Back to Basics- Flavored Water

I’m a big water drinker.  Anyone that knows me personally can attest to the fact that I’m never without my water bottle, oh and that I can’t go an hour without having to visit the ladies’ room.  Too much information… Sorry, I was just trying to illustrate a point.

I actually love the taste of water.  I know so many people that don’t, which makes staying hydrated a real problem.  As a kid, I watched my Grandma always add a splash of Apple Juice to her water because after 50 years of drinking it plain, it just didn’t taste good to her anymore.  I love the fact that she found a way to make it tolerable for her since drinking it is so important.  Water makes up 60 percent of our body weight and is imperative to all of our body’s functions.  For example, it helps flush out toxins, brings nutrients to our cells, and even keeps our nasal passages and throats moist.  Being dehydrated can effect us in small ways too by making us tired or causing headaches, so it’s best to be consistent with your drinking throughout the day.

We’ve all heard about the ‘8 Glasses a Day Rule,’ but truly how much water we need depends on so many factors including where we live, what we eat, and how active we are.  During the hot summer time when our bodies are perspiring, we need to be drinking more water to replace the fluids we lost.  You know you are drinking enough when your urine is colorless or light yellow color (yeah, I just went there).

Because staying hydrated is so important, I wanted to share some of my favorite natural, flavored water tips for those of you who might not love water, and even for those who do and want to switch things up.

Fruit

I love to use fresh fruit to flavor my water.  I really got on a kick after my trip to Mexico where our resort offered a tray of different fruits to go into your water; that’s some luxury right?!  My trick is to freeze the fruit before use, so that not only does it help chill my water on a hot summer day, but also imparts a hint of flavor.  You can freeze the fruit in ice cube trays with some water to make ice cubes, but I prefer to freeze the fruit itself, so the ice doesn’t have to melt before I can taste the flavor.  I like to clean and cut up my fruit, placing the slices on a tray so they aren’t touching, then putting the tray in my freezer. Freezing them on a tray like that helps them from sticking to each other.  Once they are frozen, I toss them into a container for use.  You can try freezing:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Apples (toss in lemon juice before freezing so the slices don’t turn brown)
  • Lemon
  • Oranges
  • Lime
  • Cucumbers

Infusions

I also like to make herbal infusions using my French Press.  I will add a handful of herbs, flowers, and spices to the press and add some hot water.  The hot water helps to extract the flavors of the herbs.  I usually let the mixture stand to 10 minutes before pressing and transferring to a mason jar to cool off in my fridge.  It’s best to make the infusions the day before you want to drink them so they can cool off overnight.  Some herbs to try are:

  • Fresh Mint
  • Ginger
  • Citrus Peels
  • Dried Lavender Flowers
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Cinnamon Bark
  • Fresh Lemon Verbena

Combinations

The best part is that there are endless combinations of flavors you can make by mixing the infusions and fruits.  There is literally no way to get bored of your water!  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Dried Lavender Flowers + Mint
  • Rosemary + Lemon
  • Cinnamon Bark + Apples
  • Ginger + Lime
  • Lemon Verbena + Blueberries
  • Ginger + Lemon
  • Lemon + Cucumber
  • Blueberries + Strawberries
  • Citrus Peels + Mango

I hope this post has left you feeling inspired about your water!  Make sure to drink up this month to stay healthy and hydrated.  Let me know about your favorite combinations in the comments too.  Cheers to a great summer!

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