We know that staying hydrated is critical for bodily function, preventing fatigue and helping to stay focused and alert. We also know that drinking 2-3 L of plain water per day can be a challenge for some people.
Here we have a few ideas to help you drink more water. We have a recipe for fruit or herb infused water, tips for freezing herbs or berries in ice and coffee substitutes to prevent dehydration.
Infusing water with the essence of fruits, herbs, and other botanicals helps 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 drink of infused water is as good—and good for you—as it can be.
Choose organic when you can. Wash produce and rinse herbs to remove chemicals, pesticides, and other residues.
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.
Glass, plain and simple. You can splash out for purpose-built infusing pitchers and bottles, but you don’t have to. We do however love these Fressko infusers because you can take it with you on the go.
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 included in a tea infuser or cheesecloth.
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.
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 flavourful.
In a 2-3 Litre glass jug combine ice, water and ½ cucumber thinly sliced, 2 handfuls of roughly torn mint and 2 cinnamon sticks. Leave at room temperature for 2 hours and then transfer to the fridge.
If not consumed after 24 hours, remove cucumber cinnamon and mint from the water and store in the fridge.
Freezing berries and herbs is a great way to preserve leftover produce while also being a handy way to flavour plain or sparkling water. Freezing herbs prevents wastage and also keeps the nutrients of your produce before they are lost due to ageing.
The process is really simple. With fruit you simply cut into bite-sized pieces small enough to fit inside an ice cube tray, cover with filtered water and freeze. You then transfer the fruit cubes from the ice tray into a snap lock bag. You can do a mix of fruits, or a combination of fruits and herbs.
With herbs you need to chop or finely “bruise” the herb leaves. Bruising is simply a breaking down the herb to release the essential oils. Place chopped herbs/spices into an ice cube tray and cover with filtered water. Freeze.
You can also freeze freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice - great for when limes are out of season and coconut water.
I love this combination at this time of year. It reminds me of summer. My family loves it served with sparkling water.
Chop 6 large strawberries into quarters. Place 2 quarters in each hole of a 12 cube ice tray.
Take 12 small basil leaves, lightly bruise with the back of a knife and add one leaf to each cube.
Cover with filtered water and freeze.
Add the Infused Ice Cubes into your water and enjoy the subtle release of flavours from the ice cubes.
Many of us, including myself, love an aromatic cup of coffee. But, drinking too much caffeine can directly affect our hydration. For every caffeinated beverage you have you need to drink 2 extra glasses of water.
This recipe also helps to reduce inflammation while boosting your immunity. Great for when making changes to your health.
Dandelion Root Tea
This dark earthy flavoured tea is often described as a coffee substitute. It’s not coffee, but it’s dark subtle bitterness is about as close as you can get. It’s also wonderful for liver detoxification. You’ll find it at specialty health stores.
Naturally Caffeine Free Teas
-such as chamomile, nettle, peppermint, licorice or rooibos.
This blog is part of our 10 pillars of health series. Each week we will deliver content, recipes and challenges relevant to each pillar of health that we believe are the foundations for living a healthier, happier, more energised life. The idea being that if we focus on making progress in one area each week it will be easier, and more sustainable, over the long-term.
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