My 17 Year Old Will Not Drink Water.

Updated on August 22, 2010
D.B. asks from Lancaster, PA
30 answers

What is the next best thing to drinking water. My youngest son never like the taste of water. Now he is almost 17 and still doesn't drink water. He's always had problems with constipation since he was little. For the past two months, he has been having alot of stomach problems and had numories tests ( colonsocopy, upper GI Endoscopy, blood work and nothing is coming up wrong. So what else can he drink besides water that is good for him and that will do the same as water does to your system?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for responding to my question. I've read every single one. I will try some of the suggestions that was offered. One of the questions were... (Did my son ever like water) Yes, my son did like water somewhat when he was younger. We have well water, and it really doesn't taste that bad. I always had and still do have bottled water in the house. He didn't like to drink regular milk, I had to put a little strawberry in it. You know I've tried to take all the other drinks away from him, but guess what he didn't drink at all. I always keep OJ in the refrigerator, I drink a glass every morning. He would drink that all day and then I would have to buy OJ every other day. So thats not working either. He use to drink Propel alot, but then after a while didn't like it. I will have to start buying that again. I'm going to have to be stern and sit with him and have a huge talk on how important it is for him to drink some type of water or flavored water in order to make him feel better. I should also invest in a water purifyer as well. Thanks again. And if anyone else has a different suggestion send them my way.

Featured Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

My kids don't like to drink water, not to say they won't. I stopped buying anything else. I would buy orange juice and they would gulp that down,and then they were left with water. I did this until they relized they would have water for a week before I would get more juice. And when they get into the car after practice all I would have ready was iced water. They relized it felt really good. So now my 15 prefers to drink water with ice and after chomps on the ice and gets additional fluids.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Hi, D.:
Get the book: "The body's many cries for water."
Whatever way to get him to drink at least 4 cups a water a day.
Good luck. D.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I, too, hate water. I drink Lacroix or seltzer water with lemon in it. It has been the best thing for me because I drink much more than I used to. I'm more hydrated. Maybe have him try that.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Washington DC on

I think this falls under the category of "Just Drink It!" If he has health problems, he needs to do this just like he needs to take medicine sometimes. It is a disservice to him to not "encourage"him to eat and drink healthily. He needs to get over it and just do it. It is the best thing he can drink for reason beyond the medical problems. You want him to grow up to be a man who is healthy and takes care of his body so now is the time to teach him.

Whole fruit is probably the next best thing, with fiber, vitamins, and water contained within. Fruit juice is not nutricious, although occasionally okay and likely to help. They make "light" varieties too but that just puts more chemicals into his body.

PS - I was jus tthinking about what I do for weight watching reasons - I always have water first. If I am craving soda or something sweet. I always fo and have sa drink of water, sometimes only a few ounces. It fills me up a little so I can make a rational decision. SOmetimes I still go for soda or dessert, but sometimes I don't. Maybe tell him to always have a glass of water first, even a little, and it sort of take sthe pressure off.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

what about buying flavored water like fruit 2 o or nestle orange water

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

What type of water are you giving him? Is it city water? I wouldn't drink that either. LOL Nothing is the next best thing, to be honest. Did he drink it as a kid? I only offer water to my children. They almost never get anything else. It's just what we do. We weren't always this way. For awhile, they wouldn't drink water either. I started by telling them they had to drink 2 glasses of water in a day before they could drink anything else. They downed their water and moved onto juice or whatever other garbage we had. Then, I upped the amount of water they had to drink. Within a couple of weeks, we pretty much only had water in the house. Now, that's all they drink. They love it. It works. It's what all of us drink. It is what they have with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They don't even remember those long ago days when they drank anything but water. It takes discipline, but it is possible to teach him to drink water. You are the parent. Right? It may be much harder at this age to undo the lack of discipline in this area of his life though. Hope you can help him work through this!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

He's 17-I think he should be able to understand the fact that he needs to have at least one glass a day-as a start. I started making myself drink a glass of water before I had anything else to drink-a glass before coffee in the morning, a glass before soda at lunchtime, you just have to do it. My bathroom issues got much better after that!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

FIJI brand water tastes good, let him try that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Little Rock on

Sugar Free Kool-aid, Limited Decaf tea with artificial sweetener, Sugar-free Sports Drink (if there is such a thing). You want him to consume water not calories that's why I suggest sugar free. Of course, I'm sure you know to avoid caffeine. Really, the best thing he can do, is just make up his mind that he is going to drink a large glass of water whether he likes it or not. I don't like water myself. I sometimes feel somewhat dehydrated and will force my self to drink water. I fill up a 16 ounce glass with water and just chug it. I have a son with constipation problems and the doctor told be to put him on a daily dose of MiraLax. You can get this over the counter. My daughter also has constipation problems and a little prune juice helps her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

A lot of people don't like their tap water, but frankly, it's much more regulated and safe than bottled water or even spring water. Why not make him some decaf iced tea or some lemonade? You could put in a little sugar or some of the new natural sugar-substitute (truvia). My company makes a great nutritional supplement that also includes soluble and insoluble fiber, so that will help with the constipation, also a great sports drink far superior to Gatorade. It also helps with absorption so a lot more gets into the cells where it needs to do it's work. I'd stay away from Vitamin Water and Smart Water too - no real benefit. Very expensive too, and you're already dropped a lot of money on tests. How do you feel about decaf coffee? It's an option if done in moderation.

