From young, you are often told by elders to drink more water, 8 glasses a day. Am I right? Honestly, I have never kept to this. You? If my cups of coffee per day included, maybe… Today, let’s talk about infused water, what is it for? Surely, you want to how infused water benefits you. On top of this, probably you would have read or heard about detox water too. What is the difference? Lastly, I will share with you how to infuse water using your kitchen herbs and spices.
About Infused Water
What exactly is it? Simply explained, it is water infused with fresh fruits, vegetables or herbs. These fresh ingredients can enhance the flavor and nutrition of plain water.
Undoubtedly, drinking plain water itself is good for your body as water is needed to
- Regulate your body temperature
- Carry nutrients to all your body cells and oxygen to your brain
- Help your body absorb vitamins, minerals and other substances
- Flush out toxins and waste
If these are not good enough reasons to drink more water, weight loss and clear glowing skin will surely entice you to follow the general rule of consuming 8 glasses of water a day. How does it help? Read on for further information below.
Before that, I hear you ask
What about detox water? Is it different from infused water?
Detox water and infused water are the same. They are often used interchangeably and I believe the term detox water gets people’s attention more.
The word detox itself will clearly capture everyone’s eyes as body detox has gained popularity for rejuvenating your body. This is why, instead of infused water, detox water sounded alluring and often used as a marketing gimmick.
However, this does not mean detox water or infused water is of no benefits to your body. This leads to the next question
How Does Infused Water Benefits You
Detox! Clear skin! Weight loss! You and I have seen lots of articles claiming drinking water infused with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs can benefit your health. What you really ought to know is how? What are you getting out of that attractively vibrant glass of infused water?
Fruits, vegetables and herbs have their own nutrition properties.
Let’s take cucumber as an example.
Cucumber is high in antioxidants and other nutrients. And antioxidants help prevent and delay cell damage from oxidative stress. Adding them to water makes your glass of water antioxidant-rich and nutritious. The question is – why not eat cucumber as is?
Honestly, I do not know how many percentages of the nutrients can be infused into the water and how many cucumbers are needed to achieve an acceptable result. To get the most out of it, juicing or making a smoothie will bring better result. What do you think?
Same goes to herbs such as mint. Mint is a great source of vitamin C and A and contains several minerals including calcium, potassium and iron.
However, the amount that a person typically use in a meal or in this case, infused water is not sufficient to provide a significant amount of a person’s daily requirement. Having said so, mint is most beneficial as a replacement for sugary drinks. Also, reduce salt intake in cooking.
A glass of water infused with cucumber and mint is definitely a refreshing treat but you may not gain the desired benefits from the ingredients’ nutrients.
The Real Benefits of Infused Water
You are enticed to drink more water. You see, fill your water pitcher with sliced cucumber and mint leaves, and place it in your refrigerator. Its cooling effect will motivate you to drink more, all day long. Is this not better than plain bland water? I say yes. Continue reading for more infused water ideas below.
I want you to understand that the key to maintaining a healthy body is consuming sufficient water. Your body is made up of about 60% water. So, what happens when you do not drink enough?
Dehydration kicks in and you feel unwell. Starting with bad breath, fatigue and headache. Slowly, it leads to constipation and poor skin health. Eventually, leads to frequent illnesses caused by weakening immune system because of waste, bacteria and toxin build-up. Without sufficient water, your body is not able to flush out these substances.
In order to make you drink sufficient water, you may need palatable fruits and herbs flavored infused water that will benefit you in the following ways
Detox. It helps eliminate toxins from the body. Your kidneys need water to get rid of waste products. Without sufficient water, they cannot do an efficient job eliminating toxins.
Besides kidneys, other organs that help with detoxification include liver, bowel and urinary tract, and skin through sweat.
This leads to the next point.
Clear glowing skin. I believe this is what you and I strive for. While detox is a good way to clear up your skin by literally sweating it out, you ought to know that skin is the largest organ that is mostly made up of water.
