By Chef K.T. Murphy
It’s clear, odorless, and tasteless, but life cannot exist without it. Water keeps us alive. It keeps our cells hydrated and plump. It also flushes out toxins to naturally cleanse our insides.
There are times when drinking it gets redundant and boring. Instead of buying vitamin water, flavored sparkling water or sports drinks, why not try to incorporate nature’s good stuff, all in one place, right in your own home?
What is vitamin infused water?
Infused water has the added benefits of drinking good-for-you water, plus the added taste of whatever you chose to add to your water, which can be fruits, vegetables, herbs or spices, or a combination of 2 or 3 things together. All without any added sugar or calories.
You can soak cut pieces of fresh fruit or raw vegetables in a container. Fresh and organic is your best choice. Frozen fruits won’t release as much juice as you’d like, and will more likely to sink to be bottom of your bottle, which also goes for dried fruits. You can also add herbs and spices that are both colorful and fragrant, not to mention all the added health benefits that permeate into your water.
Some fruits contain strong flavors, such as pineapples, lemons and oranges, and can be reused. Just wait until the water is halfway down the bottle, and then add more water.
Here are a few examples:
Cinnamon sticks (ground cinnamon won’t saturate into the water, it’ll just float to the top)
How it’s done
The first thing you have to do is release the natural oils and flavor in the fruits, veggies, herbs or spices. You can do this by either slightly mashing up fruits and vegetables using a wooden spoon. You can also break up the herbs or spices just a little bit. For citrus fruits, don’t forget to peel it before adding it to the water to avoid having that bitter taste.
Then, add filtered water or sparkling water if you prefer. For best results, you can use water at room temperature, or even cold water if you like, just as you long as you don’t’ use boiling water as it will break down the enzymes and nutrients in the added ingredients. Give it a good stir and leave it for at least 3 – 4 hours to get the most taste and color. You can leave it in the fridge, or at room temperature, to do its magic. However, don’t leave the added ingredients in the water for more than 24 hours because most will start to decompose. Delicate fruits, such as berries and melons tend to decompose quicker than other types.
You can safely store your water in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Are there really any added benefits to infused water besides taste and color? Yes! Almost 20% of nutrients in the added ingredients get blended in and absorbed by water.
Therefore, if you add strawberries or lemons, you’re drinking water that’s rich in vitamin C, and if you add basil or mint to your strawberries, you get the added benefits of minerals, such as iron, which helps the body absorb vitamin C, as well as antioxidants.
Other benefits to infused water:
Protects organs and helps them function well
Normalizes blood pressure
Keeps skin soft and younger-looking, helps regulate collagen-production which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
Helps regulate body temperature
Helps offset dehydration
Lubricates joints and decreases risk of swelling and inflammations
Helps keep bowel movements regular and reduces the risk of constipation
Cleanses the liver
Transports nutrients and oxygen
Curbs your hunger and helps you lose weight
Reduces muscle fatigue
Boosts focus and concentration abilities and helps you think more clearly
Helps prevent kidney stones