I want to eat my water.
June 8, 2010 8:12 AM   Subscribe

How can you make water more filling?

(This is a weird one, I know)

So being a new dad, I've recently discovered that it's common for a baby's first "solid" meals to be not solid at all - instead, some sort of rice, cereal, or grain mixed into the breastmilk/formula/water to make it more filling and nutritious.

I was wondering what a good adult equivalent would be. Everyone is always recommending drinking water throughout the day to feel fuller so you don't graze on junk food so much. It seems to me that you could mix something into your water to make it more filling. Obviously corn syrup and sugar can do this, but I'm sure there are some healthier options. Something grain-like perhaps? Some non-yucky vegetable? I dunno.

Any ideas on what would be a good filler? The best option(s) would be something that doesn't make it taste like butt, doesn't add significant calories or sugar, and is easy/cheap to come by.

(Note: not trying to change [just] the flavor of water, nor to make it packed with nutrients/vitamins/electrolytes/antioxidants/magic juju/etc, but just to make it more filling).

Also: I'm not some diet fanatic trying to lose fifty pounds in a month or anything. I'm mostly just curious. I figured MeFites would have some creative ideas :)
posted by sprocket87 to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Psyllium husk. Tastes vaguely like oatmeal, doesn't add significant calories or sugar (it's basically soluble fibre), is cheap, and very, very filling.

Just don't overdo it until you've experienced the first lot that went in coming out.
posted by flabdablet at 8:15 AM on June 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Most of the fiber supplements you stir into water do exactly this, they expand in your stomach and fill you up. Not all of them taste terrible.
posted by hermitosis at 8:16 AM on June 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Warm-but-not-hot tea made with hibiscus and mint.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:17 AM on June 8, 2010

Best answer: Psyllium, maybe? Be careful not to use too much ...
posted by DingoMutt at 8:17 AM on June 8, 2010

And yeah, psyllium husk, most famously known in Metamucil, does this as well, although you'll probably feel a bit emptier after its laxative effect takes hold.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:18 AM on June 8, 2010

Sports drinks do this, though they may have more sugar than you want. Some have less sugar than others.

You could also try adding psyllium, for example in the form of Metamucil.
posted by alms at 8:18 AM on June 8, 2010

I've always thought it tasted really nasty, but Horlick's has an extra light version that is 40 cals per serving. It's not widely available in the USA though.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 8:22 AM on June 8, 2010

Best answer: Special K makes a powder to add to water that contains flavor, protein and fiber. I've only tried one flavor - it's not awful but it's not that great either.
posted by shiny blue object at 8:23 AM on June 8, 2010

Best answer: chia seeds.
posted by icy at 8:28 AM on June 8, 2010

Best answer: Chia seeds, when added to water, make a gel. Better in smoothies and oatmeal and such, but you can drink it too if you want.
posted by smalls at 8:31 AM on June 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Sugar-free jello is used to provide hydration to people who have swallowing difficulties and would choke on liquids. Might do the trick here; it would depend a lot on personal taste.
posted by echo target at 8:33 AM on June 8, 2010

There are adult versions of the foods that you are feeding your child. Congee is probably the best known but there are other varieties of porridges that are actually quite tasty and incredibly easy to make in a slow cooker.
posted by calumet43 at 8:39 AM on June 8, 2010

Set it with agar or gelatine. Consume it in the form of mushrooms or lettuce. Add baby rice and make gruel. Drink very dilute fruit juice. Some herbal teas do this as Sticherbeast suggests, some don't.

You will get more answers if you ask this on a proana message board.
posted by westerly at 8:42 AM on June 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I stand by this. You'd be surprised how making water taste like something besides your pipes makes you feel "full."
posted by adipocere at 9:00 AM on June 8, 2010

Soy milk.
posted by Melismata at 9:19 AM on June 8, 2010

Response by poster: Wow, great responses so far! Psyllium and chia seeds are both exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. The Special K mix is intriguing, especially for the convenience factor, though I'd prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners.

Any other ideas? Ground up spinach or sweet potatoes, or something like that? Ooh, there's a thought: How can you make a dried powder from vegetables or the like that could dissolve for easy mixing?
posted by sprocket87 at 9:21 AM on June 8, 2010

Sugar free Jello? You can also get unflavored gelatin.
posted by I am the Walrus at 9:27 AM on June 8, 2010

Best answer: Bouillon is pretty much powdered vegetables, with added salt (you can get a low-salt version though, at least of the brand I linked) which might fit that bill?
posted by greenish at 9:35 AM on June 8, 2010

Horchata is delicious, refreshing, and more filling than water. You can make it as sweet as you like.

If you'd like to go the bouillon route, I think that the jarred paste is vastly, vastly superior to the powdered kind. Better Than Bouillon is the brand I usually see.
posted by desuetude at 9:41 AM on June 8, 2010

It's not something you add to water, but coconut water is satisfying in a different sort of way than regular water.
posted by dizziest at 9:54 AM on June 8, 2010

If bouillon suites your purposes, try garlic stock. yum!
posted by crush-onastick at 10:02 AM on June 8, 2010

What about a whey or soy protein powder?
posted by platinum at 10:26 AM on June 8, 2010

If you don't mind drinking hot water...

In my experience, simply microwaving a cup of water makes it more "filling." It's probably all in my head, but it works for me.
posted by lekvar at 12:01 PM on June 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sesame Paste and Almond Paste (scroll down a little). Both can be found at Ethnic/Chinese grocers in powder form, although they're mostly considered as hot desserts, so they usually have sugar added. You can look for the ones w/o sugar in larger grocers.

My mom says the almond is good for the skin, etc. and the sesame has a whole lot of vitamins.
posted by jyorraku at 11:57 PM on June 8, 2010

You can probably also find the grass jelly and aiyu jelly powders in the same area as the pastes. The powders will turn gelatinous with water. They are an acquired taste though, especially the grass jelly.
posted by jyorraku at 12:56 AM on June 9, 2010

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