How to Stay Hydrated with Healthy Infused Water
It's no secret that getting in all your drinking water can feel like a chore sometimes, especially if you're glued to your desk eight hours a day. It also doesn't help that plain water just doesn't fit the bill in terms of taste, and if you're a sugar fiend, then you're probably not queuing up at the water cooler any time soon. If that bland and lifeless taste just isn't cutting it for you anymore, then you may want to try out infused water!
We all need to incorporate more fruits and veggies into our diets, so why not combine your need for some H2O with the satisfying taste of fresh produce like citrus fruits, fresh mint or even a cinnamon stick or two? Infused water is bound to make you want to ditch the diet cola and sugary drinks for a refreshing taste of fresh fruit and veggies.
Below, we've compiled a comprehensive guide to infused water, teaching you exactly how to stay hydrated with healthy infused water, its benefits, how much you should drink each day, eight recipes and answering some burning questions.
What is infused water?
Before we get too excited, let's note down some of the basics. What exactly is infused water? Well, infused water is a combination of water and added fruit, vegetables and herbs to enhance the flavor and introduce some critical vitamins and nutrients into your diet.
Ever seen your favorite Instagram influencer starting their day with some chopped up lemons in water? Surprise, that's a perfect example of infused water! Instead of blending the fruits down into a super filling smoothie, the water and the flavor from the produce combine to create a unique and refreshing flavor that is low calorie, low sugar and super hydrating.
Infused water is great for those of us who can't stand the taste of plain, room temperature water and crave just a little edge to our drinks. This is also a great option for those of you who like bottled water but really struggle with water from the tap. The subtle flavors that infused water offers mean it cuts the edge from stale tap water and introduces a little flair to your morning drink.
If you're needing a detox after a heavy weekend of a particularly unhealthy period, infused water is a great way of ensuring you stay hydrated with only the best stuff for your body. Consider pairing this with a detox herbal tonic to give your system a good clear out!
How much and how often should you be drinking water?
Anyone who has ever felt the sting of a dehydration headache will tell you that drinking water is absolutely essential to our normal function. After all, our adult bodies are up to 60% water! In fact, not drinking enough water can have some pretty scary side effects on our health.
Our kidneys start sending more water to our blood, stopping it from flushing out the toxins in our urine while our cognitive function starts to become seriously impaired. This means that complex decision making is way harder, while dehydration takes a swing at our coordination, concentration and reactions.
In other words, if you're about to embark on a long car journey, take a test at school or about to sit through a long meeting, it's a good idea to down a big bottle of water for your brain's sake.
When you search how much water you should be drinking a day, you get some conflicting information. But, let's set the record straight. According to the Mayoclinic, on average, men should be drinking about 3.7 liters of water a day maximum, whilst women drink around 2.7litres. Doing this ensures that you have enough water in your system to concentrate all throughout the day and sleep soundly at night.
It's important to stagger the amount throughout the day, however, because it's definitely not a good idea to drink liters upon liters of water all at once!
We know this is a lot easier said than done, especially if you have a sweet tooth or a mild coffee addiction. The truth is, nothing beats water and your kidneys will thank you! If, however, you can't get past the slightly bitter plain water taste, then incorporating some softer fruits or leafy herbs to add flavor is a great way to keep your kidneys, brain and taste buds happy.
Is infused water healthy?
So, how healthy is infused water and what benefits does it actually have on our health? For starters, infused water is a great way to combat a bad relationship with plain water, as many of us avoid it purely because of the taste or the fact that it's not as exciting as its sugary counterparts.
Incorporating a bit more flavor to our water can help us get over the mental hurdle and start forming positive habits with water. You never know, you might even start to crave it after a while! Aside from this, let's go over some of the other benefits of infused water:
Great for weight loss
If you're trying to shift some extra weight and you're not noticing any progress despite cutting out all the high calorie and low nutritional foods, you might need to have a second look at what you're drinking. Drinks can have a huge impact on the amount of sugar we take in.
