Water is the source of all life and obviously the most essential liquid on our planet: It can’t get much better than that, right? Wrong.
Despite this accolade, not all drinking water is created equal and not all drinking water is created delicious. Lucky for all of us (who should be drinking at least half an ounce per pound of body weight daily), there are quick and easy remedies to improve the overall flavor quality of our H2O. In fact, water can be as nuanced as a glass of wine, which is why we now have water experts and sommeliers to steer our palates in a more tasty direction.
Tips and tricks for making water taste better
Eric Laarakker, a researcher and co-creator of water purifying device Ańalemma and Israel Perez, the maître d’hotel and sommelier of Walt Disney World’s Victoria and Albert’s restaurant, believe the first step in increasing one’s water intake is to ensure the water being consumed tastes good. Each spoke with Yahoo Life about their own ways of making water more palatable, from delicious citrus-herb enhancements to the need for a good filter.
That Brita water filter is your bestie — at least when it comes to improving the taste of your water.
“The quickest way to change the taste [of water] is through filtration,” says Laarakker.
Perez echoes this sentiment, explaining the detailed process he takes to ensure his restaurant’s water quality is superior to others. “We have selected a filtration system to remove sediment and biologics from our local water source,” he explains. “The system starts with carbon filtration, which eliminates particles above .5 microns and removes flavor profiles of chlorine found in many city waters.”
Rather than drinking straight from the tap, consider purchasing a filter that will flush out anything outside of the one oxygen and two hydrogen molecules water is made of.
Thinking about just buying filtered bottled water instead? Forget about it.
“Water should be kept in glass bottles, not plastic bottles,” advises Laarakker. “Especially in places where the temperature is high. High temperature influences the plastic and it starts to dissolve in the water, changing both its taste and quality. The best possible water is pure source water, not purified or bottled.”
Whether you prefer your water sparkling in a can or carbonated through an appliance like a SodaStream, adding bubbles is a wonderful way to spruce up your standard Adam’s ale. You can even opt for a naturally carbonated variety like Ferrarelle or Perez’s favorite, Badoit — a mineral water sourced from France.
And yes, carbonated water is just as hydrating as still. You just may be subjected to a few burps and belly rumbles along the way.
Adding a flavored powder or liquid to water or infusing water in a pitcher with produce are just a few clever ways to upgrade your water-drinking experience.
“I like to add high-quality organic herbs to water,” shares Laaraaker. “Since water carries the memory of whatever you put inside, the healing effects of herbs will penetrate the water and, through water, penetrate the body.”
Some popular flavor combinations include orange and rosemary, lemon and thyme and cucumber and mint, though you can take practically any fruit and herb and concoct your own innovative creation.
One of Perez’s favorite blends, which proves flavored water can complement food in the same way wine does, includes citrus zest, yuzu, juniper, parsley and rosemary to match the earthiness of Victoria and Albert’s cauliflower and caviar course.
How to motivate yourself to drink more water
Sticking to the aforementioned half ounce of water per pound of body weight can be quite difficult, especially for the person on the go, but there are a few easy ways to encourage healthier hydration habits.
Buy a motivating — or extra fancy — water bottle
Many water bottles and jugs are about as corny as a “live, laugh, love” sign from Etsy, but some — with printed levels, times of day and motivational messages like “you can do it” or “almost there” — can actually encourage you to finish what you’ve started.
But if you absolutely can’t stomach these, invest in a high-tech or stylish alternative that will encourage you to fill up and use it every day. Not only will the purchase keep your water ice-cold, but its sleek and modern design will pair with any head-to-toe look. You’ll also cut back on the use of plastic, which ultimately helps the environment.
Change up your routine by attaching it to another
Aside from the tips of filtering, carbonating or flavoring your water, it may be in your best interest to tack a chugging session onto another part of your daily routine. For example, when you take vitamins, chug an entire glass. Before you brush your teeth, chug an entire glass. Before you start any meal, chug that glass. The act will eventually become second nature and you’ll be well on your way to reaching daily hydration goals without even realizing it.
Look for other water sources through food
There are many fruits and vegetables comprised predominantly of water. These include cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, apples, celery and peaches. Not only will refreshing produce count toward your total, but they’ll also bring a bevy of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to strengthen your immune system — a win-win!
Be more active
Take 30 minutes out of your day to go on a walk or jog. Even the smallest level of activity will activate thirst, which you’ll want to quench immediately.
Alter your general attitude towards water
Laarakker says the, “best way for people to motivate themselves to drink more water is to understand what water is and what water does in our bodies.”
“There are whole worlds hidden in water. People don’t realize this, but 99% of our molecules are water,” he adds. “We are basically very clever H2O. That’s why the quality of the water we drink has an extraordinarily powerful influence on our overall health and wellness. The right kind of water can rejuvenate your entire biology, it can powerfully influence your microbiome and it can influence the state of your mind by enhancing your brain waves.”
And since your brain is made up of mostly water, consider drinking it to be an experience that is not only beneficial, but entirely meta.
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