I can help you more if you like. My son started on my company's products at 18, and he's done fabulously, also improved tremendously in sports. He never misses his nutrition shakes!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I don't like water either. I buy the Country Time Lemonade packets and put them in a 16 oz bottle of water. There's also flavored water he may like.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I had suffered from constant constipation for many, many years until I found the answer to my problem. Like your son I don't care that much for water. Then I had a GI doc tell me that it doesn't have to be water, as long as you get plenty of FLUIDS. But what surprised me is no one mentioned adding fiber to his diet. My docs had me take 2 fiber tablets a day and be sure to dring plenty of fluids and I have had no problems since. I prefer the chewable fiber tablets, and use the CVS brand of sugar free chewable fiber tablets. The combination might help. Just a thought.



answers from Miami on

First of all, trying to force a 17 year old to drink water, as another poster suggested, is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. If you try that, you're just going to needlessly cause problems.

What you want to try to focus on is helping your son get enough fluid intake each day with the least amount of sugar and other unhealthy additives. Since he is having difficulty with his stomach, I would first see if there are any unsweetened herbal teas that he may like. There are some that are known to help settle your stomach such as chamomile, raspberry tea, mint tea and ginger tea. You can even combine these to get different tastes. Another tea he may like is green tea (again, preferably unsweetened). Green tea has been found to have numerous health benefits, but it does have caffeine. If he can't stand the teas without them being sweetened, try to use honey instead of processed sugar.

One more thing. As strange as this may sound, if he is having stomach problems, drinking water alone may actually make him feel worse. This is certainly not the norm, but if this is a problem for him, make sure you talk to his doctor about it. He or she may have some suggestions on what else he should try to drink.


answers from Erie on

Yesterday our workplace started doing a "hydration station" and offered flavored water for free. It's not flavored like you would think, but flavored with fruits & veggies! Yesterday was cucumber melon water and it was fantastic!! Maybe try sticking a piece of fruit in the water like watermelon or something like that. and surprisingly the cucumber was really good!!



answers from St. Cloud on


I guess I think it's a little ridiculous that he would have all these problems and have to go through all these tests and STILL refuse to drink water...... EVERYONE NEEDS WATER! Adding sugar packets (aka crystal light, kool-aid, ect.) does NOT constitute for water!

We LOVE our water. It's well water and then we run it through a Nikken water system. (Just sits on top of a water dispenser cooler and then you pour your water in the top! Even makes city water taste good!)

I suggest that you do NOT keep any other beverages in the house! If there is only water, he WILL drink it! Our kids LOVE water. They ask for it! We never drink soda. They only get juice when they are sick. We do drink milk at breakfast but water with all other meals.



answers from New York on

kool aid packets w/ splendia is an easy fun way to get fluids w/o extr calories.



answers from Philadelphia on

I haven't read all of the other posts, but have you tried the VitaminWater Zero? It has a hint of stevia instead of artificial sugar so it is not sweet and it is fruit flavored. I used it to prime my kids for water and now they drink tons of water everyday.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Will he drink it if you squeeze fresh lemon in it? I like water much more with a slice of lemon (and not a thin slice like most restaurants give you, but a wedge squeezed in it so you can actually taste a little lemon). When I'm bored with regular water, I like seltzer water with a lime in it.

I would also agree with decaf iced tea with just a little sugar that someone below mentioned.

Many people do crystal light, but I personally try to avoid artificial sweeteners. If you are ok with sweeteners, you could try that - some flavor and he's not filling up on empty sugar calories.

Finally, I agree with your "what happened" statement that you need to sit down with him, not necessarily in a stern way, but as a discussion. What does he think he should drink that is healthy, if he doesn't like water (and explain why things like OJ aren't healthy in large quantities - too much sugar and he'll end up overweight)? He's old enough to start to take responsibility for his own health. After all, he'll probably be going away to college in a year or so, and he'll be making all his own choices - food and drink. It's time for him to start thinking about how those choices affect his health. I know you're thinking of the immediate water issue, but it's a good "teachable" moment for the bigger picture as well.



answers from Pittsburgh on

What about decaf iced tea? We drink about a pitcher a day, and besides the hydration, there are many studies that show that tea (and coffee, too) has many disease-fighting compounds. He'll need to be extra vigilant about tooth brushing, though, or he might start to notice some staining. But well worth it if you can get him better hydrated.