If your skin does not get sufficient water, it will become dry, tight and flaky. Worse, it is more prone to ageing. You don’t want this, do you?
So, while sweating the toxins out, you need to be drinking more water to replace it. Else, your skin will suffer and the difference is noticeable.
Think of wrinkles, complexion, acne and ageing. Water helps.
Weight loss. Water is a natural appetite suppressant. It helps take up space in your stomach which leads to a feeling of fullness, reducing hunger. You eat less! You may even restrain unnecessary snacking by drinking a glass of fruit-infused water.
Instead of sodas, reach for natural flavored infused water. Even sports drinks or energy drinks contain calories too. Replacing these high-calorie drinks every day for water may well have long term weight loss benefits.
Drinking water helps boost your metabolism. Without sufficient water, your body cannot efficiently metabolize stored fat and carbohydrates. Simply, you need water to burn off fat from food and drink.
Exercising is an important part of any weight loss plan. Water helps your lung, heart and other organs as well as muscles, joints and connective tissues to work effectively during a workout. For this reason, you need to stay hydrated to ensure or reduce the risk of things getting in the way such as fatigue and muscle cramps.
Water does not directly help with weight loss. However, drinking sufficient water helps reduce hunger, manage cravings and ensure your organs and body function well, ultimately losing unwanted weight. On top of that, water helps your body naturally detox and stay well hydrated.
Now, you want to know
How to Infuse Water
There are a few things to take note of to ensure you are getting the best out of infused water.
Choose Your Ingredients
Fruits. Choose fruits you like most or what you have in hand.
Here are several categories to try or you like to mix and match them.
- Berries – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries
- Citrus – grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, tangerine
- Melons – cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon
- Tropical – pineapple, pomegranate, starfruit, kiwi
Other common fruits like apple, pear and stone fruits such as apricots, nectarines, peach and plum are good options too.
Vegetables. Cucumber is the most common but you should try carrot and celery too.
Note: When it comes to produce, choose organic when you can. If you don’t have access to them, always wash and rinse well to remove chemicals, pesticides and other residues. You may even want to remove the peel or rinds of the fruits or vegetables.
- It is best to slice harder fruits and vegetables such as apple or carrot very thinly because they take longer to release flavors.
- As for softer fruits like strawberries, thick slices, even halved or quartered will do.
- Citrus rinds can cause the water to taste bitter after 4 hours. If you intend to infuse longer than that, consider removing the peel before infusing or remove the unpeeled citrus fruit after 4 hours. Add fresh slices before drinking if desired.
Herbs. Mint is most refreshing but should you have other leftover fresh herbs from your cooking, use them. For instance, basil, cilantro, rosemary and thyme. Lemongrass is a must-try if you have them.
Do you know mint is one of the best herbs to remedy a gassy and bloated stomach? Mint contains menthol which may help calm muscle spasms in the stomach and intestines, making it easier for gas to pass through the digestive tract.
- Slightly bruise soft herbs (mint, basil and cilantro) to release the essential oils and natural extracts plus aroma.
- A little bit more strength (compared to bruising soft herbs) is needed to crush hard herbs like rosemary and thyme.
- As for lemongrass, use the back of your knife to smash it.
Spices. Use cinnamon, cloves or ginger to spice up your infused water.
I say ginger is the best option because its flavor can be easily released by smashing the ginger slice with the back of your knife.
Whereas, cinnamon and cloves, in fact, most spices, need heat to release their flavors and essential oils. But this does not mean they do not give you any flavor and aroma when infused with water. They do but not as much. If not, I would not have used them to repel spiders. I love the aroma of cinnamon and cloves even as is, but spiders hate them. Eugenol, a component found in these spices is the main element in getting rid of spiders.
- Use cinnamon stick instead of ground form as they tend to float on the surface. Else, you will need to stir the infused water every time you pour. Break the cinnamon stick into smaller pieces to release the flavor more easily during the process.
- Using cloves, pinch the flower buds between your fingers to release the oil.
- Spice infused water will have better flavor overnight.
