We all know that water is good for us and we should be drinking copious amounts of it every day. Well, maybe not copious amounts but enough to flush and hydrate us. If you are a soda, coffee or juice drinker all day, then you may not be getting enough water into your system. Not to mention the added sugar, chemicals, and other interesting ingredients that are part of those beverages. Consuming water regularly throughout the day provides many benefits. These are just a few:
- Balances the fluids in the body – your body is about 60% water and you need it for absorption, digestion, circulation, transporting nutrients, and maintaining body temperature.
- Helps control calories – no secret here. Drink water as a substitute for other calorie laden beverages. It also helps flush out the by products of fat breakdown there by assisting in losing weight.
- Helps energize muscles – muscles cells need water for performance and to reduce muscle fatigue. Water carries oxygen to your muscles. Muscles consist of 75% water.
- Good for the skin – helps replenish skin tissue, moisturizes, and retains skin elasticity.
- Improves mood – even a minor amount of dehydration can cause serious problems in your mood, making your irritable and uncomfortable.
But at some point for a lot of people, water just becomes plain boring! I know a lot of people look for flavor and it is not uncommon to hear a person or two actually say they don’t like water. But wait before you start looking for hydration alternatives such as Gatorade or vitamin water. These drinks can be and usually are loaded with sugar, chemicals, and stuff your body just doesn’t need. Sports drinks in general contain more sugar, calories, and sodium then you want to consume.
Then there’s vitamin water. Vitamin water has marketed itself as a healthy alternative to sports drink. And why not, it’s water and vitamins… While sports drinks may not contain vitamins, the sugar content of these two is not so different. If you look at the nutrition labels on vitamin water, the second ingredient is some form of sugar. And the best part is that there is no juice in it whatsoever. Here is a label from one of the flavors.
Serving Size 8 fl oz; Servings per Container 2.5
Total Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrate 13g
Total Sugar 13g
Vitamin C 60%; vitamin B3 10%; vitamin B6 10%; vitamin B12 10%; vitamin B5 10%, Zinc 10%
vapor distilled/deionized water, crystalline fructose, citric acid, vegetable juice (color), natural flavor, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), natural flavor, vitamin E acetate, magnesium lactate (elecrolyte), calcium lactate (electrolyte), zinc picolinate, monopotassium phosphate (electrolyte), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), cyanocobalamine (B12)
At first glance this may not look horrible but take a look at the serving size and servings per container. No one drinks less than half a bottle. If you twist the cap off, it’s gonna go down the hatch… the WHOLE thing. Now your looking at 33 grams of sugar that your body doesn’t really need. That still may not seem like much to some people but trust me when I say, your body doesn’t need it. Sugar wreaks havoc on our systems. Plus you’ve now added 125 unneeded calories.
Solution? Make your own vitamin water. The flavor is incredible, the options are unlimited and bonus – NO SUGAR ADDED! By creating your own vitamin water, you now are providing yourself with hydration, added nutrients (which we all can use), and a treat. I always have a vitamin water pitcher in our fridge and now my husband will drink from that before regular water every time.
All you need is a pitcher, the herbs, fruit, or veggies you want to add, and filtered water. If you can get a pitcher with an infuser all the better but it’s not necessary. An infuser just helps to extract the vegetation from the water when you are done with it. Here are a couple of examples:
Just google infusion pitcher and you’ll find lots of options from as little as $8. Simply add herbs, fruit, and/or veggies to your filtered water in a pitcher, store in the fridge, let rest, and serve. The longer the water sits, the more nutrients are extracted from the ingredients. I will typically change my ingredients out every 24-48 hours.
Some things to note:
- Use filtered water. Regular tap water contains chemicals such as chlorine and flouride, that we don’t need. You can read more about this here.
- Cut the fruit and veggies into small chunks or thin slices so there is more surface area which allows more nutrients into the water. You can gently muddle if you want but I don’t find it necessary.
- If the water will be sitting for more than 4 hours, remove rinds from citrus, as they can make your water bitter.
- Feel free to refill. Once you have used all of the water, if the ingredients are still good, simply refill with more water. More nutrients will be extracted and the flavor will last.
- Play around with your ingredients. Use what you have available in the house. If you don’t like the flavor of something simply dump and try again.
- Amounts can vary. Add as little or much of the ingredients as your taste prefers. There is no right recipe.
- Don’t worry about what nutrients you are getting, just know that you are getting nutrients. By regularly changing your ingredients, you will provide your body with a wide array of much needed nutrients.
You’ll get the water soluble vitamins and minerals from the ingredients you add to the water. They will transfer from the ingredients, into the water, then into your system. Here are some of my favorite combinations. Come up with your own and post in the comments what you like to use.
Lemon, Cucumber, Basil
Strawberry, Lime, Mint
Crushed Fennel Seeds, Lemon, Orange, Mint
Strawberry, Orange, Basil
Blackberries, Raspberries, Sage
Apple, Cinnamon, Rosemary
Blueberries, Raspberries, Lavender
I bought the infuser tumblers from Bed, Bath, & Beyond and love them. I can fill up my container and take it with me everywhere. Then simply refill and enjoy throughout the day.