Five healthy beverage alternatives you can drink if you hate water, according to an expert

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Water is widely recommended as the healthiest beverage — but what if it’s not your thing?

As it’s much easier to stay hydrated if you choose a drink you enjoy, Jordan Mazur, a San Francisco-based professional sports dietitian and nutrition adviser to the beverage company Hint Water, is offering more palatable alternatives for H2O haters.

“Water is undoubtedly the best choice for hydration, but there are other healthy alternatives,” he told Fox News Digital. 

Here’s what to know.

What to drink instead — and what to avoid

Herbal teas, especially those without caffeine, can contribute to daily fluid intake. 

Coconut water is another good option due to its electrolyte content, which can be beneficial for rehydration, according to Mazur, a sports dietitian for the San Francisco 49ers. 

“Milk, both dairy and plant-based alternatives, provides hydration along with essential nutrients like calcium,” he said. 

Another option is to add some pizzazz to water to make it more appetizing.

There are many options for those who aren’t a fan of drinking water. Getty Images

“If you think water can be boring at times, try infusing water by adding slices of fruit like cucumber, lemon or berries to enhance its flavor and add a subtle boost of vitamins,” Mazur suggested.

There are also ready-to-drink alternatives that add natural flavor to water without any added calories or artificial sweeteners, he said.

Alternatives to avoid 

Alcohol and sugary drinks, including sodas and fruit juices with added sugars, are not ideal alternatives to water, Mazur cautioned. 

Herbal teas, especially those without caffeine, can contribute to daily fluid intake.  Getty Images

“While they do contribute to fluid intake, the high sugar content can have adverse health effects, including weight gain and increased risk of metabolic disorders,” he said.

Caffeinated beverages like coffee and certain teas can have a diuretic effect, potentially leading to increased fluid loss, Mazur added.

Importance of hydration

As a professional sports dietitian, Mazur works with high-performing athletes at the peak of their sport.

“Proper hydration is a core part of our daily nutrition plan to replenish fluids lost during exercise and enable proper recovery throughout the season,” he told Fox News Digital. 

People should avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee, which can lead to increased fluid loss, according to NFL dietitian Jordan Mazur.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

“Even if you’re not paid to play a sport professionally, the principles of hydration can still be applied to everyone.”

Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining bodily functions, Mazur said. 

“Water plays a pivotal role in digestion, nutrient absorption, temperature regulation and waste elimination,” he said. 

“Adequate hydration ensures optimal organ function and overall well-being.”

Warning signs of dehydration

Common signs of dehydration include dark yellow urine, dry mouth, headache, dizziness and fatigue, Mazur said.

“Proper hydration is a core part of our daily nutrition plan to replenish fluids lost during exercise and enable proper recovery throughout the season,” Mazur said. Getty Images

“Additionally, a lack of sweat during physical activity, reduced urine output and increased heart rate can indicate dehydration,” he said. 

“It’s essential to pay attention to these signals and increase fluid intake accordingly.”

Dehydration can impair cognitive function and physical performance, and can even lead to serious health issues, the expert said. 

What’s the right amount? 

The general guideline is to follow your body’s signals, according to Mazur. 

“Monitoring the color of your urine is also helpful — light yellow usually indicates proper hydration,” he said. 

Dehydration can impair cognitive function and physical performance, and can even lead to serious health issues, the expert said.  Getty Images

Hydration needs can also vary according to different factors, he said — such as physical activity levels, environmental conditions and health status. 

“For example, during exercise, especially in hot or humid environments, individuals lose fluids through sweating, increasing their need for hydration to maintain optimal performance and prevent dehydration,” Mazur said.

“Similarly, during illnesses characterized by fever, vomiting or diarrhea, the body loses fluids more rapidly, requiring increased hydration to compensate for these losses and support recovery.”

Hydration needs can also vary according to different factors, such as physical activity levels, environmental conditions and health status.  Getty Images

When making recommendations to his clients, Mazur uses the “8×8 rule,” or about 8 cups (64 ounces) of water per day, adjusting based on unique requirements and environmental conditions. 

“While thirst is a natural mechanism for regulating fluid intake, it’s not always a reliable indicator of hydration status, especially in certain populations, such as older adults who may have diminished thirst sensations,” he said.

Studies have shown that waiting until you feel thirsty to drink may not be sufficient to prevent dehydration, he noted — “particularly in situations where fluid loss is high or when conditions predispose individuals to dehydration.” 

When making recommendations to his clients, Mazur uses the “8×8 rule,” or about 8 cups (64 ounces) of water per day, adjusting based on unique requirements and environmental conditions.  Getty Images

“Therefore, it’s advisable to drink fluids regularly throughout the day, even if thirst isn’t felt.”

It is possible to drink too much water, however, Mazur warned. 

Excessive water intake can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, where low sodium levels in the blood can be harmful. 

“Listen to your body and find a balance that works for you,” he advised.

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