Water is necessary to maintain a healthy body but it is not always easy to drink the optimal amount. This is where fruit-infused water can help.
WebMD emphasizes the importance of replenishing water. Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, writes that water helps maintain balance in bodily fluids, controls caloric intake, energizes the muscles, hydrates skin, flushes the kidneys, and reduces constipation.
Rebecca Lewis, in-house dietitian for HelloFresh, points out that water comprises 60 percent of the human body. Throughout the course of the day, we lose water through perspiration, breathing, and urinary output.
“This means we have to down a ton to make up what’s lost daily. To put it in perspective, you need to drink four 16-ounce glasses of water or two-and-a-half large water bottles per day,” she says. “That may seem like a lot of water, but it’s worth it for your overall health, energy levels, and waistline. Oftentimes, when you feel hungry, it’s really just your body sending a signal that you’re dehydrated.”
Water with flavor
Unfortunately, plain water does nothing to tempt the taste buds. But there is a way to add some zip to your H2O and derive some health benefits in the process.
“The culinary team at HelloFresh has come up with some refreshingly tasty and unbelievably easy fruit-infused water ideas to jazz up those tasteless drinks without adding extra sugar, calories, or artificial flavors,” says Lewis. “Halve or quarter softer fruits such as strawberries, while thinly slicing tougher ones such as apples, and add cold or room-temperature filtered water.”
Be sure to wash fruits or veggies before adding to your water, she advises.
Herbs can also spice up water, according to Lewis. “Use a wooden spoon or muddler to tear and crush them, releasing their natural extracts and oils,” she says.
Statistics show that the fruit-infused water trend is spreading. Lindsey Cummins, CEO of Winq, a social polling app for millennials, reports that based on their polls, 39 percent of their users add some sort of fruit to their water almost every single day, and 57 percent of their users prefer the taste of water with fruit in it as opposed to plain water. “Seventy-eight percent of our users find fruit water much more refreshing and detoxing than regular water,” she says, adding that lemons and limes, strawberries, watermelon, and oranges are the top four fruits people choose.
While fruit and veggie-infused water provides plenty of nutritional benefits and enhances taste, there are some tips that will ensure your water is fresh and safe.
Lewis reports that infused water can remain out of the refrigerator for a maximum of two hours. “After that, there’s a risk of bacterial growth, so it’s best to store in the fridge. If you want to save the water for the next day, just strain out the solids before refrigerating for two to three days,” she says. “Unpeeled citrus lends a bitter taste to water after four hours, so if you’re planning to make a big batch to last the afternoon, peel off the skin before infusing.”
Health benefits of fruit water
Toby Amidor, MS, nutrition expert and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More than 130 delicious, healthy recipes for every meal of the day, reports that fruit-infused water “adds flavor but few calories, making it a good replacement for other calorie-heavy beverages.”
She points out that fruit provides important vitamins and minerals as well as flavor. “But it’s important to understand that the vitamin content will diminish with long exposure to water. As such, cut fruit into large chunks and add just before serving,” she says. “Minerals can seep into water and are not destroyed as easily as vitamins. Minerals such as potassium, found in all fruits, will seep into the water. Citrus fruit and berries have a healthy dose of potassium and are a flavorful addition to water.”
The next time you cruise the fruit and vegetable aisle at your favorite grocery store, consider adding a few extra oranges, berries, or cucumbers to your shopping cart. Your taste buds and your body will thank you.