secret: i’m terrible at drinking water.

May 30, 2013

herbal waters James calls me a camel, imagining that I must be hiding water in a secret cavity somewhere, because he so seldom sees me drinking any.

I know I should drink water more often, and I’m trying to get better at it (I even bought an adult sippy cup!), but here’s the thing: I don’t really like water. Is that a preposterous thing to admit? Let me explain. I have a hard time drinking water right from the tap. If it’s not really cold, I can’t drink it. But to make things complicated, I’m not a huge fan of ice cubes in my water, either. Too cold!

To make up for my fussiness, we filter tap water with a brita filter and keep two glass bottles filled in the fridge so that there’s always a fresh supply of water.

You’d think I’d be satisfied.

But the truth is, I think water needs help in the flavor department. This summer, I’m making a vow to ramp up my water intake by amping up the flavor.

Over the weekend I experimented with two different herbal combinations that are perfect for the season. I combined lovage, lemonbalm, and lemon peel to make a water that’s sharp and fresh, and strawberry, sweet woodruff, and stevia for a water that’s just a little bit sweet. You can find the recipes over on Gardenista.

But now I need to know: are you guys big water drinkers? What’s your secret?

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  • Reply Tidy-Up Gal May 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    so glad I'm not alone – I just started drinking more water, and I don't even think it's enough. I'm weird about where the water comes from – I prefer bottled water, room temperature. I do know and see that water has great effects on my skin, so I convince myself that it's worth it!

    • Reply Erin May 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Fascinating! Bottled room temp water makes me gag straight away! So many different preferences here!

  • Reply Georgie May 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I'm like you – I don't like the taste, especially from the tap! Cold water is better, but if I'm trying to drink it I always add a little fruit juice. (I'm not a fan of straight fruit juice either, I prefer it with water – fussy!) I'll have to try your recipes! Xox

  • Reply Nina May 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I actually love plain water, but here are a few additional ideas for you in case they help: Do you like sparkling water? There are brands that come with "hints of flavor" but they aren't sweet or sugary. Also, could you add a splash of coconut water? Or a few slices of cucumber? I'm sure you've thought of this, but I'm a huge herbal iced tea drinker in the summer.

    As for making the effort to stay hydrated, I find that keeping water (or my beverage of choice) close by and available is the biggest help. I have even been known to have a post-it on my laptop that says, "Are you thirsty?". 🙂

    • Reply Erin May 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Yes, the keeping water out and available is very wise. Yesterday, I kept a filled glass on my desk and it worked wonders!

  • Reply Ashley Elizabeth May 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    I love water, but sometimes I get tired of just drinking water by itself. I do find I drink more water throughout the day if I have it in a water bottle or drink it through a straw, that way I can keep it ice cold (because like you, I love cold water but I hate ice cubes in my water). As for flavor, I love adding a bit of lime juice and agave nectar for sweetness, or just adding in some fresh lemon juice. I've also tried cucumber water, which is amazing as well.

  • Reply Abby May 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I love water, especially cold from the fridge. One thing that helps me is keeping it in a water bottle nearby–if I'm distracted or trying not to do work, I end up drinking water! It's pretty handy.

    I've also heard that the "8 glasses a day" rule is actually true for any liquid, not just water. So if you drink tea or juice during the day, those count, too.

  • Reply Kristen May 30, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I am, I drink A LOT of water every day. I like it on the cold side but hate ice so I drink it through a straw. I drink more with the straw and no ice chunks. 🙂 I usually have it plain, but when I do flavour it I use lemon and lime. To Ashley… You are correct, cucumber water is VERY yummy too.

    • Reply Erin May 31, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      Such a good tip! I used one of our glass straws yesterday and *gulped* water all day!

  • Reply Jenny @ BAKE May 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I am exactly the same, ! I am going to have to try these recipes!

