Water accounts for about 70 percent of your weight and is a must for every system in your body to function properly. The Institute of Medicine’s guidelines for fluids for both sexes is as follows: 2.7 liters (91 ounces; about 11 cups) for women; and 3.7 liters (125 ounces, about 15 cups), for men, per day; most Americans don’t meet the guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 35 percent of Americans drink four to seven cups a day of water while 22 percent drink eight cups or more. The rest of us drink zero to three cups of water daily.
But wait, did you know some folks actually detest water?
According to a study featured in the Chicago Tribune, almost half of Americans are not drinking enough water. And according to Paula Burke, a clinical dietitian at MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, Illinois, “Mentally and physically, we’re better off being hydrated! The human body is about 70 percent water; we need it. It helps our circulation, makes us feel better, helps rid our bodies of toxins and prevents constipation. And drinking water before meals helps you eat less if you’re trying to lose weight.” It also helps prevent things like (the extremely painful and unpleasant) kidney stones.
Staying hydrated is especially crucial for aging adults. As we get older, body water content decreases, the risk for dehydration increases, and the consequences become more serious. Dehydration in older adults has been associated with impaired cognition or acute confusion, falling or constipation.
Why do some folks hate water?
There is a category of people who are supertasters. Scientists claim these people have an excess of papillae, the teeny bumps on a tongue that contain clusters of taste buds. These supertasters have a heightened sense of taste, there is an intensity in whatever they consume. The trace particulates and minerals found in H2O can trigger some pretty awful and bitter tastes for supertasters.
The second reason why someone might hate water is that their mouth’s taste receptors are constantly resetting themselves according to their surrounding circumstances, so they don’t always taste something in the same way.
Well, whether you’re a supertaster or not, we all need water in order to survive! But how do you drink a liquid you find disgusting? Even if you’re not an H2O fan, here are some tips that might help you get it down the hatch:
Eat your water. Opt for fruits and veggies with high water content. Watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, cantaloupe, strawberries, oranges, radishes, grapefruit, pineapple, broccoli, iceberg lettuce, spinach, cabbage, peppers, many of these foods are hugely hydrating and at least 90 percent water by weight. Try eating at least two servings of these fruits and veggies at each meal.
Consume other drinks. Water is the best form of hydration, but there are other beverages as well that can keep you from dehydrating like milk, natural juices, unsweetened teas, sparkling waters and yes, even coffee. Word to the wise, watch the sugar and calorie content of the beverages you consume.
Flavor your water. Adding a bit of yummy to plain water makes it flavorful when you guzzle it down. Great additions like basil, lemon, lime, cucumber or even mint add pizzazz to any glass of water. Try throwing in a few frozen berries like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries or raspberries to a glass of H2O to make it more appetizing.
Try changing temps. Try drinking water at various temps. Maybe drinking water with crushed ice or cubes will get you guzzling. Perhaps water at room temperature or even heated might be more to your liking.
Add a splash of juice or toss in flavored ice cubes. Experiment with adding just a splash of a favorite diet soda, or juice like cranberry or apple to a tall glass of water. Make ice cubes out of an unsweetened juice and add them to your water.
Add flavor packets. There are tons of flavor packets that will make water more drinkable for those who hate it. One to try–Emergen-C, it is full of vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants, plus more Vitamin C than 10 oranges.
If you still need a little help with getting your daily water fix. Well, there’s an app for that! Hydration tracking apps such as Waterlogged, iHydrate or Fig will help you track how much water you’re guzzling down. These apps also provide you with reminders to build good water drinking habits.