UNC Health Care

Do You Hate Drinking Water?

Do you hate drinking water or know someone who does? Is it the boring taste, or do you just forget? Is there someone in your life who never seems to drink anything that isn’t colored or sweetened?

Well, water-avoiders of the world, it’s time to change. This is especially important in these hot summer months, when dehydration is a concern.

Drinking water is key to optimal health and is essential. Your body is about 60 to 70 percent water, and water helps provide a balance of body fluids, keeps your skin looking healthy, assists your kidney health and helps maintain normal bowel function.

According to Natalie Newell, registered dietitian for REX Wellness Center of Wakefield, while it’s a good rule of thumb to consume at least 64 ounces of water per day, “no single person is the same, so it’s important to pay attention to your daily hydration needs. A great way to pay attention to your hydration level is to pay attention to your thirst level and urine output and color.”

You need to drink fluids daily, even though foods like fruits and vegetables can provide you with some liquids. Consuming foods with high water content also allows you to feel fuller, helping you control calorie intake.

Foods with high water content include:

  • Fruits and vegetables like watermelon, celery, tomatoes, melon and oranges
  • Soups
  • Popsicles (but watch the sugar)
  • Smoothies (same sugar warning here)

But you should still be drinking:

  • Plain old water (the best choice)
  • Hot or cold tea, unsweetened
  • Coconut water
  • Sparkling water
  • Natural juices—make sure there’s no sugar added, and drink in moderation
  • Water with added fresh fruit

For all the people who dislike the taste of water, here are some tips to make it easier to enjoy:

  • Add crushed ice and a squeeze of lemon 
  • Add cucumber, strawberries or other fresh fruit or vegetables
  • Find a bottle or special cup you enjoy using, especially one that keeps water ice-cold
  • Use a water-tracking app to gamify water consumption
  • Set goals, like 40 ounces of water before lunch and then 40 ounces before dinner

Want to talk to a dietitian about what you eat and drink? Contact UNC Wellness Centers or REX Wellness Centers online to make an appointment.