Are you drinking enough water?
It’s worth asking. Even slight dehydration can affect you in ways such as headaches, loss of focus, sense of fatigue and low mood both at rest and during exercise.
In the hot summer months, the body’s requirement for water goes up, but we don’t often respond by drinking more. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that nearly half of adults drink less than four cups of water a day.
So, why do we fall so short? Most experts agree: It comes down to taste. We simply prefer other drinks, from tea to lemonade to soda to whatever. We like a little flavor in our beverages.
Yet there’s no doubt that pure, clean water is good for us, and even critical for our optimal health. So how can we consume more of it?
Introducing infused water! In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s simply water infused with natural flavor to make it more enticing.
Why Drink More Water?
In case you’re not on the “more water” bandwagon yet, here’s a quite overview of the benefits of staying adequately hydrated:
- Boosts mood: A 2014 study found that increasing water intake at work helped boost mood, increase positive emotions, and raise energy levels.
- Helps weight loss: Studies have shown that drinking water before a meal helps you eat less. It can also help you reduce cravings throughout the day. Even slight dehydration can feel like hunger.
- Ease digestion: Adequate water helps keep digestion rolling along smoothly.
- Increased physical performance: You especially need water when exercising, as you lose more water when you’re sweating. If you wait too long without drinking to replenish those fluids, you can end up feeling fatigued too quickly.
- Mental focus: Adequate water intake helps you focus and concentrate.
- Younger-looking skin: If you get dehydrated, your skin is more likely to look dry, wrinkled, and sunken in. Your lips suffer even more. Adequate water intake keeps skin plump.
- Protects joints: Water keeps cartilage around the joints hydrated. Dehydration dries out joint fluids, and can make joint pain worse. Lower back pain, for example, can be alleviated by adequate water intake.
- Maintains healthy kidneys: If you regularly drink too little water, your risk for kidney stones goes up.
Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough
How do you know if you’re drinking enough?
You can simply ask yourself: Am I drinking enough water? That question alone can help increase your awareness of your own thirst.
Other signs of slight dehydration may include:
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Dry, irritated eyes
- Muscle and joint pain
- Reduced urination
- Dark-yellow-colored urine
How to Make Infused Water
To entice you and your family to drink more, try infusing your water with tasty, healthy things that will make it more attractive. We have several suggestions below, but no matter what you use, consider the basics.
First, use large glass bottles or jars with lids to make your infused water. Wash produce and rinse herbs to remove any chemicals or residues. Choose organic if you can. Avoid any fruits or vegetables that are bruised or past their prime, as that will affect the taste. Peel both to avoid bitter tastes.
If you prefer to leave the peel on to obtain the nutrients, remove the ingredients after about four hours for best results. (You can always add fresh ones right before a get together or party for attractiveness.)
Always cut or slice the ingredients into small, thin pieces so they will break down more quickly. Crush herbs or roots and tear or crush leaves. If you choose to use loose herbs or flowers, consider using a tea infuser or cheesecloth so you can remove them later if desired.
Add the ingredients to the bottle or jar, and then fill it with cool water. Avoid using warm or hot water as it can reduce the nutrient level of the ingredients. Infuse at room temperature for two hours, and then put into the refrigerator. Soaking overnight provides the best results for flavor and nutrients.
Five Infused Water Recipes
Now it’s time to have some fun!
You can infuse water with just about anything that sounds good, including fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, and edible flowers. There really is no limit—just your imagination!
To help you get started, here are a few ideas:
- Citrus Blueberry: Use 2 organic oranges, sliced thin (rind on or off, depending on your preference), and 1-cup blueberries for one gallon of water.
- Berry, Peach, and Coconut: Use 1 cup organic blueberries, 1-cup organic blackberries, 2 peaches (pitted and sliced), and 2 cups unsweetened coconut water in a gallon of regular water.
- Mixed Melon: Use 1-cup cantaloupe, 1-cup watermelon, and 1-cup honeydew, all cut into small pieces in a gallon of water.
- Grapefruit Rosemary: Use 1 grapefruit, with the rind cut away and then cut into small slices, and 1 sprig of fresh rosemary in one gallon of water. You may want to remove the rosemary after about four hours to keep it from dominating the flavor.
- Pineapple Mint: Add one-fourth of a fresh pineapple and 15 leaves of fresh mint to one gallon of water. (Adjust amounts as desired.) Some people prefer adding a bit of sliced ginger instead of the mint.
- Lemon Herb Cucumber: Use about a half cucumber (peeled or not), 1 lemon (with or without the rind and cut up), 2 sprigs rosemary, a handful of thyme, and a handful of mint in a gallon of water.
- Apple Cinnamon Ginger: Use 2 medium organic apples (cut into thin slices), 4-6 cinnamon sticks, and 6 thin slices of peeled, fresh ginger root.
Want more of our very best info? Head on over to our organic resources page.
Time – Food & Drink: Bad Mood, Low Energy? There Might Be a Simple Explanation
Chicago Tribune – Study finds nearly half of Americans not drinking enough water
CNN – Your kids probably aren't drinking enough of this
NCBI – Effects of Changes in Water Intake on Mood of High and Low Drinkers
JJ Virgin – 7 Reasons You’re Probably Not Drinking Enough Water
Hello Glow – How to make Infused Water + 10 Tasty Flavor Combinations
All Recipes – Fresh Ideas For Making Infused Water
Wellness Mama – Herb & Fruit Infused Water Recipes
Shape – 8 Infused Water Recipes to Upgrade Your H2O
Infused Waters – Making Infused Waters for Parties & Events
A Couple Cooks – Cucumber Herb-Infused Water