According to a 2013 study, nearly 83 percent of adult women are not drinking enough water, which researchers say “may be a cause for concern.” Look, we get it. It’s way easier to pick up a flavored, electrolyte infused drink after spin class and call it a day on your hydration. It tastes good! But just one bottle of sugar-filled water isn’t enough hydration for the average woman. So if plain old tap water isn’t going to cut it for you, why not jump in on the infused water trend? It’s a tasty, healthful way to increase your water intake. Infused water has been around in one form or another for ages, but it didn’t start to become trendy until 2013. At this point, it exploded across the web as more people realized that simply infusing water can make it taste good. And hey, if it tastes good, you’ll actually drink it. Which means you’ll finally get all those good-for-you hydration benefits.
Why Hydration Is Important
Dehydration, even mild dehydration, can be a serious medical issue. “Hydration is the key to optimal functioning of the human body” says registered dietitian Alix Turoff. She explains that dehydration is dangerous and even fatal in some cases. “Even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue, low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, and headaches. To keep that from happening, I encourage my clients to drink somewhere around two liters of water per day.” And really, with all the benefits you get from [linkbuilder id=”4664″ text=”staying hydrated”], there’s no reason not to ensure you’re drinking that amount of water. Dendy Engelman, a dermatologic surgeon, says that dehydration also affects your skin for the worse. She says, “When skin is dehydrated, it actually creates more oil to make up for the missing water which can then lead to exacerbation of acne, irritation, and dry patches. Skin can even feel oily and dry at the same time.” To save your skin, it’s best to keep your hydration levels on the up and up. Turoff says that water is essential. It helps to bring fuel to your cells, flushes toxins and bacteria from your bladder, and assists in healthy bowel function. Plus, it’s good for your waistline. “Water promotes a ‘thermogenic state’ which increases metabolism and aids in weight loss because the body now has enough water to carry out all metabolic activities,” says Turoff. “Another factor when it comes to proper hydration and weight is the fact that people often mistake thirst for hunger and will eat even though they are really just thirsty.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agrees that drinking plain (non-sugary) water is good for weight loss. According to the CDC’s “Get the Facts: Drinking and Water Intake” resource: “As plain drinking water has zero calories, it can also help with managing body weight and reducing caloric intake when substituted for drinks with calories, like regular soda.” But if you can’t stand the taste of plain water, it’s tempting to just grab a low-cal drink instead. Turoff’s solution? “I love to encourage my clients to add fruit, herbs or veggies to their water, mostly as a way to make it fun.” She goes on to say, “When you take the time to enhance your water, you’re more likely to drink it. It also tastes really nice and for me, I think it creates more of an experience (like I’m at a spa!)”
What vitamins do you get from infused water?
Infusing water isn’t just about getting more fluids (though that is incredibly important!) It can also help you incorporate trace amounts of vitamins and minerals into your diet. No chalky supplements here, just fresh ingredients to fuel your body. Your daily dose of vitamins can come from many different sources, but you should get most of them from nutritious whole foods, which is why Turoff says you shouldn’t rely on infused water to do the job for you. “In terms of nutrient content, it’s possible for water soluble vitamins (such as B vitamins or vitamin C) to seep out during the infusion process, but it’s probably negligible.” To get all your needed vitamins, try to eat lots of fruits and veggies as well as your proteins of choice. Also, you should always chat with your doctor about implementing a vitamin or supplement plan before charging ahead.
What You Need to Make Infused Water
Making infused water is easy as can be—you’ll just need to gather a few kitchen basics you probably already have. A sharp knife and good cutting board are essential, and if you have ice cube trays or fridge space, you’ll have cold infused water to drink whenever you like. You’ll also need something to infuse the water in: either a pitcher for big batches or a water bottle for drinking on the go. We like this glass pitcher, as well as this (much cuter) version that can infuse sun tea, too! As for infuser water bottles, this one in mint is our favorite.
Foods to Infuse With
You can infuse water with just about any fruit or veggie you like. You can also toss in herbs, edible flowers, and spices. Our list is inspired by two helpful blog posts, one from Hello Glow and the other from Nutrition Stripped.
- Blood orange
- Bell pepper
- Vanilla bean
- Citrus blossom
8 Infused Water Recipes
Now that you’re all on board the infused hydration train, here are our favorite flavor combinations! All these recipes have the use of an infuser bottle in mind, but if you’re going for a pitcher, double the recipe. All water infusions will taste stronger the longer the fruit or veggies hang out in the water. Giving your water at least an hour to infuse will help ensure it has flavor before you drink. You can also prep your water the night before and store in the fridge, though you’ll want to keep it fresh, so we don’t recommend making more than one or two days’ worth of water in advance.
Ultimate Summer Fav
Cucumber, Watermelon, Mint
Elevated Pink Lemonade
Lemon, Strawberry (or Cherry), Rosemary
Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Carrot, Ginger
Mint, Rose, Hibiscus
Pineapple, Kiwi, Peach
“Orange You Healthy?”
Orange, Carrot, Celery
Infused Water Ice Cubes
If carrying around a water bottle isn’t your jam, you can always make infused water ice cubes. The flavor will be significantly more subtle because the cubes will need to melt before they start to infuse your water. There are two ways to infuse your water with ice cubes (or frozen fruit and veggie goodness). Some fruits and vegs can hold up to being frozen on their own and can be used in place of regular ice. Think grapes, cucumber, sliced citrus, and berries. Or you can make actual ice cubes using more delicate foods. In this case you’ll need an ice tray and some filtered water. You can also use leftover infused water if you didn’t drink it all, just keep in mind the flavors you mix. You can pop mint leaves, edible flowers, and small fruits like raspberries in your ice cube tray, then fill it up with water. Freeze solid then use as your go-to for a subtler drink whenever you like.
Infused Water Alternatives
Not everyone wants to take the time to create their own infused water. It’s obviously much easier to just buy a flavored water. But not all other hydration options are as good for you. Turoff says, “In terms of juice, there’s going to be substantially more calories and sugar than plain or infused water, so I don’t like to encourage people to use juice to get their water in.” Although a glass of OJ may be tasty, it’s better to get the majority of your hydration from water over juices. Another, maybe not-so-great option is flavor drops. Usually flavor drops are concentrated flavored liquid (like MiO) or they’re flavored powders. Either way, they’re processed and less nutritious than using whole fruits and vegetables. Turoff says, “Flavor drops are an okay option as well depending on your beliefs about artificial sweeteners and colorings. I personally prefer clients to first chose infusing water with fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs, but if I have someone who’s addicted to soda or juice, I’d much prefer they use flavor drops or something like Crystal Light as they’re weaning themselves off!” If you’re still unsure of flavored water, try switching from soda to seltzer. LaCroix isn’t just trendy, it’s also a pretty decent way to hydrate. But, Turoff warns, it may not be the best option for people with sensitive teeth. “A recent study came out saying that seltzer could be bad for tooth enamel because of the carbonic acid that is used to make bubbles, but it seems that it’s not too big of a risk and I still feel comfortable recommending it.” She says you do need to make sure that there are no sweeteners or artificial flavors added to your seltzer of choice. Whether you get your hydration from plain or infused water, make sure you’re getting those two liters a day. I highly recommend purchasing a big water bottle like the infuser bottle and figuring out how many you need to drink in a day to meet your hydration goal. That way you have easy benchmarks—like drinking one full water bottle between breakfast and lunch, then another between lunch and dinner. By infusing your water with tasty fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices, you get to craft fun flavors to enjoy. Plus, you’ll be keeping your whole body hydrated for your best health.