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Infused Water- Refreshing (and Nutritious) Summer Drinks

Summer = (Outside + Fun) + HEAT (Dehydration)

 

Summer means fun, outside play, AND hot weather. The heat and humidity can dehydrate us quickly.  Although most of us know that staying hydrated (drinking water) is important,

 

Benfits of Drinking Water

 

it’s not always easy (or enjoyable).    Dehydration can (and often does) happen quickly.  We are in the middle of our golf game, hanging out on the beach lounging, jumping in a beach volleyball game, playing in the park, hiking, or just swinging in the hammock reading,when suddenly we realize it.  We are THIRSTY.  Unfortunately, by the time we feel thirsty, we are already dehydrated.  In addition to thirst, there are other signals indicating you need to drink more water.

Fatigue, dizziness, mood swings, foggy thinking, poor concentration, muscle cramps, dull, dry skin and/ or pronounced wrinkles, infrequent urination, bad breath, sugar cravings

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been there (too many times).  It’s not good.  Severe dehydration can be life threatening, but “even mild dehydration can cause problems ranging from headaches and irritability to impaired cognition”. It can also affect your sports performance, as noted in a 2015 CNN report “Your kids probably aren’t drinking enough of this”:

“Even being slightly dehydrated affects your ability to put effort into your workout. ‘A two percent dehydration level in your body causes a 10 percent decrease in athletic performance,’ says [sports dietitian Amy] Goodson.

“‘And the more dehydrated you become, the worse performance gets.’ Measured by ‘perceived exertion,’ how hard you feel you’re exercising, you might be working at a 6 but you feel like you are working at an 8, says Goodson.”

So, what can we do?   One answer….

Infused Water

Why Infused Water?

“Water is your body’s source of life. Being hydrated not only improves health and naturally flushes toxins out of the body, but water also keeps skin plump and elastic.

Infused water is especially beneficial because it makes the act of drinking water more enjoyable, both for the taste buds and the eyes. As an added bonus, infused water has the sweet fruit flavors of fruit juice but without the extra calories or sugar.”  (Infused Water- Benefits, Ingredients, & Products)

AND, it’s good for you!  Depending on the herb, fruit, or vegetable you combine, you’ll have added antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.  (Please note that drinking infused water does not provide the same level of healthy benefits of the fruits, vegetables, and herbs as consuming those items.)

Tips, Tricks, Suggestions

While there are plenty of bottle / pitcher options for infusing water, you do not need a special container.  I do, however, recommend glass.  If you do not have a glass pitcher, try a mason jar.  (Glass means you don’t have to worry about BPA leaching from plastics.)

Use room temperature (or cool) filtered water.

Allow the fruit to infuse for 2-4 hours.  If you intend to keep the water overnight, be sure to remove the rinds (otherwise your water will be bitter).

Keep the water cold.  If it is sitting out, be sure to add plenty of ice.

Thinly slice the fresh fruit or vegetable.  This will help items such as apples or pears flavor to disperse.

For a quick splash of citrus flavor- before cutting fruit (lemon, lime, orange), put them on your counter and roll them back and forth, applying heavy pressure with the heel of your hand. This will help break down the fruit and make them easier to juice.

Rub or cut herbs to release their oils.

If you need to add water, do it when the water has reached the half way mark.  This will disperse the flavors without diluting it too much.

Quick Infusion Tip:  When you have left over herbs and produce, grab some ice cube trays, and fill halfway with water; then simply chop up ingredients and drop into ice cube trays. Let freeze for a few hours then add more water to fill to the top. Freeze again. These make great quick infusions when you are short on time.

Elemental Esthetic’s Water Recipes

Cucumber + Rosemary + Limefruit water

Peach + Apple + Mint

Lemon + Blueberries + Apple + Mint

Cucumber + Orange + Tarragon

Cucumber + Tarragon + Lime

Orange + Lemon + Lime + Mint

Strawberry + Lemon + Mint + Rosemary

Apple + Lemon + Cinnamon + Nutmeg

Tarragon + Plum + Lime + Blueberries

Apple + Lemon + Cinnamon + Thyme + Clove

Apple + Lemon + Cinnamon + Cloves

Pear + Lime + Mint

Blackberries + Lemon + Pear + Mint

Pear + Cucumber + Lime + Mint

Blueberries + Apple + Lemon + Rosemary

Cucumber + Pear + Lime + Mint

Orange + Blueberries + Basil

Strawberry + Lemon + Lime + Thyme

Lemon + Lavender

 

Other Herb, Fruit, and Vegetable Ideas

The possibilities are limited only to your imagination.  Think about some of your favorite meals or wander down the juice aisle for combo inspiration.

Any combination of lemon, apple, lime, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, watermelon, cucumber, jalapenos, honey dew, mango, grape, lavender, basil, oregano, rosemary, ginger root, sage, thyme, mint, orange, mint, cumin seeds, coconut, cinnamon bark, cloves, carrots, cantaloupe, pomegranate, papaya, kiwi, pineapple, fennel, etc.

Explore a local farmer’s market.  Start your own herb or vegetable garden!  (Check out Jen’s blog about her Tower Garden.   It makes growing a garden YEAR ROUND not only possible but easy.)

Find something unique.  Give it a try.

For alternative refreshing, nutritious drinks click Juicing or for supplement suggestions, click Beauty Treatments from the Inside

 

 

Stacy Pearson

-Stacy is an amazing mom, Family Educator/ Life Coach, and the Office Manager at Elemental Esthetics in St Louis, MO