I couldn’t drink water without gagging until I was a teenager because I was raised on milk, soft drinks and juice. I never acquired a taste for water.
When I became a teenager I overcome my distaste for the blandness of water. Here’s how you can too:
Step 1: Google the health benefits of water
Spend 30 minutes Googling the health benefits of water. This will give you motivation to cultivate the habit of drinking water.
Step 2: Exercise without water
The most important change that lead to me overcoming my own disgust for plain water was experiencing uncomfortable thirst for the first time in my life. How? I wanted to achieve a sub six minute mile for a school physical fitness test. I would walk to the track near my house after school everyday and run. I didn’t take anything to drink with me because it was only a mile. When I walked back to my house and caught my breath, my mouth was dry and I was really thirsty. I couldn’t drink flavored beverages fast enough to ease my thirst, so I instinctively went for a drink of water. It tasted… okay! These were the first times in my life I could drink water without gagging.
Now you do it. Go do cardio at the gym, go for a jog, or run sprints. Go do some cardiovascular activity and work up a sweat and don’t drink water. Experience uncomfortable thirst and then see what happens when you drink some plain water. Soon enough you’ll get into the habit of reaching for a glass of water regularly even when you aren’t insanely thirsty.
Step 3: Stop drinking tap water. Stop using your household glassware
If you have a distaste for water it might be because the tap water in your region is disgusting. Chlorine, sulfur, atrazine. You may also have a distaste because you are using glassware in your house that has soap residuals.
If you own a dishwasher, your glassware might have a film of soap left inside the glass. Also, maybe the water you’re drinking isn’t cold enough to be pleasing to your palate. Who the heck wants to drink luke-warm tap water out of a glass that has a soapy film left in it? YUCK! The solution to all this is simple: drink chilled, filtered water out of a container that does not have a long history of being washed with soap.
Step 4: Spend $100
Spend money on almost anything and it will send a message to your unconscious brain: THIS IS IMPORTANT. So what you’re about to do is spend $100 on x30 1 liter bottles of premium water. If you do not have a taste for plain water and still cannot afford this, then 1. Being a bad ass is not important to you because there is NO way you can achieve any meaningful progress in bad-ass physical performance unless you learn to love water. You cannot become stronger, faster, or more godly than your friends until you learn to drink plain water and love it. And 2. There is a disconnect: because not having a taste for water and not drinking water is a 1st world, spoiled child problem. You, or someone you know has afforded you flavored drinks daily to the point you can no longer enjoy the simplicity of plain water. Have your parents or whoever is buying you flavored drinks buy premium water instead. Go out, and collect a variety of premium waters from different upscale grocery stores. $100 on 30 bottles of premium water. DO IT.
Step 5: Begin a course of water tasting connoisseurship
With your 30 bottles of premium water it’s time to compare fine tastes. Get a sheet of paper out and number it down to 30, write down every bottle of water you have next to each number. Every morning, for the next 30 days, the first thing you do upon waking will be to drink one of your 1 L premium waters in a single sitting and write down the subjective experience. It has to be in the morning. Determine which one is your favorite. Determine which one is your least favorite. Write down notes. Would you buy it again? Anything special to note? Here is a story about my least favorite ever:
You can watch the Angry Juji tricking video here in a new window on YouTube (click it).
So anyway, as you drink your premium waters daily, your tongue will become better at discerning differences in things that taste pretty much the same. It’s not as dramatic as determining differences in flavors of wine or beer or coffee, but you will still be able to find waters that tastes better or worse to you. And this is fun because by doing this, you are participating in a method of actually “getting good” at tasting water. It’s a skill. Kind of like tricking, lifting, computer games, or anything else that takes practice, determining taste differences in water and being able to actually describe and articulate those differences takes practice. And there is nothing more motivating in life than getting good at something. Get good at tasting differences between water and you will be more motivated to drink it more often.
Step 6: Buy a dedicated water drinking vessel.
Purchase one drinking vessel you totally love and NEVER drink anything but water out of it. Just one drinking vessel, not two. And never ever ever ever, NEVER-EVER fill it up with anything else. This is the secret for making this one work for you. If you buy two it’s not a companion, and if you fill this vessel up with something other than water, even just once, you “break” it and it’s no longer a water drinking container: it’s cursed. Just trust me on this one. Buy ONLY ONE, water drinking vessel and NEVER fill it up with anything but water.
I liked that container because it held 1 L and it had a strap. Nowadays I have a Oakley water tank that holds 28 ounces of water.
I love this drinking container. It collapses (can be unscrewed in the middle), looks cool, and can be hooked on a carabiner. It’s also antimicrobrial due to the nature of steel and the fact I don’t put anything in it but water. If you love your drinking container as much as I love this one, you will like drinking water more. Cool, personal, drinking containers are fun, and when drinking water becomes fun you will like it more. It becomes something like how people have favorite coffee mugs, only instead of coffee it’s water.
Step 7: Spend more money
So you just spent $100 on premium water and spent between $8-$30 bucks or so on a nice dedicated water drinking container. Great. Now it’s time to spend more money. Refer to your 30 day water connoisseurship log and see which were your favorite waters. Now go out and buy a few more of your favorites. These are your “treats” … For some people, chocolates, wines, and cigars are reserved as treats for better moments. And now, you will be reserving some of your discovered favorite waters for better moments. Put a couple in the back of your fridge and snag one out when you feel like enjoying fine water.
Step 8: Create the morning water drinking ritual
One very important habit I learned too late in life: drink 1 liter of water upon waking, the whole thing. All at once. It is related to the previous action about exercising without water: when you are thirsty, water tastes good, so you get used to it. When you wake up after sleeping, you are thirsty. Drink water, 1 liter of it all at once before your body realizes it’s not thirsty anymore. Don’t sip it, slam it. You need to rehydrate before breakfast. It’s pretty magical too, 15-25 minutes after you drink it you will feel more alert than you probably have in a long time in the morning.
Step 9: Now start drinking water using these steps!
So that’s it. Becoming a dedicated, fanatical water drinker is the most effective thing you can do to reach your health, performance, and physique goals. A bold statement indeed. I stand by it 100%.