Ordinary H2O continues to be nature's instant fix for all our woes. Want to clear your skin, boost your mood, or energize your muscles? Water can help. But sometimes, hydration becomes a chore. With a couple attempts to increase and improve my sips under my belt, I was inspired to explore "alternative" waters. Surprisingly, I uncovered an abundance of options that boast unique health benefits and flavor combinations. And lucky for you (and your wallet), I tried them out, so you don't have to. 

Aloe Water

Luna Zhang

Remember that song from elementary school, "first is the worst, second is the best?" Yeah, they were right. This first drink, which I heartily gulped down, was my absolute least favorite. Apart from an overwhelmingly sweet scent, this water tasted like a cross between tart cough syrup and candy. 

Despite the fact that aloe water contains 30% of one's daily intake of Vitamin C, anti-inflammatory properties, and a variety of beneficial compounds, I won't repurchase this one.

Maple Water

Luna Zhang

Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely love maple syrup. I will drown my waffles, oatmeal, and even squash in it. So, obviously, I was excited. Even better, maple water claims to improve bone and thyroid health.

This was one of my top picks. The water has a mildly sweet taste, but still tastes like water. This seems like it'd be the perfect way to add another layer of flavor to a smoothie bowl or a cup of brewed tea. I can't promise any definitive health benefits, but I'd buy a bottle to see what all the hype's about. 

Cactus Water

coffee, milk
Luna Zhang

Cactus water is often said to be less harsh than coconut water, but I found myself taken aback by the intense, fruity flavor. Usually described as a mix between a "kiwi and a watermelon," cactus water has a very fruity, sweet taste that I wasn't a fan of. However, its benefits may make it worth it. The high content of taurine, a natural amino acid, works like a powerful antioxidant and improves the body's ability to use oxygen.

Coconut Water 

soda, coffee, tea, milk
Luna Zhang

Of all the sampled waters, coconut water is the most familiar. Not only have I already tried it, but it's also one trend that's continued to stick around. 

While different coconut waters will taste slightly different, with some ranked here, Harmless Harvest's had a true, sweet coconut flavor I really enjoyed. As an added bonus, its bright pink hue (created by the water antioxidant's interaction with light) makes it that much prettier. 

Blk Water

juice, soda, liquor, wine, alcohol, beer
Luna Zhang

Initially, I was most wary to try this water. How could a black liquid not have a flavor? However, to me, blk water was reminiscent of odd tap water. With no real scent or flavor, the only real difference was the vibrant black color created by the supplemental fulvic trace mineral complex. This water is one to try for the experience perhaps, but I wouldn't repurchase it.

Overall, I don't think any of these alternates will find their way into my everyday routine, but a few were definitely worth the try.

Remember to stay thirsty, my friends.