Water. Of course, you need water. Room temperature filtered water will do. Hot or warm water will make the produce especially delicate herbs such as mint wilted and fall apart. Worse, the nutrients are compromised.
This is how you infuse water in 3 simple steps
Once you have gathered all your ingredients.
- Put the fruits and vegetables of your choice in a glass. Use a spoon to slightly squash the fruits and vegetables.
- Add your selected herbs and spices. Remember to slightly bruise the herb leaves.
- Add water.
As easy as 1, 2, 3…, but here are some
Guidelines to follow
Time. A good rule to follow is to infuse the water for 2 hours at room temperature. After which, you have to put it in the fridge to avoid bacterial growth.
Should you want to put directly into the fridge upon combining all the ingredients, 4 hours is needed to achieve the desired flavor.
You can infuse overnight but more than 12 hours, you need to remove all the ingredients from the water to prevent the fruits from decomposing in the water thus allowing bacterial growth.
Lasts. It is best to drink the infused water on the same day. If the ingredients are removed and the water stored in the fridge, then the infused water is good for 3 days.
Reuse. You can reuse the fruits in the infused water but the flavor will diminish with each re-use. Certain fruits with strong flavor such as lemon, orange and pineapple are good for numerous infusion. You may want to add water to your container when it is half empty so that the already flavored infused water gets mixed with the new water.
Ingredients to water ratio. Most probably you were asking why this was not mentioned first. Because this is not an important element. Tell you why
Use as many fresh fruits as you like depending how potent you want it to be. Different produce combinations give different flavors and potencies. Take your time to experiment with different fruits, herbs and spices. Should you find the infused water too potent, simply add more water or vice versa.
Is it important to use a proper vessel? A plain and simple glass jar is good enough. Although purpose-built infusing pitchers and bottles are good to have, I think spending more on fresh produce is more appropriate.
If your budget allows, infused water pitchers are ideal should you make infused water regularly. Also, lovely for serving guests at home. When on the go, infused water bottles are great, so does a simple mason jar. The choice is yours.
Check these out if you may
This glass jar is suitable for any homemade beverages, from cold to hot drinks.
Check this out on Amazon.
A purpose-built infusing pitcher may not be necessary but good to have.
If you fancy one, there is a variety on Amazon. Take a look.
Infusion water on the go. Best to get a Fruit Infuser Water Bottle.
Infused Water Recipes with Fruits & Herbs
Below are a few common 2-ingredient combinations to help you get started.
Once you are familiar with the flavor and know which your favorite is, try adding another fruit, vegetable or herbs. The choice is yours.
The amount of ingredients used below are for ½ gallon glass jar. Following the same method mentioned above – place all ingredients into the jar and fill with filtered water. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or 2 hours at room temperature before transfer to the refrigerator for another 2 hours or more, or overnight.
Watermelon + Cilantro
Cut watermelon into 1inch-cubes (without rind), about 1 cup. Slightly bruise 8 cilantro leaves.
Cucumber + Mint
Slice one cucumber. Remember to peel if you are not using organic. Slightly bruise 8 fresh mint leaves (use more if you prefer stronger minty flavor).
Consider adding 1 peeled and sliced lemon.
Strawberry + Basil
Slice, halved or quartered about 10 organic strawberries. Slightly bruise 8 basil leaves. Sitting overnight in the refrigerator will give you a pretty pink tint.
Consider adding 1 peeled and sliced lemon.
Grapefruit + Rosemary
Cut one grapefruit into horizontal slices. This allows more juices to seep out. Remember to remove the rind. Else, the infused water will taste bitter. Bruise 1 sprig fresh rosemary. You may want to remove the rosemary if you intend to infuse overnight as it may dominate the flavor.
Pineapple + Thyme
4 slices of 1-inch thick pineapple. Bruise 8 sprigs fresh thyme. Although pineapple is a juicy fruit, its juice needs time to release thus let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.
