"Ugh, water is so booooring."
I couldn't believe my ears when my little cousin said this to me years ago. I'd grown up loving water and if we're being honest, it's always been at least 50% of my liquid consumption. (There was a brief period in my life where I drank Cool Blue Gatorade, Kool-Aid Jammers, and Lipton Brisk EXCLUSIVELY, but we're not here to talk about that today. College was a weird time for me.)
Since then, I've heard this over and over again from my friends and clients. People just get plain tired of water! Now that water is about 99% of what I drink on a daily basis, I get it. Drinking water can be a little one-note if you will, but it's so very necessary for our bodies. In addition to facilitating a host of processes, including digestion, circulation, temperature regulation, and *ahem* elimination, it helps keep our skin clear, our energy up, and our bellies full. In fact, drinking water not only reduces our appetite, it reduces the amount of calories we consume per day by replacing a bunch of sugary drinks that only add to our waistline. I mean, what's not to love?
Still, I know there are some (many) who are just plain sick of water. If you're following any of my plans (or doing the #EASEINTOKETO challenge!), you know I recommend drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. Those ounces add up—if we're being honest, even a water lover like me could use some variation.
So, how do we combat water fatigue? Try some of these add-ins to make your water more interesting!
One-ingredient add-ins (keeping it simple):
CITRUS. You already know from going to any sit-down restaurant that adding lemon to water is nice and refreshing. But don’t stop there—lime, orange, and grapefruit also make for some pretty tasty H2O. Squeeze a wedge like you would the lemon at the restaurant (or, for some of us, the lime into your drink at the bar) or slice up a whole fruit, drop the slices into a pitcher of water, and let it sit for a few hours before enjoying.
BERRIES. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries...if it’s a berry, add it in. Muddle the berries a bit before adding your water.
MELON. Now you’re getting fancy. Melon in water is delicious—think honeydew, cantaloupe, or watermelon. Muddle it a bit before adding water, then let it sit for a few hours or overnight.
CUCUMBER. It’s not just for salads and dips. There’s a reason they add cucumber to the water at spas—slices of the green vegetable help to make water super refreshing and bump up the hydration factor. Add them to your drink to feel like you’ve treated yourself.
HERBS. Think mint, basil, or even rosemary. Whichever you choose, muddle them a bit in the bottom of your glass or pitcher to release the flavor before adding water.
VANILLA. This one is weird, right? Not so much. When you’re getting a taste for something sweet, adding the seeds of a vanilla bean (or a drop or two of extract) to your water helps curb the craving.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. I’ll admit, ACV is an acquired taste. But, to that I say...acquire it! ACV is a “superfood” with a host of benefits, including improved digestion, lowering your blood sugar, and more. Some even say it helps you lose weight. Start with one teaspoon in 16 oz of water, and increase to more if you can. I add about a tablespoon to every 16 oz every morning and evening. It’s just that good for you!
Multi-ingredient add-ins (get jiggy with it):
CUCUMBER + LIME. This cooling mix is especially handy during or after exercise.
CUCUMBER + GINGER. Ginger is one of the top digestion aids, and cucumber lends a hand in that.
APPLE + CINNAMON. Yes, this will taste a little like pie! Add sliced apples and a few cinnamon sticks (4-5) to a pitcher overnight and wake up to a slice of heaven that will also help curb your appetite, thanks to the cinnamon.
TOMATO + CUCUMBER. I can tell I just blew your mind. Hey, sometimes you just want something savory, but you’re not quite hungry. This does the trick, trust me.
In need of a sweet treat:
PINEAPPLE + MINT + GINGER. This PMG will make you say OMG. (Terrible joke. I’ll see myself out.) In all seriousness, this is one of my fave all-time combos. Add a cup of pineapple chunks, an inch or so of sliced ginger, and a few muddled leaves of mint to a pitcher and let sit for a few hours or overnight before enjoying.
STRAWBERRY + BASIL. These two are a classic pairing that help make any water bottle feel luxurious. Muddle together a bit to release the flavors and then add water.
ORANGE + VANILLA. Who doesn’t like creamsicles? I don’t think I need to tell you too much more here to sell you.
STRAWBERRY + KIWI. Another classic pairing. I’m sensing a theme here.
LITE SALT. Potassium, sodium, and magnesium, otherwise known as electrolytes, are pretty important if you sweat a lot, are athletic, or are on a ketogenic diet. I know when you think of electrolytes, the first thing that comes to mind is Gatorade. Dump the sugar water and add a ¼ tsp of lite salt to 16 oz of water to combat fatigue or to help recover during or after a workout. I promise, it won’t taste salty! (This is sold in the same aisle as regular salt.)
NUUN. Not sure about adding salt to your water? No problem, grab a nuun tablet instead. I swear by these when exercising, especially during long bike rides. They come in a lot of varieties, and will add a slight carbonation to your water, but only about 5 calories. Winning!
Soda is making you fat...but you already knew that, right? Still, some habits are hard to kill. To get the feeling of soda without all the sugar, add any of the above into club or seltzer water.
And of course, La Croix.
Ah, La Croix. I personally don’t get the hype of this sparkling water—I’ve never finished a full pack, despite my many attempts—but people seem to love it. Maybe you’re one of them! You can catch this in the water or soft drinks aisle at most grocery stores these days in a variety of flavors.
With all that, you can’t possibly still think water is boring, right? Give one (or all!) of these a try and tell me what you think. And of course, this list isn’t exhaustive! There are dozens, hundreds, thousands (?) more combos out there to help keep you hydrated. Do you have a favorite? Share it in the comments below!