  • Reply April May 30, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I don't drink water at all. Friends always carry around water bottles and I am constantly picking them up at work and putting empty bottles in the bin. I have a phobia of drinking water from a bottle and yet, even when I'm home I'll opt for something else as opposed to water. On the upside, my older sister is the same and we regularly discuss the water conversation (both of our boyfriends are avid water drinkers)and we don't feel any different to them. So we've decided to count our continuous tea drinking (10 cups per day)and call that our 'water' drinking. After all, it's still hot water and a tea bag.

  • Reply SarahE May 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I definitely drink more water when I keep sparkling water on hand. I buy twelve packs of La Croix cans (super cheap!) every week, and usually take two or three to work everyday. I do feel guilty for creating more waste, but feel (slightly) better that they're aluminum cans rather than plastic bottles.

    I'll echo the above comments and put in a plug for iced tea. We keep a big pitcher of homemade tea in the fridge all the time, and I love filling a bottle with that for the day, too. Your concoctions look gorgeous and sound delicious!

  • Reply cecille joan May 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Straws are super helpful, especially if you get in the habit of drinking absentmindedly when you're doing something at a desk/stationary for a prolonged period of time (and then it eventually makes you have to get up, which is also good). Apparently I'm part dolphin or whatever when it comes to my water consumption, so I've never had a problem with tap water, but I do like substituting ice cubes for frozen pieces of fruit sometimes and then eating them after. 🙂

    Make sure that if you're replacing water with tea that they're low in caffeine – teas with a high caffeine content are going to dehydrate you more regular water will hydrate you. Good luck!

  • Reply Fey May 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I usually drink water in the form of coffee. Does that count? 🙂
    I prefer to drink my water with lemon, I feel that it helps balance my pH.

  • Reply Mélanie Bonenfant May 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Here are 2 tips I'd like to share:

    The very first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is to drink a filtered glass of water. Then, after the shower, I like to drink my water at room temperature (or a little warmer if I'm feeling cold) with half a lemon juice. It's super, it gives me a boost every time! What a wonderful way to start a bright new day!

    The rest of the day is a little trickier for me… I tend to forget to drink more water. Any tips on that?

    • Reply Erin May 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Oh gosh, you're asking the wrong girl! I really admire your ability to drink water first thing in the morning. That's a no go for me. Coffee or tea, great! A glass of water first thing? I just can't!

  • Reply the hummingbird May 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    I am similar. Unless I'm really thinking about drinking enough water, I can go a whole day with maybe a couple cups. But, what seems to help me, is a large mason jar full of water right when i get up. Then I keep filling it up throughout the day. I love the idea of adding herbs! Thanks for your post!

  • Reply Kate Legnetti May 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    You need a cup with a straw! I too was a camel, especially sitting at my desk at work all day, but the straw helps SO much. Its totally mental, but you'll find yourself sipping because its there, I swear it!

  • Reply Kahleel Hamilton May 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Lemon juice, cucumber and mint. Basil, strawberries and lemon also a good combo.
    There are so many options out there now that taste great and offer some awesome health benefits. It really helps with flavor.

  • Reply emily @ cabin fervor May 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    My water intake is quite dismal, though I'm getting a little better since my office sprung for a water cooler earlier this month. (The tap water here tasted like iodine, even filtered through my trusty Brita water bottle.) I am not good enough at advanced planning to keep lemons, cucumber, berries, mint, etc. readily available at the office, but at home any of these plunked in a glass of sparkling water or seltzer is a big help.

  • Reply Beth May 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    I'm really enjoying sparkling water with freshly squeezed lemon. It's refreshing, hydrating, and especially tasty.

  • Reply laurab May 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    One big glass when you wake up! One thing I learned two summers ago was a spoonful of RAW unprocessed honey and a dash of apple cider vinegar, and if you have any citrus around, add that! It tastes like home-made gatorade!!!!!! But I think your herbal ones sound awesome!

