Swap out your soda or juice for these fruit and herb thirst quenchers!
Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to drink the proper amount of water each day. Whether it’s a craving for caffeine or a stubborn sweet tooth, water just isn’t the standout beverage choice. According to Harvard Medical School, an average adult needs 30-50 ounces of water per day.₁ If you live more of an active lifestyle (especially outdoors), the American College of Sports Medicine suggests consuming 16-20 ounces of fluid one to two hours prior, 6-12 ounces of fluid every ten to fifteen minutes during, and 16-24 ounces post workout to avoid dehydration.₂ Proper hydration is essential to regulating temperature and maintaining bodily functions in nearly every aspect of your body including cells, organs, and tissues.₃ By drinking water regularly throughout the day you can replace the water that is lost through breathing, sweating, and digestion. It’s all about making the conscious decision to drink more water.
By adding various fruits and herbs into your glass of water, you can liven up this beverage to suit your unique taste buds. Fruit is an excellent way to naturally sweeten and flavor your water; additionally, the essential nutrients found in your fruit choice will permeate the water for added health benefits. Examples of further restorative properties include antioxidants, boosted metabolism, aid in bloating, and relaxation.₄ If you notice a deficit in your personal health, consider choosing a type of fruit that will target your ailment. The possibilities are nearly endless!
Herbs have been used for their medicinal properties for hundreds of years; even some conventional drugs (i.e. aspirin) are derived from plant-based sources. Besides being used as an alternative approach to medicine, herbs are an awesome way to flavor your drinks with health-boosting phytochemicals instead of sugar. In laboratory settings, plant extracts have been shown to have, among others, anti-inflammatory, vasodilatory, antimicrobial, anticonvulsant, sedative, and antipyretic effects.₅ Herbs are beneficial to any recipe because they add flavor without contributing calories. There are so many varieties of herbs, it’s just a matter of finding out which flavor combinations your palate prefers.
Raspberry, Lime, & Mint Infused Water
Mint is one of the most refreshing herbs which makes it a great addition to your water. Beyond its obvious attributes mint also relieves congestion, facilitates digestion, prevents memory loss, and “helps stimulate the digestive enzymes that absorb nutrients from food and consume fat and turn it into usable energy.”₆ In order to help lightly sweeten this infused water we added raspberries which are full of health-promoting antioxidants. Limes are a fabulous addition to infused water because they are both sweet and sour. The raspberry, lime, and mint combination is the ultimate way to feel refreshed this summer.
Grapefruit & Rosemary Infused Water
There’s nothing quite like the taste of a grapefruit; the combination of sweet and sour blends perfectly to excite your senses. Grapefruits are a splendid source of Vitamin C which helps fortify your immune system. “Phytonutrients in grapefruit called limonoids inhibit tumor formation by promoting the formation of glutathione-S-transferase, a detoxifying enzyme. This enzyme sparks a reaction in the liver that helps to make toxic compounds more water soluble for excretion from the body. Pulp of citrus fruits like grapefruit contain glucarates, compounds that may help prevent breast cancer.”₇ The pectin (soluble fiber) found in grapefruit has been known to help lower cholesterol. Grapefruit is truly a remarkable fruit that can positively impact your health. “Rosemary has numerous health benefits like stimulating the nervous system, improving memory, relieving muscle pain, aiding in digestion, and eliminating circulatory problems, rheumatism, spasms, neuralgia, pain, eczema, wounds, and depression.”₈ Numerous studies have concluded that rosemary improves memory and cognitive processes.
Strawberry & Basil Infused Water
Did you know that there are 35 different types of basil? How about the fact that basil comes from the same plant family as mint and rosemary? There are many uses for this herb besides making pesto. Consider adding basil to your infused water for its ability to strengthen your immune system. “Basil contains two important water-soluble flavonoid antioxidants, known as orientin and viceninare, which help protect white blood cells responsible for immune function, as well as cellular structures where DNA is stored.”₉ Other notable health benefits of basil include helping lower inflammation, acting as an antibacterial/antimicrobial, and combating stress by serving as a natural adaptogen. Strawberries are jam packed with antioxidants that improve the function of nearly every part of the body. Vitamin C plays the most significant role in strawberries with 149% of your daily requirement working to boost your immune system.₁₀
It doesn’t matter which recipe you choose; the most important aspect of infused water is to invigorate the flavor of your beverage for optimum hydration. Once you transform your water into something that tantalizes your taste buds, staying on track with the recommended daily amount will become much easier. Keep in mind that like any new habit the change will be more difficult at first, but after a little while it will be a task that you do subconsciously. Happy hydrating!
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- Harvard Health - The Importance of Staying Hydrated
- Cleveland Clinic - Dehydration
- Everyday Health - The Health Benefits of Water
- UPMC - Benefit Your Health with Infused Water
- NCBI - Herbal Medicine
- Organic Facts - 13 Impressive Benefits of Mint Leaves
- The World's Healthiest Foods - Grapefruit
- Organic Facts - Herbs & Spices
- Dr. Axe - 12 Benefits of Basil + Recipe Ideas
- Organic Facts - 18 Nutritional Benefits of Strawberries