Apple + Cinnamon
Slice one apple. Peel off if non-organic. Break 4 cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces. Best consume overnight as cinnamon may need a longer period to impart its flavor.
Pear + Cloves
Slice one pear. Peel off if non-organic. Pinch the flower buds of 5 cloves.
Consider adding a handful of pomegranate seeds.
Lemon + Ginger
Remove the rind of one lemon. Cut into half horizontally. Slightly squeeze a minimal amount of juice into a ½ gallon glass jar. Slice lemon. Peel and slice thinly 2-3 inches fresh ginger.
Consider adding half an orange. Peel off and sliced horizontal.
Lime + Lemongrass
Remove rind and slice one lime. Use the back of your knife, smash 2 4-inch lemongrass stalk (remove tough outer layer).
Consider adding 1-inch peeled and sliced ginger.
Really, the combinations are endless. It is possibly best to start with what you already have in your kitchen.
It is also good to know how each fruit or herb contribute to your needs in term of its health benefits. For example
- Apples and cinnamon help regulate blood sugar
- Ginger and cloves help boost your immune system
- Cucumber, basil, cilantro and mint aid digestive system
- Rosemary helps boost memory
Related read: Herbs and Spices Health Benefits
All in All
The ultimate goal of consuming infused water is your hydration and overall health. You may have struggled to drink sufficient water daily and flavored drinks entice you to reach out for it instead of plain water. That is the real benefits of infused water.
I believe this is a clever and flavorsome way to keep your body properly hydrated and cleansed without unnecessary sugar and calories.
You may not gain all the nutrients of the fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices from the infused water, but it helps you stay away from sugary sodas and sports or energy drinks that could contain liquid calories which cause weight gain. Having said so, few nutrients from the infused water and some from your cooking can add up. Try cooking with herbs and spices more to gain their nutritional and medicinal benefits.
Detox water may just be a term to get you to drink more. The truth is, water itself helps your organs and body parts with the natural detoxification process. This leads to clear glowing skin. All is good!
Coming to the end of this article (thanks for reading to the end), I hope the above clarifies what infused water is for.
Let Us Know Your Thoughts
Do you believe in detox water? Really? What will be your favorite ingredients for infused water? The lively colors that look so refreshing should entice you to drink more water. Yes? Btw, I am curious to know if a beautiful infused water pitcher makes it more attractive to the point you really wanted to drink more. Tell us in the comments section below.
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From the Corner of My Home – Spice Up Your Life with Herbs and Spices
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6 Replies to “What is Infused Water For”
Drinking water is so important and I can honestly say to you I don’t think I have ever followed the 8 glass rule.
Infusion of water with organic healthy fruits and vegetables is a wonderful idea. Your article is full of information and some excellent recepies for us to try out.
I have to agree with your thoughts on using infused water to help with the health and detoxification of the body.
Would using reverse osmosis filtered water something you’d consider for the infusions.
Gald to know we are on the same page.
I have heard of RO water but never had the chance to find out more until now. A quick search, now I know the basis of RO water but at this point, I cannot say for sure if it benefits us or the other way around. There are opposing views and it is up to an individual to research and decide what is best for them. Let me know your thoughts.
Hi Sharon. I’m glad to read about infused water and it’s benefits. Eliminating toxins from my body is my main goal. I had also heard about detox water and wondered what it was. Now, there is no more confusion. I agree with you, the word ‘detox’ can be catchy.
I will start with grapefruit, lemon and lime. I love citrus as you can see. 🙂
Thanks for commenting, Paolo.
I have been drinking flavored water for ages, but didn’t quite know that it was called Infused Water. But the benefits you explained are a happiness giver. Detoxing your body is the aim. Both infused water and detox water are the same if u are adding the right stuff to your water bottles. I absolutely always recommend lemon and ginger and garlic too, if you can bear the taste and smell. Those are great nutritionists.
The most important benefit of infused water is that you feel like drinking more water. And thats the key to detox and health. I hope a lot of people read this lovely article and gain as much as they can.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Aparna.