We’ve all heard the recommendations to drink enough water, but how many of us are actually doing it? With the exception of air, fresh water is the single most important thing on the planet when it comes to keeping us healthy and alive. But as important as it is, around half of adults don’t get enough of it and a common reason is because we just forget.
If you find plain water just a little dull, it can be easy to forget about drinking enough. At HomeWater, we think a tasty glass of pure water is enough to get excited about but we get that not everyone shares our enthusiasm. That’s why we want to show you some fun ways to spice up your hydration that we think will make you just as excited about water as we are.
Our favorite infused water recipes are a tasty way to bring some zest to your glass. But before we get there, let’s take a moment to go over what infused water is and give you our best tips on making it great.
Infused water is what you get when you soak or muddle fresh fruits, veggies, spices, and herbs in water until the water takes on the subtle flavors of your chosen mix-ins.
Infusing water can be so much more than just cucumber water or adding a slice of citrus fruit (although that works too!). These Insta-worthy infused water recipes incorporate a variety of ingredients. They can be as simple or complex as you want them to be and it takes very little prep work to make it happen.
Many people now drink infused water in place of making their own cocktails but the real benefit of infused water is that it encourages you to drink more water. Being well-hydrated can do wonders for your health.
Hydration is important if you want your body to run as smoothly as possible. Up to 60% of the adult human body is made up of water. Being made of mostly water is a good thing because just about every process that happens in your body requires water to get it done. If you’re just a little dehydrated it can make everything happen less efficiently.
Hydration affects your energy, appetite, sleep, motor skills, mood, concentration, and even your joints and skin. So in case you haven’t heard it enough recently, for those of us who don’t drink enough water, drinking more can make just about everything a little better.
With a little creativity, you can turn your fresh, filtered water into colorful creations you’ll look forward to picking up. Let’s take a look at how to make these flavored water concoctions.
It depends on the fruit you use and the amount of flavor you want in your water. The longer you keep your fruit in water, the more flavor you’re going to get, up to a point. As a general rule, it's a good idea to keep the soaking under 12 hours. After 12 hours, many fruits will start to decompose, which can add funky flavors to your water.
Some fruits will last more time than others. Hearty fruits like citrus can stay in for the full 12 hours. Melon, strawberries, or other soft and fleshy fruits will break down after about 4 hours.
Some mixers like cucumbers or muddled fresh mint leaves will impart flavor on your water almost immediately. Others, like blackberries, will take more time. Most should be added for at least 3 hours for good flavor.
If you’re using a fruit with a rind like a lemon or lime, keeping the rind in for longer than 4 hours can give your water a bitter flavor.
The healthiest fruit to add to your fruit-infused water recipes is whatever will make you reach for another mason-jar-full. Any fruits or veggies you put in your drinking water will likely provide health benefits as the enzymes, vitamins, and minerals leach into it. We think the biggest benefit to drinking infused water is better hydration and the happiness you’ll find in each serving.
With that said, you can’t go wrong with some low-sugar, high-nutrient options. Additions like blueberries, blackberries, sprigs of fresh rosemary, fresh basil leaves, and other fresh herbs to your water combinations can certainly boost your antioxidants just as much as it does your enjoyment.
Refrigeration is key. If water is kept at room temperature, letting it sit for more than a few hours may encourage bacteria growth — especially if the fruit is left in it. With refrigeration, infused water keeps for about three days. It is certainly best when consumed the same day.
Preparing a batch the night before and then sipping on it throughout the day gives you the ultimate freshness, with nice strong flavors. Finishing the pitcher by the end of the day is a great way to keep to your water drinking goals.
Yes! As long as you don’t have any food intolerances or allergies to what you put in your water, that is. Infused water is just water with a boost of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes from the mix-ins you use. Many fruits and vegetables are known to be rich in important vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Choosing infused H2O drink recipes instead of sugary drinks like fruit juice and smoothies can help you cut back on the carbohydrates while improving how your water tastes.
Checking the nutrition information on your chosen mix-ins can help you make the healthiest choices.
Infused water recipes are a low-calorie way to encourage higher water intake and add some nutrients to your diet. Proper hydration, decreasing the kcals, and good nutrition are all commonly known to be beneficial for people attempting to lose weight and improve some markers of health.
If weight loss or a detox is your goal, talking to your doctor or a nutritionist is your best bet.
