Infused Water—It's beneficial hydration in every refreshing sip.

Infused water in a bottle

I’ve made it a goal to drink more water. That sluggish, headache, a little “off” feeling seemed to hit me when I wasn’t properly hydrated. To make the resolution stick, I’ve had to go beyond ‘trying to remember’ to drink more and take specific actions to make it a habit.

First, I bought my own special water bottle and started carrying it with me wherever I go. Then I found a way to make water a bit less boring and more like a treat. Making your own infused water is practically calorie free and gives you a refreshing way to stay hydrated. So if you hate water because it’s boring, this is for you!

We know sugary drinks aren’t good for us because they are high in calories, and they don’t really hydrate us all that well. Caffeinated beverages like soda and coffee can actually leave us more dehydrated. Infused waters have been on the market for years, and quite often what you find on store shelves contain additives and “natural flavors.” Well, I don’t know what natural flavors they put in there, but I prefer the natural ones I can select from my fruit bowl.

Believe it or not, you really can infuse water easily with fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices. This goes beyond the classic ubiquitous lemon slice in water. It’s one of those things where you can get super creative and think outside the bottle. The possibilities are endless!

Infusing water with the essence of fruits, herbs, and other botanicals help you drink plenty of liquids without the downside of excess calories, sugars, and artificial flavorings. It's beneficial hydration in every refreshing sip.

But before you get started, there are a few essentials you should know to make sure that the drink of infused water is as good—and good for you—as it can be.

Ingredients: Choose organic when you can. Wash produce and rinse herbs to remove chemicals, pesticides, and other residues.

Water: Use cold or room temperature filtered water. Hot water makes produce fall apart faster and can compromise the nutrients you're trying to coax out of the ingredients.

Vessels: Glass, plain and simple. You can splash out for purpose-built infusing pitchers and bottles, but you don't have to. Spend on fresh produce instead.

Infused Water Preparation Tips

⏩Softer fruits like citrus and strawberries can be sliced thick, thin, halved, or quartered. Harder fruits like apples should be sliced very thinly because they take longer to release flavors.

⏩Crush fibrous ginger root, rosemary, and lemongrass with a muddler or wooden spoon; tear or crush leafy herbs like mint, basil, and cilantro to release their oils.

⏩Loose herbs and flowers—lavender, rose petals, dried hibiscus—can be corralled in a tea infuser or cheesecloth.

Infused Water Soak Time and Temperature

⏩Infuse water at room temperature for no more than 2 hours. After that, put it in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.

⏩Cucumbers, citrus fruits, melons, and mint flavor water almost immediately. Apples, cinnamon, fresh ginger root, and rosemary need an overnight soak in the fridge.

⏩Melons and sliced strawberries start looking waterlogged after a few hours; citrus and whole berries look pretty good even after hours in the fridge.

⏩After 4 hours, unpeeled citrus can make water taste bitter. To make a big jug of infused water for a party, peel the citrus before soaking. Or you can soak it unpeeled for 4 hours, remove it, and add fresh slices for looks. (And keep that water icy cold for food safety.)

⏩If you don't drink the water within 24 hours, strain out the solids and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

⏩To keep sipping all day long, refill your infused water container when it's half full. It will be weaker than your first drink, but still flavorful.

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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