Do you absolutely hate the taste of water? You are not alone; for many people, staying hydrated is difficult for this exact reason. And dehydration is no joke. It can happen quickly and result in fatigue, loss of concentration, dizziness, confusion, and of course – less frequent urination. We lose water regularly through sweating, breathing, and going to the bathroom. If any of those has increased, we probably need to be drinking more. Special cases of water loss include breastfeeding and illness (through diarrhea or vomiting).

One solution to staying hydrated when you hate water has been to find ways to flavor it.

Here Are a Few Ideas to Try Flavoring Your Water

Experiment with infusions.

Water infusion has become all the rage in the last few years – search Amazon for pitchers and bottles with infusers built in, or use a tea infuser for a one-serving batch. A French press is also a great way to infuse at home.

Classic flavors include citrus such as lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit. Strawberry is also a favorite, along with mint. Here are a few more novel suggestions to try out, if none of the above strikes your fancy:

– Carrot and ginger: Use a cheese grater or zester and pack into an infuser!
– Tomato basil: Take a classic savory approach.
– Fresh Jalapeno: Need a kick? Choose celery or frozen pineapple as a companion to boost flavor.
– Melon and mint: Melon is juicy and hydrating on its own; try honeydew, cantaloupe, or watermelon, depending on personal preference.
– Apple cinnamon: Green with a cinnamon stick for a tart flavor, or Fuji for a sweet-loving palette.
– Cucumber with lemongrass, parsley, or basil: For those who aren’t fans of sweet or tart, go for herbaceous.
– Fennel: Find these licorice-flavored bulbs at a Whole Foods, slice, and infuse. Try the feathery leaves too, if the bulbs don’t do it for you.
– Salt: straight electrolytes; for fans of savory, this might just be a simple solution. But take care with amounts – a little will go a long way.
Apple cider vinegar: Again, a little dab will do you, if you like sour but citrus is too sweet.

Check out the Food Network and Wise Bread for more ideas on flavored water infusions!

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Cut it with 100% fruit juice.

Did you know that 4 ounces (1/2 a cup) of 100% real fruit juice counts as a fruit serving? Mix it in with one or two servings of water and get a serving of fruit in the process! Check the ingredient label of the juice to make sure it is made only from the fruit you’re choosing. Choose the juices of fruits high in antioxidants, such as blueberry, cranberry, or cherry. Trader Joe’s carries frozen packets of acai that can be used as ice cubes. Apple and grape juices typically don’t have a high level of nutrients.

Mix in your favorite seltzer.

Is it carbonation that will help you get it down? Go for half seltzer and half water, and give your hydration some fizzy lifting. Choose a flavor or go plain, and consider adding in either one of the flavor combos or any of the juice recommendations above.

Choose a flavored sports drink.

Nothing wrong with coconut water or sports drinks, if it’s the only thing that will get the job done for you. If you rely on more than one serving of these drinks per day for adequate hydration, consider either cutting them with water or choosing a sugar-free option to help manage overall sugar intake for the day. That being said, if you’re an endurance athlete (exercising for more than 60 minutes at a time), fear not the sugar of a sports drink – your body will use it to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and replenish glycogen stores.

Make a pitcher of iced tea or lemonade for the fridge.

Plenty of low or no-sugar options for pre-made drinks exist out there! Use them without fear that they are inferior to pure water. Better yet, brew your own black or green tea, or squeeze your own lemons. That way you can control the amount and the type of sugar used in those drinks.

Love brewed tea but sick of the same basic flavors? Try an online tea subscription service like the Plum Tea Club, a small company that crafts small-batch organic tea blends and sends them out to their members monthly!

waterBonus Tip: How much water is enough?

There are many standard calculations out there to determine how much water you should be drinking in a day. The classic recommendation is eight cups per day, or 64 ounces (just about 2 liters). A more practical approach, if measuring water is not for you, is the color test.

Check the color of your urine throughout the day; it should be the color of lightly squeezed lemons. If it’s darker, refill that water bottle!

If it’s clear, you may be drinking water faster than your body can actually absorb and process. Aim for small consistent amounts throughout the day as opposed to two or three huge servings. If you drink a lot of water but still feel thirsty – this might be why! If you adjust your intake and still feel thirsty despite good hydration levels, check in with your doctor to make sure nothing else is going on.