Water is one of the most important things for our existence and without it, our bodies soon suffer. We can live without food for quite a bit longer than we can live without water. Water hydrates our bodies at the cellular level, keeping cells plump and hydrated. It is also a natural cleanser that flushes toxins out of the body.
But even though it’s essential, drinking water can be boring, bland and uninteresting. Particular when compared to many other drinks out there. You can easily buy flavored water, vitamin water or other more exciting water products.
The good news is great tasting, flavored water is easy to make at home. Plus, you can make it with the flavors you like from fresh, nutrient dense ingredients.
Here’s all you need to know about how to make infused water at home.
What Is Infused Water?
Infused water is water ‘infused’ with the flavor of whatever you choose to add. Typically the additions are fresh fruits, vegetables or herbs. Spices can also be added although fresh or whole options are best.
You can add just one ingredient, or a combination of 2 to 3 things together. And the best part is, you will have a great tasting drink with no additional calories or sugar added.
When choosing the produce for your infused water, fresh and organic is ideal. If it isn’t organic, at least ensure anything you use is well scrubbed and clean – you don’t want to add any unnecessary chemicals to your water.
While frozen or dried fruits are an option, they aren’t ideal. In most cases they won’t release much juice to flavor the water, plus they tend to sink to the bottom of the bottle.
Fresh herbs and spices are colorful options for you water. They will make it smell delicious while adding lots of health benefits.
There are some fruits that can be reused because they are strong in flavor. These include pineapples, lemons and oranges. To reuse these fruits, once the bottle is half full, top it up and you will still have plenty of flavor without the need to add more fruit.
Here are some of the best fresh additions for infused water:
Fruit – Berries, Melons, Citrus, Pineapple, Kiwi Fruit, Peaches, Apples.
Vegetables – Celery, Cucumbers, Peppers, Carrots.
Herbs – Lavender, Mint, Basil, Rosemary, Cilantro, Thyme, Sage.
Spices – Cinnamon sticks, Ginger, Turmeric, Cardamon Pods, Whole Cloves.
Use the above ideas to get you started but be creative and try anything you like.
How To Make Infused Water
The first thing you need to do is release the natural flavors and oils in whatever you are using. To do this for fruit and vegetables, put the fruit into your bottle and press lightly with a wooden spoon. You want to apply just enough pressure to release some juices, but not mash or bruise the produce.
Similarly for herbs and spices you want to release some flavor. Cinnamon sticks and similar spices are best broken up a bit, not too much or the powder will float to the top. Ginger can be cut into chunks. Whole spices can be broken up slightly and directly added.
Citrus fruits can be peeled or not – it’s up to you. Their essential oils are contained in the rind so this is where a lot of flavor comes from. However, if the rind is left on, the white pith can add a bitter taste to the water. (Lemon water is made a bit differently, check out this lemon water recipe for how to make it).
One easy way to make your infused water is using one of these bottles:
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Once all your flavor additions are done, it’s time to add some filtered or sparkling water, whichever you prefer. For best results, use cold or room temperature water. Just don’t use boiling water as it will break down the enzymes and nutrients in the added ingredients.
Now give it all a good stir and leave for 3-4 hours for maximum flavor, color and health benefits. Leave your bottle in the fridge, or at room temperature, to do its magic.
It’s important to remove the ingredients after 24 hours, as they may start to decompose in the water. It won’t taste nice, or look nice. Some fruits will decompose quicker than others such as berries and melons.
With the fruit removed, you can safely store your water in the fridge for up to 4 days…if it lasts that long.
To get started, check out these 4 easy infused water recipes. They will boost your skin health, while providing lots of other benefits too.
The Hidden Benefits of Infused Water
You might be wondering if there is any real added benefit to infused water other than it tastes and looks better than plain water. Well there is!
A lot of the nutrients from the added ingredients, in fact up to 20%, get absorbed or ‘infused’ by the water. This makes your ‘infused’ water about a lot more than just flavor and color.
It is now a vitamin and nutrient infused powerhouse. If you add strawberries or lemons, you’re drinking water that is rich in vitamin C. And if you add basil or mint to your strawberries, you get the added benefits of minerals, such as iron, which helps the body absorb vitamin C. On top of that there is a dose of antioxidants.
Whatever ingredients you add will bring some kind of hidden benefits.
Other Benefits to Infused Water
Apart from adding vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your water, there are other benefits that can result. This will depend on the ingredients added but infused water can:
- Help organs to function and protects them
- Normalize blood pressure
- Improve skin by keeping it soft and youthful
- Help with regulating collagen-production so reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Help with body temperature regulation
- Offset dehydration
- Assist in lubricating while decreasing the risk of swelling and inflammation
- Reduce constipation risk while helping to keep regular bowel movements regular
- Cleanse the liver
- Transport oxygen and nutrients
- Curb hunger helping to lose weight
- Reduce muscle fatigue
- Help clarity in thinking by boosting focus and concentration
- Help in the prevention of kidney stones
There are a lot of good reasons to make infused water at home and enjoy it. Not only does it taste much better than plain old water, but there are many health benefits to enjoy.
Get started making batches of infused water and enjoying different flavors every day. It will make it easy to consume plenty of water each day and keep your body well hydrated.