The whole "8" glasses a day thing is a total myth with NO basis in scientific fact. The body does need something around 64 ounces of LIQUID a day, but it doesn't matter where it comes from, and remember, most food, especially fruits and vegetables, are mostly water. So, if he won't drink water, have him eat lots of fruits and veggies-- hey no problem for a 17 year old, right?

At the end of the day, he needs to figure out that not doing what he needs to do makes him sick. It will be a valuable life-lesson.


answers from Dallas on

For his age - masking the taste with something he likes is a good start.

I give my kids a limit on anything other than water. I am training them now. They ask for a glass of Hawaian punch, I say sure, right after you drink a glass of water. If they just finished a glass of juice and ask for more, I say no, too much juice makes you too juicy. You can have water.
Filtered tap water. My dentist said that bottled water is rotting Americas teeth out - there is no added flouride and anything other than h20 that you need has been "purified" out.
But with the big kids, I agree that it just has to be done and there are things we just have to do. My husband has irritable bowel and needs to drink water. He never thinks about it though. A couple times a day I make him a big glass of ice water and take it to him. I stand there annoyingly until he drinks it!



answers from Philadelphia on

Maybe he could watered-down gatorade....or use Crystal Lite packets.. However, if he's already having stomach problems, watch out for the extra calcium in gatorade (can cause kidney stones if he drinks too much) and the fake sugars in Crystal Lite may bug him as well... But- it's worth a shot...

Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

I despise water as well under most circumstances. It tastes DISGUSTING. Ugh. Repellant. The *only* time water tastes good is in the desert (aka I'm sweating out enough), or if I'm on certain meds.

I'll drink almost anything else (except poweraid or gatorade). From sodas & seltzers, to juices, milks, teas, coffees. Caffeinated bevs cause a little dehydration, but not enough to cancel them out (like alcohol). I've gone years where I drank nothing but MtnDew.

The important bit is staying hydrated. NOTHING is "equal" to water because everything else has something else in it BUT everything does the same thing water does (hydrates you). Juice for example is about equal to drinking a glass of water and eating something high in fructose. Milk is equal to drinking water and eating something with fats, proteins, sugars in it and taking a multivitamin. Soda is equal to drinking water and eating something salty. It just really depends on what works best with your son's body.



answers from Boise on

Is he seeing you drink water? Has he tried seltzer?



answers from Seattle on

Unless he is developmentally delayed, he should drink whatever he wants. He knows what he likes, so leave it up to him.
For me: I HATE plain water.
I will drink diluted fruit juice to cut down on the sugar and calories or anything with flavor.
Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Have you tried Propel or some of the vitamin waters? My husband loves ice water with about 1/4 cran grape juice. Good luck:)



answers from Allentown on

I didn't read all of your responses but I wanted to add a few of my opinions from my experiences. I have always HATED water my whole life. I also struggled with constipation as a child.

He needs to add more fiber to his diet. #1 lots of fresh fruits and veggies. #2 Fiber One cereal is great if you can get him to eat it. I prefer the original with fruit but maybe he could try the others. There are really delicious bars available that I'm sure he would eat.

Also, He needs to work his way up to drinking water. Definitely cut out soda as much as possible. I only allow my children 1 fruit juice per day and that is half juice/half water. So maybe he could try diluting gradually.
Good Luck!!


answers from Las Vegas on

There's flavored water. I think some aren't carbonated, some are. My daughter is a toddler and gets runny if she drinks alot of fruit juice but refuses water after a while so flavored water was a nice median.



answers from New York on

Perhaps the flavored waters if he is willing to try them or flavored seltzer is also a nice alternative. Also sports drinks but they may have a lot of sugar.



answers from Philadelphia on

May be some homemade iced tea or some crystal light. They make a variety of flavors. I know that they endorse the crystal light at weight watchers. You are right he needs to drink water. Make sure he is eating enough vegetables and has enough fiber in his diet. You could also give him some fishoil or flax seed oil pills. Those will also help him poop and they are good for you. Good luck



answers from Harrisburg on

My 15 year old son hates plain water. I buy him individual flavor packets to go in each bottle. He found grape that he likes. There's tons of flavors out there that are mild and heavy. There's Crystal Light and those similar drinks. Most anything that you can add to water and mix up will work. My husband used to make our older son sit at the table and drink water before they came out with the flavor stuff before he could go back out to hydrate. Once he finished a tall glass of water he was allowed to get up and go out. He hated it, but drank it down. We do that with milk at dinner too. Calcium is important. You can buy frozen juices that you add water to and have him drink those.

With those kind of health issues, I would ban soda in the house and anything else unhealthy, and basically treat him like a baby to make him drink fluids. That's just ridiculous. You'd think he'd be eating and drink the right things in order to feel better. But it's not just his liquids, it's the foods. He needs high fresh fruits and veggies and whole grains, and lots of water/fluids to keep those things flowing. He doesn't have a choice.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets
events and chat within 2 hour radius

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions