Why Does My Water Taste Sweet? (2024)

Reviewed by: James Layton
Updated on:
January 16, 2024

Key Takeaways

Nonmedical Causes of Water That Tastes Sweet


Every water source has different mineral contents, resulting in a slightly different taste to each discerning palate.

Tap water can contain iron, calcium, potassium, and other minerals, depending on where you live. If you’ve just moved to a new location, you might notice a slight difference in the taste of the local water.

In most rural areas, the majority of water from taps is well water. Wells are a natural source of water, and most of the time, well water contains minerals and other impurities that may cause a sweet taste together, particularly calcium and iron.

Again, it may just be your perception, but if you’re concerned about your water quality, have it tested, and consider installing a reverse osmosis system or whole-house water filter. 

Check out this list of the best water filters for every blend of contaminants.

Here are some factors you should consider, whether you’re on a well water system or city water, if water tastes sweet to you.

Your plumbing

First of all, it’s extremely unlikely that a problem with your plumbing could be the reason you’re noticing a sweet taste in your water.

However, if your pipes are old, the material may break down and release particles into your water. There’s no real evidence that this would cause a sweet taste in water.

But if you won’t be dissuaded, there are some things you can do.

Flushing your pipes regularly may help keep them clean and preserve your water’s natural taste. If your pipes are very old, they could pose a danger, and you may need a filtration system, or even to update your plumbing.

Some reports suggest that water contaminated by lead pipes can taste sweet. We at Drinking Water have found no evidence to suggest that’s true.

However, lead contamination is a very serious issue and can indicate a public health risk. If you suspect this is the case, switch to bottled water and contact your local water company as soon as possible.

Your last meal

The last thing you ate can affect how you taste anything, including water. 

Sour foods, like lemons or anything containing citric acid, can make water taste sweet to you in comparison.

Additionally, if you had a decadent treat before taking a sip, you might just be getting a hint of the sweetness from your dessert in your water. 

Before you jump to any conclusions about your health or your water quality, wait a few hours and the sensation will, in all likelihood, go away.

Your other senses

Ever need to turn down the music in your car when you’re navigating complicated driving directions? Your senses are more connected than you might think. 

And while it may seem odd, a strong or pungent smell can overwhelm your taste buds and make your water taste sweet.

This effect on taste by your sense of smell is usually temporary. You can even experiment with it by slicing an onion, which has a powerful smell. Take a strong whiff of onion, then a sip of water. You might notice the water tastes sweet. 


Water often tastes sweet when you’re thirsty. A number of reasons can explain this.

To start with, if you’ve been eating sour or spicy foods that make you need to drink water, and your taste palate is jammed with that flavor, a single sip of water will taste sweet.

This is because water revives the sweet taste receptor cells by washing off the spicy flavor, which in turn produces the sweet taste.

Water tasting sweet when you are thirsty can also be psychological.

After dehydration, a sip of fresh tap water can release happy hormones from the brain to enhance the thirst-quenching experience.

Possible Medical Causes of Water Tasting Sweet

Here comes the fun part! Low-key you wanted some medical reason for the sweet taste of water, right? Don’t worry, I’ve been there. So here are some unlikely medical reasons why water may taste sweet to you.

Nutrient deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies can also cause water to taste sweet to you. 

Nutrients such as vitamin B-12, zinc, and vitamin D play a vital role in maintaining your sense of taste and smell. If you think you might have a nutrient deficiency, talk to your doctor about incorporating a daily multivitamin. 


It’s probably something sweet you ate earlier, but water tasting sweet can also be a sign of diabetes.

Because of the hormone imbalance resulting from diabetes, your body cannot regulate sugar levels. This may cause a sweet taste in the mouth that you may think is coming from your water. 

Bacteria in the mouth

Ever heard of “morning breath”? Humans wake up with tons of bacteria in their mouths. Sometimes, this bacteria alter the taste of food and water. The first sip of water, even if you are rinsing your mouth, tastes sweet.

A simple mouth rinse should eliminate this sweet-tasting effect, but if not, you may want to brush your teeth or use alcohol-based mouthwash.

By maintaining good oral hygiene, you can easily avoid this problem.


An infection or virus that affects the ENT area could be why you think water tastes sweet.

Infections that clog your airways can interfere with your brain’s messages to your taste buds, disrupting their proper function and causing you to experience odd taste and smells, or even to lose your senses of taste and smell altogether. 

Even minor infections can increase the glucose in saliva, causing a sweet taste.

Rest assured that when the rest of your body has recovered from the infection, your taste buds usually will too. 

Sensory dysfunction

Sensory dysfunctions can have different effects on taste in the mouth. In some cases, you may not sense any taste at all, while some people have a sweet taste throughout the day, and in other cases it just comes and goes.

Sensory dysfunction can happen if a person has recently suffered a stroke or otherwise has an underlying medical condition.


Pregnancy changes the body in more ways than one would expect. I won’t get into all of them, but IYKYK. Anyway, it can also cause a sweet taste in your mouth, making your water taste sweet.

Due to changes in the body’s hormones during pregnancy, the digestive system also changes, and this can cause cravings and weird tastes, including sweet water.

Medications and medical treatments

Every medicine you take has some effect on your body, though some have a stronger effect than others. Consider what medications you’re taking and if they could have any effect on your sense of taste.

Medical treatments like chemotherapy disrupt a number of normal body functions. Taste is commonly affected by chemotherapy, and while every person reacts to chemo differently, if you’re undergoing chemo treatment and tasting sweetness from your water, it could be that. 

If you’re concerned about any of your medications, be sure to discuss it with your doctor.

How Can I Remove the Sweet Taste From Water?

It’s unlikely the problem is coming from your water. It very well may just be a temporary perception that will go away within a few hours.

However, it’s always a good idea to have your water tested periodically, especially if you’re on well water.

This way, you can rule out anything dangerous and begin an appropriate water treatment plan based on the results.

You may decide a whole-house filtration system or under-sink filter for drinking water is a good idea.

But again, it’s unlikely any water test will explain why water tastes sweet to you, or that a water filter will make it go away, because your water is probably not the cause of the issue.

Why Does My Water Taste Sweet: Final Thoughts

If you’re concerned about your water quality or notice a sweet taste, rest assured it’s probably not your water that’s causing it. You may just need to let a few hours pass and it will go away.

You should also maintain good oral hygiene and eat a healthy diet. 

If you do all those things and you’re still having issues with the taste of water, consult a doctor to rule out any serious health issues.

For more information about water quality and treatment, here’s a list of resources:

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