  • Reply Clean May 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I'm not a water lover either. I've found a few things that help: I definitely agree with the straw thing; for some reason, I drink out of my cold beverage tumbler/straw jammie much more than out of any other kind of glass. I'm also a big fan of fancying up my water with citrus and mint or mixing flavored sparkling waters with a little fruit juice. And I rely heavily on unsweetened teas – green, black, herbal – whatever I'm in the mood for that day!

  • Reply Aja May 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I'm so so with water but I feel so much better after I drink it. My boyfriend bought me one of these small-opening nalgenes which HUGELY increased my intake.

    I think the key is the small opening bc its easier to drink from. I keep one big one at work and one at home. They're not the prettiest but they do the trick!

  • Reply Nicole May 30, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I was never a big water drinker either – until I got a kidney stone. Probably one of the most painful experiences of my life. I was told to drink more water to reduce the risk of having another one, and now I always have a glass by my side! I love your idea for adding fruit and herbs for some taste. I add lemons to my water too 🙂

    • Reply Erin May 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Oh, dear! Cautionary tale!

  • Reply JC Carter May 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I may be a wierdo but I really like warm water, like luke warm, or even tea temperature. It just seems to go down easier.

  • Reply Leslie Castro May 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I drink a lot of tea, which is just flavored water!

    • Reply Leslie Castro May 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      (And tea from a tea bag or loose leaf tea – no iced tea sugar water for me!)

  • Reply Anonymous May 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I love water, but it's all about the city you live in and the water they provide (and maybe the pipes in your building). I couldn't stand the water in our Brooklyn apartment. And country well water makes me sick. I now live in Minneapolis and the water everywhere here is amazing. Denver area also has delicious water. Someone should do a city water taste test and get to the bottom of this dehydration dilemma.

  • Reply Kim in NC May 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    I've made it a habit to drink 64oz of water each day because 1) I know it's good for me and 2)it makes me feel less guilty about all the Diet Coke I drink with lunch and dinner(which isn't good for me)! I start by drinking a 16oz cup each morning with breakfast and throughout the day gulp down another 3 cups. Drinking each cup all at once helps keep me on track; otherwise I'll forget that I didn't refill a cup that already had water in it.

  • Reply Harri Davison May 30, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Lovely recipes, I'd start drinking more water if it looked like this, pretty, pretty!


  • Reply sweet harvest moon May 30, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    I love water with a slice of lemon. Drinking water is good for you so I alwas have my Brita next to me…
    Loving your recipes, trying them out this summer!

  • Reply Rachel May 30, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    I drink a completely ridiculous amount of water and always have. If I let myself get too thirsty then I get overly excited when I finally get water and drink so much so quickly that my stomach hurts. So I may have the opposite problem?

    Sparkling water might help, but I know you probably aren't eager to get another appliance in your tiny kitchen!

    Just having water out helps a lot. I have a large cup on my desk at work that I refill with ice water throughout the day and at home I drink cold Brita water out of the fridge. D and I always have a cup of water out at home and whenever one of us gets up to refill we refill the other person's cup as well. Peer pressure!

    • Reply Erin May 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Ha! So funny. Sparkling water does help, but the extra appliance is definitely a no-go, alas (as are the cans or bottled varieties). But yes, yes to having water around. Yesterday, I kept my glass filled (and used a straw) and I think I drank a record amount of water! All of this encouragement helped, too!

  • Reply Rachel May 30, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Oh, and herbal tea! I drink peppermint during the winter (multiple big mugs throughout the day) and during the summer I try to keep hibiscus or other flavored but not sweetened varieties in the fridge at home.

  • Reply *karen May 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I love drinking plain water. I think it just became a habit. I definitely *feel* better when I'm hydrated. Perhaps you don't like plain water because of the taste of the tap where you live? Nonetheless, your flavored water sounds yummy.

  • Reply Norma May 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I drink lots of water but I only like warm water. I'm not a huge tea or coffee drinker so I mostly drink warm water all day and night.

