Water. Plain. Cold.
April 19, 2010 1:20 PM   Subscribe

Help me start drinking water at work!

I've come to the conclusion that I probably drink too much aspartame. I rarely drink water alone; instead, I drink Diet Coke, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, or Crystal Light.

I have nothing against water. I like it very much, but my work only provides lukewarm tap water and a dorm fridge that's shared by 12 co-workers. There is no ice. I don't want to spend money on bottled water (I might as well buy Diet Coke at that point), but is there a way I can get cold water at work without taking up more than my share of the fridge?
posted by cereselle to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Get an insulated water bottle. Fill it at the end of each workday, stow in the fridge overnight, drink throughout the day, repeat.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:24 PM on April 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

Do you have a freezer at work? I refuse to drink cold delicious water unless it contains ice cubes. Then I can't get enough. Go figure.
posted by lukemeister at 1:28 PM on April 19, 2010

Or maybe get two water bottles? I can't imagine that water would stay cold throughout the day, but maybe filling and switching as you go would be a good route.
posted by jangie at 1:30 PM on April 19, 2010

Best answer: Keep two bottles going - one on your desk, one in the fridge. When the desk bottle is empty, rinse it, fill it, and trade with the fridge bottle. I re-use regular store-bought water bottles because I am a crazy risk-taker, but if you're worried about BPA and what-have-you, you can buy all kinds of different sizes and types of re-usable BPA free bottles .
posted by cilantro at 1:31 PM on April 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

They also have ice cube trays that make ice sticks that you could use at home and then bring a reusable water/sports bottle with one or two of those in it. I've also noticed that I have a higher tolerance for room temperature water if I filter it and they have smaller brita pitchers available that you could keep at your desk.

Another thing that helps me tolerate room temperature water is some sort of flavoring like lemon juice (lemon wedges would keep ok outside the fridge for a day or two) or just trace amount of the "go" size crystal light packets. I know you want to cut those out, but instead of using a whole "dose" you could just use a few sprinkles.
posted by Kimberly at 1:31 PM on April 19, 2010

Best answer: Buy two aluminum water bottles. Leave one in the fridge, and one on your desk. Rotate and refill as necessary.

Alternatively, buy a small Brita pitcher and put it in the fridge.
posted by schmod at 1:32 PM on April 19, 2010

Best answer: Get two water bottles and swap them out daily. Then you'll always have a cold one. If you have a warm-ish workplace, perhaps you'll need four bottles -- one for morning and one for afternoon each day. Making water cold will nearly always improve the taste, so I think that this will work well for you.
posted by zpousman at 1:34 PM on April 19, 2010

Best answer: Yes, bring your own bottle and refill it whenever you see a cold water source. Here are a couple of options: the Sigg bottles just hold lots of water and are pretty -- I take mine everywhere -- while this Thermos bottle will keep your water cold or coffee hot forever.
posted by bearwife at 1:35 PM on April 19, 2010

What about freezing the water in a portable bottle at home and bringing that into work?
posted by *s at 1:35 PM on April 19, 2010

How about the obvious... ask your boss for a water cooler (a water delivery service or a bottleless cooler)? For an office of twelve, it would cost the company something like $50/month, including use of the cooler and free delivery – I doubt anyone would deny your request.
posted by halogen at 1:36 PM on April 19, 2010

Or even buying a small fridge for under your desk. My dad had one that would hold 4 Cokes if I remember right.

Also seconding the idea of trace amounts of flavor. It's weird how something can be too watery, but if you take some of the flavor out it becomes good again. Kind of like how a movie can be so bad it's good to watch.

If neither of these work and you have to use the communal fridge, you could tell people that you have a pitcher in there and share. Of course, this hinges on the hygiene abilities of your coworkers.

It might also be worth looking into getting an office water cooler. One of my teachers in high school had one and we could use that whenever we wanted as long as someone would take the initiative and fill it up when it got toward empty. For bonus points, it could also spit out hot water for those times you wanted that.
posted by theichibun at 1:36 PM on April 19, 2010

When I lived in AZ, in the summertime, I'd see people who'd freeze water bottles overnight then drink the melting ice during the day. It melted faster than you'd imagine.
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:40 PM on April 19, 2010

Fill a bottle at home each night and put it in your freezer. The next morning, take the frozen bottle to work and drink it as it thaws. If it ends up staying too frozen, just freeze half a bottle and top off with cold water from home.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:46 PM on April 19, 2010

Fill an insulated lunch tote or a large insulated jug with ice. You can leave this at your desk. Throughout the day, fill your cup with ice and add water from the tap.

Leaving it just ice will keep it colder than filling with ice and water. Though you could do that too. I know several people who use a half-gallon insulated jug everyday - fill with ice then water, and leave it on their desk as their reminder to drink all of it as the day goes by.

Another option: at home, fill several water bottles half-full (or more) and freeze them overnight. Put these in your small ice chest and bring to work. Whenever you are ready, take one out, fill the other half with tap water. The water will cool and will start to melt the ice.
posted by CathyG at 1:50 PM on April 19, 2010

Response by poster: The two bottles thing is perfect. I'm off to shop for pretty stainless steel bottles. Thank you, MeFi!
posted by cereselle at 1:51 PM on April 19, 2010

Add some thin slices of lemon to the brew while chilling, then decant into a beer glass. I'm the envy of the office with my massive stein of water with bright circles of lemony goodness floating on top! :)
posted by mdonley at 2:18 PM on April 19, 2010

Just to add, the mere process of buying a bottle specifically for water will make you drink more. I got a Sigg-esque bottle and it's amazing how much more water I drink knowing that I have a vessel dedicated to H2O.
posted by hnnrs at 2:32 PM on April 19, 2010

I gave up the canned drinks for big bottles of sparkling water.

Even when it isn't cold it seems to taste great to me - and overall I prefer it to plain water.
posted by lemonfridge at 2:42 PM on April 19, 2010

I actually find that I prefer room temperature water, although I like cold soda better. Cold water makes my tummy hurt, wah. So I vote for giving room temperature water a try, if you can overcome that initial "this is not a beverage temperature" I know I'm not alone in this preference.

If I set a bottle of water beside me on the desk while I work, somehow magically I end up drinking it all without even noticing.
posted by ErikaB at 2:52 PM on April 19, 2010

You might also try asking your company to consider getting a bottled water service for the office, since it will promote drinking water and thus healthier employees.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:41 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you're like me and tend to dump over tall objects filled with water on your desk full of papers, pay attention to the tops of the bottles you choose. I am partial to Camelbak's bite valve, but there are other solutions as well.
posted by gnomeloaf at 6:25 PM on April 19, 2010

I'll put in my two cents...
Add a little flavor without the sweetener.
Try True Lemon.
It is easy and (I think) better than the other water flavorings (that contain sugar or other sweetener).

I also forgo the bottle problem by using one bottle of a sports drink a week. I get a new bottle every Monday and use it throughout the week, then toss. No guilt for dumping tons of plastic and no cleaning problems.
posted by Drasher at 5:53 AM on April 20, 2010

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