Hating on H2O

By Spicer Matthews

water alternatives

Not too long ago, before it (thankfully) fell out of fashion, bottled water was all the rage. It was common knowledge that the more you paid, the better it was. A few years ago, you couldn’t go 5 minutes without catching a glimpse of someone with a brightly colored Nalgene bottle. These days, everyone has a BPA-free aluminum water bottle or four, perfect for filling at the tap, which is now trendy. Whatever the container, the thing that made all these accessories valuable was what went in them: Water.

To which I say, “not thirsty.”

I’m something of an anomaly, apparently: I don’t like water.

I mean, I love it when I’ve been exercising and my throat is dry and the water is cold. Times like that, it’s the only thing I want to drink. But keeping a bottle with me at all times? No. Grabbing a glass as I pass through the kitchen? Why, when there are tastier options – like soda or wine – at hand?
I may be weird, but I’m not unique. I stumbled into a conversation with a friend a year or so ago in which he was complaining about not liking water. It was exciting to find someone who shared my antipathy towards perhaps the most precious natural resource. Water’s just so… boring, we agreed.

For whatever reason, I just don’t like the taste (and yes, I see the irony of that statement). Water is healthy, of course, but I figured calorie-free diet soda was OK. So I was dismayed to see this article about a study that suggests diet soda might not be OK after all.

The study found a link between diet soda and a larger waist size. And by “larger,” we’re talking 70 percent greater than people who didn’t drink diet soda. It’s even worse news for people who had two or more diet sodas a day: Their waists were 500 percent bigger.
The research also delved into health consequences of artificial sweeteners, but I’m a vain person and the waist-size data grabbed my attention more – maybe 500 percent more – than the health stuff.  Yowza.

So I’m embarking on a quest to find alternatives to both water and diet soda. Most juice has a high amount of sugar; milk has lots of calories; and alcoholic beverages are clearly not suitable for on-the-job consumption (not my job, anyway). I was intrigued to read about the backstory of Hint, which was created by a woman who was addicted to Diet Coke but didn’t like water (perhaps we were separated at birth). It’s not available in my city yet, but I plan to track it down and test it out. I’m also planning to do some of my own flavored-water creations.

If you’ve got wet-your-whistle suggestions, fire away. I promise to give them a try, at least until someone says they’ll make my waist way bigger than my aqua-chugging friends.