It’s always a good idea to wash the fruit, veggies, and fresh herbs before you add them to water. This is especially true if it's not organic or comes unwrapped. Produce can have pesticide residue, fertilizers, or have just been handled by dirty hands before it gets to you. You don’t want that icky stuff transferring into your refreshing drink.
You can use frozen fruit but you’ll get a tastier and prettier result with fresh, in-season produce. If for some reason you have an abundance of fruit sitting around that’s just going to go bad, freezing it for use in your next colorful water and fruit combo will still create a worthy treat.
Dried fruit is not recommended.
We think so. Infused water is about celebrating the subtle flavors. These flavors can be covered up or made far less pleasant by chlorine or the taste of your old pipes. For the best experience when drinking your fruity water mixtures, use pure, filtered water and make clear ice cubes.
Now that we’ve gone over all the basics, it’s time to get creative. Here are a few of our favorite infused water combinations. Everyone has their own preferences so we’re going to concentrate more on the combinations than the ratios. Feel free to experiment and make them your own or just go wild and make them up as you go.
Grapefruit and Rosemary
Citrus and herbs is a classic combination in cooking and adult beverages. It shouldn’t be any surprise that a few of them make our top list of tasty mocktails. Grapefruit and rosemary is not only appealing to the eye but it lights up your senses to drink it.
Use one pink or ruby red grapefruit slice for each sprig of fresh rosemary and let soak for no more than 4 hours. We recommend cutting off the peel since grapefruit can already be a little bitter. If you want a little sweetness, add melon into the mix.
Pro tip: If you have a little extra grapefruit and rosemary, set it on the stove to boil in a pot of water. Your whole house will smell amazing.
Orange and Basil
Sticking with our citrus and herbs theme, orange and basil is another incredible combination you’ll want to try. If you’re a fan of basil, try muddling just a little bit to release the flavor before you start. It does get quite strong, so be careful if you go past a few hours.
It's less important to slice off the orange peel here than the grapefruit peel but if you’re going to soak it for more than a few hours, peel the orange first.
Mint, Lemon, and Cucumber
Nothing beats some cool fresh mint water in the middle of summer, except maybe adding some lemon and cucumbers to it. This combination is a powerhouse of freshness and nutrients. If you want to add a little sweetness, watermelon caps off this combo nicely.
A great thing about this recipe is that all the flavors in it act quickly. You could be indulging in this summer delight in just minutes but we recommend you give it an hour for the flavors to really set in.
Pomegranate, Kiwi, and Mango
If you like a little sweetness, this tropical, nutrient-filled gem is for you. Grab a single-serving-sized mason jar, drop in a handful of smashed pomegranate seeds, slice off a few thin strips of mango, add three or four coins of kiwi, and fill the rest with pure, filtered water. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours, and drink when it tastes just right to you.
Fresh ginger has been a folk remedy for upset stomachs for hundreds of years, so it's no stranger to being a water mix-in. There are many combinations you can use ginger with, like lemon and cucumber or rosemary and honey.
Because the ginger root is so tough and fibrous, boil some water and toss peeled ginger pieces in. Take it off the heat and let it steep for anywhere from 5-30 minutes. When you like the taste, strain the ginger out and chill your water in the fridge.
Ginger water can act as a whole new canvas to try new flavors with. Or, you can use ginger water ice cubes (just freeze ginger water in an ice tray) to accompany your other infused water recipes.
Other Ingredients to Play With
There are so many possible combinations and ingredients you can play with. While these combinations are some of our favorites, we encourage you to experiment until you find what you love.
Don’t forget the world of peppercorns, habaneros, and jalapenos if you like some heat, strawberries and pears for sweetness, or cinnamon and star anise if you’re into spices.
It’s well known that most of us don’t drink enough water. Infused water recipes provide you with a fun and fancy way to hydrate while sneaking in a few more plant-based nutrients. With just a little prep time, you can make wonderful water creations that will impress your friends and family and have everyone reaching for another serving.
Every flavored water mix should start with the best-tasting, purest water you can get. HomeWater filters can help. Our affordable, American-made water filters remove chlorine, heavy metals, microorganisms, and more.
Try our HomeWater EZChange 2-Stage Under Sink Water FIlter for a low-cost way to make your tap water into the perfect canvas for your creativity.