  • Reply Colleen D. May 30, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I bought a nalgene and carry it EVERYWHERE with me. It makes me drink more because the bottle is so heavy when it's full that I'll drink more just to make it a lighter load. I try to drink the entire bottle before the end of work, and once more before I go to bed. Sometimes I'll throw a few lemon slices in my ice cubes so the flavor changes during the day 🙂

  • Reply sarah May 30, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I don't like water, the taste actually makes me sick. But it's now recognised that we don't need to drink as much water as they used to say. We get alot from our food and other sources, eg tea and coffee. Some people are even making themselves unwell by drinking a whole lot of extra water. Recently I bought a special bottle which has a purifier inside. So when I'm out and about I have cold, pure water in this handy bottle. It doesn't make me feel quite as queasy as tap water.

  • Reply Sabriel May 30, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    I love water and these recipes (are they recipes?) are gorgeous, but WHERE DID YOU GET THAT SPOON? I'm so distracted by it, it's lovely.

  • Reply Heidi Orcutt May 31, 2013 at 12:11 am

    I have a Bkr water bottle and I love it! The small opening is nice and the handle makes it really easy for toting around. I try to finish the bottle before lunch and fill it up again when I go to lunch. Also I love La Croix sparkling water, the coconut flavor and the lime are my favorites. The cans are recyclable!

  • Reply thenerdykatie May 31, 2013 at 12:32 am

    I used to HATE water, but after getting kidney stones at the start of the year from not drinking it I have learned to live with it. Giving up soda for lent really helped me, now it's to sweet for me so I find myself turning to water more and more.

  • Reply Suzan May 31, 2013 at 1:21 am

    I'm with Sarah. I loathe the taste of water – although I think that may be caused by my dental work. Lots of ice helps, as does carbonation and some kind of flavoring. I think one either loves or hates stevia and I'm definitely in the latter camp {gag, gag, gag}, so it's Splenda for me. In the summer I make iced green & citrus tea, which I cut with a glug of bottled fizzy water.

    • Reply Erin May 31, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners, but have you tried fresh stevia (from the plant?)! It's kind of amazing!

  • Reply Wendy ~ May 31, 2013 at 3:53 am

    I'm okay with plain water as long as it's icy cold. We bought a Brita filter for the faucet once, and that was a waste of money and plastic. Even filtered water is unpleasant if it's not cold enough. I don't like flavored water (i.e. with a lemon slice or Propel), but I love a good, PLAIN iced tea. I have a stainless steel reusable cup from Starbucks that I keep with me and full of tea all the time.

  • Reply Alexis May 31, 2013 at 3:55 am

    im with you on the temperature issue – room temperature kicks in my gag reflex and ice cold hurts my teeth. i also favor coffee [hot or iced] over water 99% of the time. but adding cucumber slices and lime wedges to my water has really helped to shift my feelings about drinking water. happy sipping.

  • Reply katie//salt+pine May 31, 2013 at 4:31 am

    I am the same way! I just don't seem to have a thirst trigger. I've really been focusing on upping my water consumption in the last month or so. (It is amazing to me to realize how much you are supposed to drink in order to stay hydrated…I think I must have been dehydrated most of my life. Oops!) I'm starting to get a bit unmotivated, so thanks for the flavor suggestions!

    • Reply Erin May 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      Yes! No thirst trigger! (Is that a thing)?

  • Reply Anonymous May 31, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Add a tiny bit of extract of vanilla. Delicious!
    Trish xo

  • Reply mell bbxox May 31, 2013 at 6:58 am

    I'm a determined water drinker but some days I just find its taste so "tasteless" and on those days I drink two bottles of mineral water just the compensate the minerals that I couldn't get from the water.

  • Reply Laura. May 31, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I drink a lot of water, and I guess I'd say that my secret is the bottle that I carry! I carry a 40 oz. Klean Kanteen with me almost everywhere I go. There are a few tricks that go along with this. Firstly, when it's full, it's pretty heavy–and I don't like to carry a heavy bottle around with me. That's what will get me to start drinking it. Then, I find that once I've been drinking a steady amount of water, I can tell really well when my body needs and wants some more. The more water I drink, the easier it is to see when my body is lacking it!