For example, in a 500ml bottle of cola, there's typically over 50g or 12 teaspoons of sugar! So, if you're going through one of those a day, along with other beverages and even the odd glass of wine, you're exceeding the recommended daily amount of free sugar by a sizable percentage.
If it's the flavor of those sugary drinks you crave, then infused water can help you cut the calories but still satisfy that sweet tooth. Incorporating some frozen strawberries or whole blueberries and other sugary fruits can help soothe the craving whilst putting some good hydration into your body and cutting the extra calories. Your teeth and organs will thank you!
Support during dehydrating treatments
Many healthcare treatments such as chemotherapy can leave patients desperate for hydration. These treatments are known to actively dehydrate the body, and whilst they are absolutely essential to keeping us safe and well, they can make us feel very unwell along the way.
Dehydration can make medically induced nausea and migraines even worse, so keeping a glass of water at your bedside is crucial.
Adding some infused water in times like these can motivate you to drink more and while it may not be a cure-all, it'll definitely give your body the hydration it needs to take the edge off some of the more nasty side effects.
This is also a good option for anyone undergoing treatment that stops them from taking in any food beforehand. Whilst you may not have any food and only sip water occasionally, you might be able to satisfy some cravings with the refreshing and sweet taste of juicy citrus fruits!
During these treatments, you'll need to give your organs everything they need to stay fit and healthy, and a good way of doing this is to ensure you're providing adequate amounts of hydration throughout the day.
Yes, you heard that right, drinking more can help you lose weight. Ok, it might not be as simple as that, but we'll do our best to explain. Let's get technical for a second. Drinking more water, especially cold water, particularly before meals, triggers a bodily response known as 'thermogenesis'.
For those of us who don't have a biology degree, this is the process where the body uses energy to warm up the fluid to body temperature. When the body uses energy, it's using excess fat storage as fuel, potentially increasing your metabolism and helping you lose just that little bit extra.
If you have a moral objection to drinking plain water, consider trying infused water to create a better drinking habit. Doing this more frequently can increase the amount of energy you expend just bringing water up to temperature!
This is also super important if you're increasing the amount of exercise you're doing. Whilst you sweat, your body loses water in order to cool itself down, but your body needs hydration to support normal muscle and heart function. So, make sure you're constantly replenishing yourself with some infused water whilst working out because it can make a world of difference to your metabolic rate!
It's worth noting that the fruit you choose to infuse with your water can increase or decrease the number of vitamins and nutrients you take from infused water. It's also important to remember that the amount of nutrients and vitamins present in the water can vary so it's still worth taking those supplements and getting your five-a-day. However, if you choose to eat the fruit after you've let it infuse for a very long time, you can get a serious vitamin boost.
For example, if you choose to infuse orange with your water, you're giving your body a good hit of vitamin C, which is crucial to maintaining proper immune function.
Drinking more water is crucial to maintaining proper digestive function and our gut health dictates a lot of our health. Our skin, nails, hair and mental health relies a lot on our gut health, so ensuring that we drink enough is essential.
Drinking water helps to break down food into finer particles, meaning that we can efficiently absorb the nutrients and improve how solid matter travels down your digestive tract, decreasing the chance of any nasties like constipation and painful stomach cramps.
How to infuse water
So, now that we have the specifics out of the way, let's go through exactly how you can infuse water:
1. Decide on your favorite fruits, veggies and herbs
Before you get the Brita filter out, you'll need to make a decision on what kinds of fruits, veggies and herbs you want to infuse. This can entirely depend on your favorite produce, so if you want to throw in some ginger, orange and lemon for the ultimate immune boost, go ahead!
The beauty of fruit infused water is that you have total control over how strong it tastes and what kinds of produce you incorporate. Of course, feel free to have a quick search if you're lacking in fruit infused water ideas, but otherwise, go wild!
