Add Some Zest to your H20
We all know the importance of drinking enough water throughout the day. Water helps flush toxins from your body, energizes muscles, aids digestion, and can keep your skin from looking dry and wrinkled.
We need about 2-3 L of water per day, with higher levels required on days of high heat or activity. Although other fluids (excluding coffee and pop) and foods with high water content (like many fruits and vegetables) count toward your fluid intake, water is still the best source of hydration.
The problem? When you have to drink 2-3 L every day, water can be a little boring. There are flavour enhancers on store shelves, but they are typically laden with artificial colours and sweeteners. Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can jazz up your water naturally.
- Wedges of lemon are a standard accompaniment to water at restaurants and for good reason: a squeeze of lemon adds some definite zing and a hit of vitamin C to water. You can try other citrus fruits too. Lime is great on its own or with lemon. Or try a combination of lemon, orange, and lime slices. Just muddle the fruit a bit, let the water sit for 10-15 minutes, then enjoy!
- An herb like mint works well on its own, but it is also great with lime. Add fresh mint leaves to your water, with or without a bit of lime juice, then muddle and serve with ice. Mint offers trace amounts of Vitamin A and potassium along with some powerful antioxidants. Plus, it tastes great!
- Fresh basil smells divine and pairs nicely with lemon. The health benefits of basil are probably stronger when you eat it rather than infuse it in water—it contains vitamin K and antioxidants—but your drink may still provide trace benefits along with basil’s distinct, delicious flavour.
- Beyond Citrus. You can use fruit other than citrus to flavour water: cubed watermelon pairs nicely with mint leaves, and strawberries make a nice addition to lemon-basil water. Some people have even used chopped pineapple to add a little extra pop to their water. Frozen berries are also a great alternative to ice cubes.
- Popular at spas, cucumber water offers some of the many nutrients found in cucumbers: vitamins C and K, some B vitamins, and potassium, among others. Simply slice cucumbers and add them to water. Mix and match cucumbers with other ingredients to create new flavours: mint, lime, watermelon, or strawberry.
- Ginger water is made as a tea, then cooled. Add sliced fresh ginger—as much as you can handle since it can be pretty strong—to a cup of boiling water, then cool and serve. Ginger has numerous benefits: digestive aid, anti-inflammatory effects, and antioxidants.
Make a single serving of flavoured water in a glass, large quantities in a pitcher, or buy a glass infuser bottle to take your healthy drink on the go. Your body and skin will thank you!