Water is essential for good health, and it's extremely important that we replace the fluid that is lost each day from our body through normal bodily functions. However, there are many who find plain water a little bland. If this is you, then your daily intake of water may be compromised. Average intakes for women should be about 2.7 liters, while men should consume about 3.7 liters.
But, your drinking water doesn't have to be boring. You can improve the taste of your drinking water using various methods to add flavor without added sugar or empty calories.
Here are 6 such easy ways you can modify the taste of your drinking water.
1. Add Fruits
The simplest way to flavor your water is by using fruits. There are a couple of different ways you can use fruits to flavor your water. You can make a fruit infusion by simply chopping your favorite fruit in a bottle or jar of water and letting the flavors naturally diffuse into the water.
You can add any fruit that you like; slices of lemon or lime. A cucumber or strawberry and so on. You can even crush the fruit a little to get a bit more flavor seeping in. The primary advantage of going this route is that since it is lightly flavored, it can be consumed all day long. Additionally, those struggling to drink enough water will find that fruit-infused water helps them more easily meet the daily water requirement, promote consumption of more fruits, and give an extra supply of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Adding a bit of fruit juices to your water is yet another viable option. You can either prepare fresh fruit juices at home or you can buy any unsweetened natural fruit juices from the store. Several tart fruit juices, like pure cranberry juice or pomegranate juice, can be difficult to consume on their own, however when mixed with water they provide a better drinking experience.
Fruit juices are already naturally sweetened, thanks to fructose. So if you have a sweet tooth this option is for you. Just make sure to consume only 100% juice with no added sweeteners. Unlike Fruit infused water, adding fruit juice to your water will be more concentrated, so many people may not be able to consume them all day long.
If you choose to go the add fruit juice in the water do note that large amounts of fruit juice can have undesirable side effects, including elevated blood sugar, gastrointestinal discomfort, and provide an excess amount of calories. Acidic fruit juice like orange, lemon, or lime can exacerbate acid reflux and even lead to the erosion of tooth enamel if consumed in large quantities.
All in all, whether you go with adding the whole fruit or a bit of fruit juice, you will always have a variety of options.
2. Add Herbs
Adding herbs to water is another great way to make your daily water intake a little bit more interesting. You can make many herbal infusions by steeping the herb in hot water for 10-15 minutes or just adding it to cold water as is.
Ginger, lemongrass, basil, mint, sage, and thyme all make for amazing tea. As with the fruit route, Fresh herbs can be mixed and matched to make unique yet delicious infusions. For instance, basil and thyme can be a beautiful addition to sparkling water.
For those who like their water hot, herbal tea (without actual tea leaves) is composed of multiple herbs and does not contain caffeine.. So, it will give you the benefits of herbs without the side effects from caffeine. Herbal teas can have an interesting mix of herbs, plant flowers and leaves, and spices. They are a great alternative to coffee, and some do not have the same diuretic properties of coffee. .
However, some herbs may also have side-effects when consumed in a very high amount. So, to avoid that, limit the intake of herbal infusions to 3-4 cups per day.
3. Add Tea Leaves
Adding tea leaves to your cup of water provides some really great health benefits, including improved brain function, anti-inflammatory properties, and stress-relief.
To be considered a proper “tea”, your brew will need to contain actual tea leaves; green, black, or white tea. As tea leaves do contain caffeine, moderation is key as too much can be difficult for some to manage. Note that whether you are getting the caffeine from coffee or tea, it acts the same. Aside from being a stimulant caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it will make the body get rid of water and promote dehydration if not replaced. Daily caffeine recommendations are no more than 400mg, which is about the equivalent of four cups of coffee or tea.
If you go this route, add herbs and flowers to further enhance the flavor and aroma of your tea.
4. Add Apple Cider Vinegar
Adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) to water is another option that is very well known to the health industry. The biggest drawback of this approach is that it's extremely sour. Even one tablespoon of ACV may prove too tart for many. But, for those that enjoy have a taste for tartness then you might like it. Another option would be to add a small amount of ACV and a drizzle of honey. Vinegar is acidic, and can cause some gastrointestinal discomfort if consumed on it’s own.
5. Add Some Edible Flowers
If you have a garden with a variety of edible flowers or a friend with a garden, this one's for you!
You can flavor your plain water using any edible flowers. Some of the commonly used flowers to prepare such floral infusions are rose, hibiscus, chamomile, orange blossoms, lavender, linden, and jasmine.
These edible flowers have some amazing health benefits as well and have been used in many ways for generations.
The simplest way to flavor your water with flowers is by steeping the organic flower petals in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Organic flowers have been grown without inorganic pesticides, but it’s important to remember that there are still lots of “organic” pesticides and herbicides that can be used on plants. Therefore, it’s important to properly clean your flowers prior to consumption. Excrement from birds and animals, along with dirt, can hide inbetween flower petals and leaves.
6. Add Vegetables
Your water intake does not necessarily need to be through plain water or flavored water. If you like spices and savory beverages, then soups and broths can be a good alternative for you.
Both soups and broths are made by boiling vegetables, herbs, spices, and protein in water, and both are extremely nutritious. They will not only fulfill your water requirement and get you some extra vitamins and minerals, but the spices you use in your soup and broths may improve your metabolism, and increase your satiety level as well; making it a very good option for anyone trying to lose weight. Simmering vegetables and meat bones for several days can produce a rich, satisfying bone broth, with the added benefit of collagen from the bones. Collagen helps to promote elasticity in muscles and connective tissues in the body, and production slows during the aging process.
Store-bought soups and broths may have a lot of salt and preservatives in them. Therefore, for best results prepare them at home, or purchase high quality stocks and broths with no added sodium.
Drinking water doesn't need to be boring. There are many ways using which you can make your water taste better. Consuming water and adequate fluids is important and vital for health.
A great way to meet your daily fluid requirements are to consume a variety of beverages; flavored waters, teas, herbal infusions, broths, and even water flavored with apple cider vinegar are all ways to help meet your fluid requirements.
Preparing these at home, without added sugar, helps to promote optimal health without excess empty calories. Consuming a variety of beverages can also keep life interesting and keep you excited about consuming fluids!