Stay Hydrated During Summer: 5 Tasty Infused Water Recipes

Fitness Tips

Stay Hydrated During Summer: 5 Tasty Infused Water Recipes

As the weather warms up, it's important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially when exercising.

The standard recommendation remains to drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. That's a total of as much as 64 ounces, but it doesn't all have to come from plain water. Let's face it, sometimes you want something more exciting to drink after a good workout. Plus, you may need to replenish nutrients lost from sweating.

Choose water over sports drinks

Although it's tempting to grab a sports drink, most of us don't need them. The benefits touted for sports drinks include replenishing carbohydrates and electrolytes (most notably sodium).

These drinks are specifically formulated for athletes and individuals performing sustained, intense exercise. For those of us taking a Saturday morning run of a few miles, these drinks are more likely to translate into added sugar, sodium, and unnecessary calories.

Infusing water with fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices is a healthy, tasty way to replenish lost nutrients and help fill your daily water quota.

How to create your own infused water

Choose your base

You can start with basic spring water or filtered water, or add more flavor with coconut water. Coconut water naturally contains potassium, sugar, and a small amount of sodium.

Mineral water is a great base if your first instinct is to reach for sodas. The amounts vary but most contain calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Some mineral waters can have high sodium content, which may not be the best choice unless you are sweating profusely during your workout.

Choose your add-ins

Some great choices to infuse your water include:

  • Watermelon: readily available in the summer and great for hydration, watermelon adds vitamin C, minerals, antioxidants, and plenty of sweetness.
  • Berries: drop in some fresh-picked berries to add fiber and a little tart to your drink.
  • Cucumbers: a refreshing choice to cool off after a workout, cucumbers pump up your water with vitamins and minerals.
  • Herbs and spices: add in layers of flavor with leaves of basil, mint, and parsley, or spice up your drink with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
  • Citrus fruit: lemons, limes, and grapefruits are great choices for vitamin C, and they boost digestion and metabolism.

5 infused water recipes to get you started

For any infused water, use either fresh fruit or defrosted frozen fruit.

Strawberry basil

  • 16 ounces spring or mineral water
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • 3-4 slices of lemon
  • A couple sliced basil leaves

Watermelon coconut

  • 8 ounces unsweetened coconut water
  • ¼ cup small watermelon chunks
  • 2 slices lime
  • A couple mint leaves (optional)

Cucumber citrus

  • 16 ounces water
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, sliced
  • 2-3 grapefruit chunks
  • 3-4 orange slices
  • Get a little crazy by adding cilantro sprigs

Berry citrus

  • 16 ounces water
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, crush to release more flavor

Cherry ginger ale

  • 8 ounces mineral water
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground or fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen dark sweet cherries, crush a few to release flavor

Have fun with your infused waters. In the mood for a cocktail? Go for a mojito-inspired infusion with lime and mint. Choose a few and store in mason jars or pitchers in the refrigerator for up to a few days. And remember to eat the fruit left in the bottom of your glass!