I think we all have our Hydro Flasks and know that staying hydrated and drinking enough water is a fundamental part of staying healthy. Still, many of us struggle and default to soda, caffeine, and alcohol. While we can still stay hydrated from consuming food and beverages that contain water, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, or a cup of coffee, the U.S. has made a bad habit of defaulting to sugary drinks.
A lot of this boils down to not liking the “nothing less” flavor of aqua, but jazzing up your fluid intake shouldn’t mean having to compromise with high calories, sugars, and artificial flavors. Grab your water bottle. It’s time to start sipping!
Here are a few ways to add flavor without sacrificing nutrition:
Fruit Infused Water - You can infuse your water with an assortment of fruits, vegetables, and herbs as a fun and refreshing alternative to plain tap water. Mix and match produce, adding as much as you desire. Make sure to wash your produce before infusing. Soft fruits like berries and citrus can be chopped into thick chunks but harder fruits like apples and pears should be thinly sliced. Add your mix of produce to your preferred amount of water and let sit at room temperature for about two hours. If you want to infuse for longer, move your water to the refrigerator to prevent bacteria from growing. For best results, use filtered water.
Iced Tea - Freshly brewed sun tea has been a summertime staple throughout my life. My mom always had a jug of tea in the fridge, perfect for sipping on after yard work, or serving to guests. This is an easy drink to keep up year round by boiling a handful of black tea bags in a pot of water and refrigerating. Make a single serving with one tea bag and a heaping glass of ice. While iced tea is most commonly made from black tea, any flavor will do. Substitute with caffeine-free teas for a more calming hydration. I recommend hibiscus tea. The bright color and tangy flavor add extra flair to your beverage.
Lemon Juice - If you’re looking for a quick pick me up without going through the process of chopping and dicing produce and letting it sit in your water for a couple of hours, a lemon and some ice will do the trick! Squeezing the juice out of lemons and into your water is an easy way to add vitamins (C and B) and potassium, fiber, calcium, and magnesium to your diet. It can also help reduce inflammation.
Sparkling - Who doesn’t love a little sparkle? Next time you're craving some carbonation, replace your soda with sparkling water. The bubbles will give you the impression that you’re enjoying a soda without filling up on simple sugars. Add a little lemon juice for extra zing.