7 ways to stay hydrated during the day even if you hate water

Yes, I get it. Water is super important. There’s just one problem. I have never liked it.

Yes, I get it. Water is super important. There’s just one problem. I have never liked it. When I watch people down a giant glass of water at a restaurant I sit back in amazement. I mean, it’s just so boring. No flavor, no bubbles, no color? No thank you. But the problem is, humans apparently really need water.  Yes, I have known this since I was like 5-years-old but I took the whole 8 cups a day as more of a suggestion (plus, whose got the time for that?) Well, I learned this the hard way when I recently went to the hospital for dehydration after spending the day running around and working out in the hot Miami sun and mostly drinking diet soda (maybe a few sips of water during my spin class.) In other words, I was screwed.

Our brain is made up of 73% water so if you aren’t getting enough water, you ain’t functioning. Forget focus, alertness and productivity at work, you could end up with a fever, fainting and or having dangerously low blood pressure. Plus, your brain actually shrinks when you don’t drink water and I don’t mean in the good $150 an hour therapist on Park Ave way. I mean you are literally losing brain volume. One study even equated a dehydrated brain to driving a vehicle while drunk because your reaction times are so slowed. Whoa.

In other words, if you don’t drink enough you can also find yourself in a Miami ER at 2 AM trying to explain your diet choice of four Diet Dr. Peppers and Pixie Stix to a doctor.

So now I am at least trying to make an effort to drink more throughout the day, especially during these very rough summer heat waves. It is hard but I’ve found a few things do work.

1. Get a cool water bottle

At the end of the day, something shiny always makes things better. So many stores and companies sell fun water bottles now. Get one with a fun slogan like “This may be coffee or is it wine?” No, it’s water.

2. Add some flavor

OK, yes, plain water is best but a little lemon won’t hurt you or you could put a Liquid IV packet in it. It hydrates you faster and gives the water a little flavor.

3. Have a salad

Wait, what? But some fruits and vegetables consist mainly of water (an apple has 85%.) Leafy greens are also a great source of water plus you are getting vitamins and nutrients.

4. Drink some tea

This one works for me because the word tea doesn’t sound anything like water even though it is just a hot cup of flavored water. Plus it is full of antioxidants and phytochemicals.

5. Try a fruit water

OK so on the days when I really can’t do the water I drink WTRMLN WTR. First of all, anything Beyonce drinks, I’m all about. Secondly, it is delicious. And like the fruit watermelon, it is full of nutrients, vitamins and electrolytes (550mg of potassium), Citrulline and Lycopene (for muscle health and antioxidants). It is ideal for staving off dehydration. Coconut water is also great.

6. Drink other beverages

Milk, juice, tea and sparkling water all will at least help you stay hydrated. And believe it or not, coffee does not dehydrate you.  “In a healthy body, it’s very unlikely that a few cups of coffee are the cause of your dull skin, or headaches, or overall feeling of dryness—at least, not through the mechanism of dehydration,” Jennifer Haythe, M.D., a cardiologist and internist at Columbia University told MarieClaire.com. 

7. IV Therapy

IV Therapy is the latest health trend and like a regular IV it will pack you full of vitamins and nutrients as well as keep you hydrated. Just be ready to shell out some dough.

Meredith Lepore|is the Deputy Editor of Ladders and can be reached at mlepore@theladders.com.