It's hot out. And if the heat isn't reason enough to make you up your water intake, you should probably know that being better hydrated also means having clearer and more youthful skin, more energy, a boosted immune system, and healthy joints. But what if you find that you just don't crave water and therefore struggle to get in your daily intake? Flavoring your H2O is one way to make things a little tastier and more beneficial, but there are some things to consider when you're trying some popular infused water ideas — whether you're taking the DIY approach or buying ready-made wellness products on the market (and there are a lot).
If plain water isn't your thing and you're looking to amp it up, there are some nutritionist-approved solutions that are not only healthful but taste a whole lot better than a spoonful or two of apple cider vinegar. According to Keri Glassman, MS, RDN founder of Nutritious Life, adding fruits and herbs is a simple way to encourage you to drink more water. "[Infused] water is a great way to add some flavor and a little more fun to an otherwise mundane beverage," she explains. "Ample hydration is crucial for maintaining proper energy levels and helping nutrients to be distributed through the body. So if switching up the flavor will remind you to drink more, I’m absolutely for it!"
First and foremost, Glassman suggests going the DIY route — by adding things like citrus peel, fresh mint sprigs, and perhaps even some seasonal fruits to your water. "Go for organic if possible, and wash it well," she recommends. "If it’s going to be sitting in your water, you’ll want to ensure you’re not sipping on whatever pesticides conventional produce may have been treated with!"
And as for her preferred flavor infusions? "I don’t stop at lemon wedges," she says. "Sliced oranges, watermelon, and berries are all great and fun additions. And don’t forget about the fresh herbs, either. Basil and mint is a refreshing combo. I also always keep my greens blend on hand. It has a berry flavor, but with every scoop is packing 74 trace minerals, with some pretty impressive ingredients like adaptogenic mushrooms and nutrient dense greens."
Another natural fruit you may not have previously considered is the date. Dates are not only high in fiber and antioxidants, but they're also naturally sweet. As a beneficial and hydrating substitute for sugary foods, try creating your own date water by steeping some in hot water for a few hours, then straining and cooling for blissful summertime sipping. You can also blitz them into your water with a blender for the most benefits. That said, because of the sweetness, try this technique in moderation.
Speaking of sugar, Glassman notes that's something to look out for especially in terms of store bought infusion products. While she admits that the small amount of natural sugars from a DIY concoction aren't something to be too concerned with, some things on the market can be deceptively unhealthy, due to either high amounts of added sugar or excess artificial sweeteners and other ingredients. "When reaching for the flavored bottled bevs, ensure that they have little to no added sugar," she recommends.
Whether you want to pop a flavored nutritional supplement into your water (collagen or chlorophyll for example) or you choose to add in some farmer's market fruits and veggies yourself, infused H2O might just be your key to getting and staying hydrated all summer long. And if you are searching for a product to help take you to the next level, here are a few low (or no) sugar options to consider. Happy hydrating!