In Phase I the cran water is so diluted that you can barely taste the juice. The ratio is 56 oz. of water to 8 oz. of cranberry juice. I say do whatever modifications you need to help you stay on the plan. For instance, I only use 1/4 of lemon in my hot h20 because otherwise it's too tart for me. Just know that the closer you can follow the plan, the faster the results!