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I Wrote About ‘Hydro-Haters’ Who Don’t Drink Water — And Then I Found Out My Mom Is One

I still had trouble believing real-life water-phobes existed… until I came home for the holidays

Back in October, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said he hated drinking water so much he’d rather take it through an IV. Kimberly A. Martin, a senior sports writer who tweeted Odell’s confession, agreed, saying, “Odell Beckham Jr. is literally ME.” This made us wonder if there were more water-phobes out there — folks who resist good sense and easy urination. And, frankly: Why? How?

Boy howdy, we heard some astounding stories.

In addition to the hydro-haters who spoke with us for the article itself, people came out of the woodwork once we hit publish:

BuzzFeed’s morning show, AM2DM, ran a segment grilling one of their producers, Caroline Moss, who also hates water:

But, I have to admit, the most shocking hydro-hater I heard from was my own mother.

The article made my sister reach out and ask if I’d ever seen our mom drinking water. I scratched my head.

Mom continued to dodge the question until this past weekend when we were home for the holidays. I noticed the water pitchers for dinner were stuffed to the brim with cucumbers and lemons. I pressed her on it. 

“I don’t ‘hate’ water,” she squirmed. “Maybe I’m neutral!”

She explained that she was “never given” water growing up and, instead, had milk or orange juice with every meal. At sporting events, she was given water only in those “leaking paper-cone cups,” which made her shiver like “fingers on chalkboards for others. Ick.”

She added, “It just tastes like nothing. It’s boring.”

Sorry, Mom. I just can’t let this go.

“I really didn’t get thirsty or crave it. Not even now,” she follows up in a text message. After reading my article and knowing how important hydration is, she says, she knows she should have water — so she has it in her coffee or beer “to make my daily quota.”

“And then there are: ??,” Mom adds.

It reminds me of what one hydro-hater, Kristy Finch, said in October: “I’d get made fun of at my gym because I would come into workouts with a venti six-shot Americano from Starbucks. (There’s water in coffee… right?)”

“I love yoga. But instead of water, I’ll bring a glass of merlot for breaks,” another hater, Kahlilah Long, told me. “Don’t judge!”

This made me wonder if the hydro-haters highlighted in the article changed their ways — especially with New Year’s resolutions coming up. Drinking more water seems like an easy one for someone like Lori Cheek, who’d been sent to the hospital twice for dehydration when I spoke to her in the fall.


“I’m dehydrated right now,” Cheek laughs. “My plan is always to drink more water each New Year. It never sticks. I still hate the stuff.”

I reached out to the rest of the group, and only one of the people from the original piece said they made a conscious decision to drink more water. The rest are set in their ways.

“Currently I’m on a 10-day test of this diet-tea fad, but otherwise, still hate water. Nothing’s changed,” says Alex “Schimiggy” Tran.

“Guilty as charged, still a hydro-hater!” Jenny Powers says. “In fact, tonight I bought four Mio water enhancers to take on vacation so I wouldn’t have to resort to drinking plain water.”

How about Long, who drinks wine at yoga and told us about (TMI warning) her very yellow urine? “No change, unfortunately. I’ve probably drunk a total of three bottles of water since the article, so I haven’t changed much. I do plan on setting this as a New Year’s resolution. Fingers crossed!”

Or Finch, who drinks the six-shot Americano at the gym? “No New Year’s resolution to change because I know it won’t happen. It never does.”

But there’s hope yet for Alberta Sequiria, who is diabetic. She writes:

I’ve actually changed my water-“hating” water ways. I bought a 16 oz. thermal container months ago that I keep with me, and drink more often that way while I’m watching TV or on the computer. Being diabetic, I realize I need it to wash away some sugar out of my body. Though I’m still not where doctors want me to be on water, I drink much more than before. I also gave up sugared carbonated waters.

Hear that, Mom? Journalism really can change the world. Now all I need is for you to drink up.