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I’m absolutely lousy at staying hydrated. The average person should drink several glasses of water per day, but I’m lucky if I get four glasses in. Before you start coming for me in the comments, I know this is a problem. After all, staying hydrated has a treasure trove of benefits such as increased physical performance, improved brain function, and a much-needed energy boost. It’s not that I don’t want all of those things, but when I’m working through a never-ending to-do list, it just… well, slips through the cracks. Suffice to say, I’m looking to redefine my hydration situationship — and I have a feeling I’m not alone here. “In my work, I often hear that water is too boring, lacks taste, tastes bad, or is often just easily forgotten about,” says Lindsay Wengler, MS, RD, CNSC, registered dietitian at Olive Branch Nutrition.
While I’ve tried a bunch of tricks to up my H2O consumption — which includes buying a water bottle that’s as big as my head — one of my favorites is the most simple: Pour your water into your barware. (It’s a trick I lovingly refer to as “party water.”) When I’m really looking for an uptick in my H2O consumption, I put my tap water into a novelty cup or wine glass. For a really good time, I’ll stick an umbrella straw in my normal drinking glass. Suddenly, consuming water doesn’t feel like this mundane task that I should do but don’t; it’s a small luxury I get to do. (Like going to a party, if you will.) And unlike my reusable water bottle, which often lays by my feet and often goes forgotten and untouched, my party water is perched on my desk so I never miss a sip.
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I know “party water” sounds a little silly — and, sure, has probably elicited plenty of questionable glances during Zoom calls — but research would suggest otherwise.
“Sight has a significant impact on our eating and drinking habits, as we often see foods before we even taste them,” Wengler explains. “Research shows that the visual appearance and presentation of foods and beverages influence our perception, and taste, of them.” Nutritionist Madison Malone agrees, noting that people are more likely to try food and beverages that are aesthetically pleasing. “The presentation may seem unimportant but for many people, increasing the novelty of food or drink can increase consumption,” Malone adds.
When it comes to choosing the perfect vessel for your party water, it’s important hone in on what will actually hold the most H2O. (I love a dainty coupe as much as the next person, but pints and Olivia Pope-sized wine glasses will offer more generous pours.) Wengler also recommends factoring in time of year: “A glass of ice-cold water with condensation may look (and taste) more satisfying in warmer months just as a mug of hot water may be more appealing in colder months.”
Don’t worry, there are more ways to bring the party to your life than fancy drinkware. For example, Malone recommends picking up some conversation-sparking ice molds online. “You can also add things like cucumber, lemon, edible flowers, or berries,” she adds. “They look beautiful and also have nutritional value! Water infusions are always great as well, adding fruit or herbs to water can give it a fresh taste. “
Now, if we can all raise a glass (fancy or otherwise) and toast to a better, more hydrated day? Cheers!