2. Prep time!
Once you've decided on your winning infusion, it's time to bring out those chopping skills. Typically, you'll want to slice your produce as small as it needs to be to fit into the container and to allow a decent amount of water to sit well in the glass or bottle.
If you're incorporating some leafy goods into your infusion, crush leafy herbs before adding them to your water. Doing this ensures that you'll actually taste the addition rather than just having some floating leaves in your drink.
3. Leave to infuse
You've done the hard part! Once this is complete, you can add all your ingredients together and seal your container tightly. Leave to infuse for 1-2 hours depending on the desired strength. If you're not a fan of having extra bits in your drink, you can strain this before serving to ensure you have a smooth experience!
Tip: Put in the fridge overnight or for 12 hours for extra potency!
4 easy infused water recipes to keep you hydrated
If you're lacking in inspiration, we've prepared some infused water recipes we think you'll love. Consider trying these to kick start your infused water journey:
- 15g of fresh or frozen strawberries
- Quarter of a lemon
- Basil leaves
- Half an orange thinly sliced
- 5 watermelon slices
- Half of a lime thinly sliced
- 15g of fresh or frozen strawberries
- 5g of grated ginger
- half a lemon thinly sliced
- 1 orange thinly sliced
- 2 kiwis thinly sliced
- A hand full of torn fresh mint
- Half a grapefruit thinly sliced
Frequently Asked Questions
So we can give you the most comprehensive guide possible, we've answered some frequently asked questions so you can start infusing with total clarity:
How long should I infuse the water?
How long you choose to infuse your water depends on how potent you wish the flavor to be. Potency refers to how strong or noticeable the aroma or flavor of the product is. Typically, you can achieve a decent level of potency by infusing your water for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
If you're feeling particularly daring and want a considerable hit from your infusion, you can infuse your water overnight or for 12 hours in the fridge. Just make sure that you remove any excess produce after this to avoid bitterness as it begins to break down.
Despite this, you'll be able to get a pretty strong taste from just a short time in the fridge, so you don't need to be patient for too long!
How long can infused water keep in the fridge?
Someone can typically keep infused water in the fridge for up to four days, meaning that you can enjoy some cold crisp infusion for a relatively long time, as long as they store the water in a tightly sealed container to avoid contamination with outside particles. However, it is worth noting that you may wish to remove the fruits, veggies and herbs after 24-48 hours. This is because the produce will eventually begin breaking down as it nears the end of its use.
Keeping fruit that is breaking down can turn your water from a sweet refreshing infusion to a bitter and stale drink. Once you've removed this, you can keep your water going for days!
Before you drink the water, make sure you strain any excess bits from the product to avoid spoilage entering your digestive system.
Is drinking infused water the same as drinking water?
In terms of hydration, yes, drinking infused water is the same as drinking your ordinary tap or bottled water. However, the difference lies in the experience. Forming positive habits is essential in your health journey, and this is no exception. The experience we have with water can have a lasting impact on our relationship with it.
For example, if you drink particularly stale or bad tasting water, this can put you off drinking it for the foreseeable, increasing the likelihood that you turn to less healthy alternatives just to quench your thirst.
Infused water can improve your experience with water with better taste, meaning that it may encourage you to turn to water instead of fizzy or sugary alternatives. You may also gain more vitamins and nutrients with infused water than if you were to drink plain water.
Can I eat the produce in infused water?
Yes! We all need to eat more fresh produce and eating your post-infusion produce is a great way to get in your extra five-a-day. If you're wanting an extra vitamin boost, this is a good way to get in those additional numbers.
Make sure you're supporting this with your regular supplements too. At Australia Organic Products + More, we supply a large range of organic and natural health supplements to support your every need. Make sure you check this out and see how we can support your health journey!
That concludes our guide to infused water, we hope you learned just how to further support your body and the importance of improving your water intake. For more ways you can support your body, make sure you check out Australia Organic Products + More's selection of health care products to see how you can improve your relationship with your body today!