  • Reply Julia Barger May 31, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I used to HATE drinking water! I started forcing myself to drink more (went off anything else for a year), and after a couple weeks of drinking just water my body started craving it!

  • Reply tinajo May 31, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I often forget as well, so I have to words of wisdom – but I´ll read what others have to say here so maybe I´ll improve..!

  • Reply Debs June 1, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Since chemo Im just nit thirsty. I have to force myself to drink.

  • Reply daniela tarelli June 1, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I've just read this post. I love bottled water, no matter if it's cold or room temp. I'm use to drink more than 2 lts per day. I know, it's a lot! Apart from that, I'm argentinian, so i spent most of my day drinking "mate". As you may see, I've no problems with water!!
    Although I love those recipes! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply daniela tarelli June 1, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I've just read this post. I love bottled water, no matter if it's cold or room temp. I'm use to drink more than 2 lts per day. I know, it's a lot! Apart from that, I'm argentinian, so i spent most of my day drinking "mate". As you may see, I've no problems with water!!
    Although I love those recipes! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply Inge June 2, 2013 at 3:43 am

    I am a big water drinker, but for me it's easy because I love the taste, although it does vary from place to place. I don't like sweet drinks and like my drinks to be refreshing, so water is perfect. I don't have any tips if you don't like it, except for always having a glass of water nearby so you can easily reach it if you're thirsty (instead of going to get something else). I do think that if you stop drinking other drinks, except for tea of course, you might develop a taste for it. That's how it went for me.

  • Reply kathleen June 3, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Oh man… I'm awful about drinking water sometimes. We put a filter on our tap and use that to fill a 2-gallon dispenser that we keep in the fridge so there's always cold water available. And during the summer, I make pitcher after pitcher of iced tea (half green tea or yerba mate + half mint – SO refreshing, especially with a squeeze of lemon!).

    I'll definitely need to check out your recipes tho – I adore infused waters!

  • Reply Sarah Dee June 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Oh god. This was just like reading my thoughts.

    x dotti dee

  • Reply Ashley June 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Invest in a Camelbak water bottle with a bite valve! Ever since I bought one of these, I easily drink four (4) 32 oz servings a day. I don't know what it is…I guess the bite valve is fun to drink out of? Try it!

  • Reply Kathleen June 13, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I used to be a terrible water drinker, but I pushed myself using just the same techniques (adding fruit or herbs) really helped make it a habit for me! Now I'm addicted to it!

    Top tip: find a Bach flower essence that addresses you and add it to your water. It doesn't change the flavour, but for some reason it makes me feel like I have to take it (like my vitamins). There's something fabulous and psychological at work there!


  • Reply theteacupany September 12, 2013 at 6:34 am

    I thought I was the only one that really just didn't enjoy water! As others have mentioned I find myself just drinking teas, but after a full day of drinking black tea I don't find my body feeling hydrated so I usually switch to a tisane or herbal tea in the middle of the day and it keeps the fluids in me better.

    As you can probably tell one of my favorite new tea like drinks is rooibos and it is just amazing.!

  • Reply Anonymous September 19, 2014 at 12:35 am

    A little late to the discussion! but, if you can get it, mineral water is amazing! I drank almost no water until I discovered it – tastes mildly salty at first but is soo thirst quenching and I find myself reaching for it and wanting it in a way i never will with tap or even filtered water!

  • Reply Anonymous December 15, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Recently in the past few weeks I was engaged in drinking tea to help me lose more weight, since I got nothing on my mibd but to exercise and drink tea tbh I always forget to drink water. I consume 3 pots of jasmine tea everyday, I thought there was nothibg wrong with what im doing becausewe all have the idea that tea is healthy. Since then Ive been experiencing thick saliva/ dry mouth. Having a dry mouth means that im dehydrated. So yeah tea is not healthy for you if you dont drink water after or at least 8 glasses a day (I feel pregnant every damn time, im always full with fluids)

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