth seeking out!
posted by Ramo at 1:15 PM on February 6, 2009

Wow, can´t believe it hasn´t been mentioned:

Add salt to your water! On hotter days in the summer, I get less of that heavy feeling if I add a bit of salt to my water, it´s easier to mix in if you prepare a small bottle with a supersaturated salt solution and add a few drops to taste. I use one of those sodium chloride/potassium chloride blends.

Gatorade has sodium and potassium in it, perhaps this is one aspect of what appeals to you about it. I suppose you could add one of the other flavorings suggested above along with the salt if you like that sort of thing.
posted by yohko at 7:36 AM on February 11, 2009

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