Updated: Apr 28
Sitting at the kitchen counter this week, drinking a bottle of water, my son says to me, “Mom, you know, some people don’t like the taste of water. How can that be? Water doesn't have any taste.”
My response, “Well, that’s why people don’t like water. No taste.”
He was a bit confused by that, but I went on to tell him why. I started with the fact that I was not a big fan of water when I was younger. Why? Because it didn’t have any taste. But that all changed for me.
Just like a large number of people, I grew up associating liquids with something sweet, spicy, or savory. Water was well, boring. Even though the soda, juice, soups, and other things I was enjoying were made with water, water was just that necessary evil element needed to make all that other goodness flow. My mom loved Pepsi. So, Pepsi and orange juice were pretty much what was in our fridge. Running low on Pepsi was like running low on gas in your car; once you hit that ¼ tank mark, you gotta fill up ASAP! Another liter please! I had no idea how terrible that was, but I had an inkling that Pepsi should not be your staple beverage. Nothing against Pepsi and when you don’t do the shopping, you just go with it.
It was a completely different story at my grandparents’ house. They had, water. They also had milk, lemonade and soda was ginger ale. Ginger ale was distributed sparingly! If you said out loud, “I’m thirsty.” Water was headed your way and the grumbles were soon to follow, but you drank it.
I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house and I’m now grateful for the carbonation breaks I might otherwise would have missed out on. As an adult, I gravitated away from Pepsi as I started a more independent life but the need for a flavored beverage was hard to shake. While my choices became healthier (non-Carmel colored carbonation, less chemically processed ingredients), sweetened beverages were still a staple for me (juice, flavored waters).
When I embarked on my journey as a health coach, I had already been looking for ways to “shake the sugar” and made a more concentrated effort to drink more "actual" water. But it still didn’t thrill me. Even though I was following the rules of eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day and learning the value and benefits of increased water intake, it was still a not my favorite thing to do. It was truly a mindset. However, it was doable, and I knew I could find a way.
As with all my posts, I recommend baby steps in changing habits. It takes me a long time to transition to new habits and mindsets because I’m usually undoing many years of adverse actions and behaviors, as well as trying many different things to see what actually works. I’m my own guinea pig! Hopefully, the result of my experimentation is providing you with sound knowledge and advice that shortens your transition curve and you look toward making healthy changes.
Listed below are a few “Courtney-inspired” drink more water tips:
1) Stevia. If you go “cold-turkey” with the water switch, try adding a packet of Stevia to your glass of water. The biggest complaint I hear is that water has no taste, or it has a metallic taste. A little bit of Stevia will balance that out. Eventually, you won’t need to add it but while you are, it’s a natural sweetener that won’t spike your blood sugar and make you run for a candy bar. And, if your water is metallic tasting, may I recommend a water filter, a filtering pitcher, or having your water tested?
2) Fruit. Adding fruit to water works just like adding Stevia. It gives the water a little “something.” Try a slice of lemon, lime or add in strawberries or blueberries. You can get a large pitcher and add fruit to it. Put it in the fridge so you always have some on hand. There’s always a pitcher of water with lemons in it in my fridge. Even my husband drinks it now! When I’m feeling frisky, I throw in a packet of Stevia. BOOM! Healthy lemonade. You can also do this with cucumber slices as well; very refreshing and it looks pretty too!
3) Ice. Add multiple cubes of ice to your water for a couple reasons; water tastes better very cold, your body burns calories to process the super cold water it just received, and you don’t have to fill up your water glass as much because you can drink the water from the ice that melted (that’s my #1 personal laziness tip!)
4) Drinkware. Keep a large cup right on your desk, in your car, or in the room/location you are in the most. Make that cup your personal stalker. If it’s there just eyeballing you, you have no choice but to take a sip. And, if you’re anything like me and have to have a cold beverage, invest in a well-made thermal cup like a Yeti. I fill it with water and ice before bed, put it on the nightstand, and it’s still cold in the morning! No trip to the fridge for me (laziness tip #2!)
5) Time. Drink water by tracking time. Maybe you fill your cup up at the top of every hour so you have to get up and walk to the fridge. Bonus points if there's stairs involved. This adds exercise into your day (laziness tip #3! No gym for me.) You can add a reminder to your fitness tracker if you use one. If you set the goal to track by time during the day, usually you will have met your goal by the afternoon and any additional water consumed after that time is a bonus.
The reasons to drink water are so very important as well. Drinking water…
Removes toxins from the body
Keeps your joints lubricated
Carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells
Regulates your body temperature
Clears your skin
Helps balance your weight and aids digestion
The list goes on and on…
Your body is 60% water, and your blood is 90% water! You are literally water so depriving yourself of water is impacting your ability to live! Dehydration has physical and mental impacts on your health as well and it’s one of the easiest ways to improve your health, so drink up.
People often experience frequent bathroom visits in the first few days of increased water intake. Once this happens, they find it annoying and give up. DON’T! Your body is cleaning itself out and those bathroom breaks are the body’s way of saying, “Thank you for taking care of me.” The good news here is that you actually get used to drinking more water and it all balances out with less trips to the bathroom and a healthier product to show for it.
A word of caution though from my medical/scientific friends, this message is intended for those that don’t drink enough water or know they should increase their water intake. If you do a good job of staying hydrated, Kudos to you. It should be noted that excessive water drinking can lower serum sodium in the body and that can cause issues including seizures. As with all advice, everything in moderation and sometimes, even moderation in moderation is best.
My son just came down for breakfast this morning and after being offered light apple juice or milk, he walked over the refrigerator and filled his cup with water.
My heart is happy (and hydrated).
Need help with your hydration goals? Get in touch with me!
Take care and be well,