How much water do you drink a day? 1 glass – 2 glasses? More? Less?
Water is a necessity for overall optimal health. We need to stay hydrated on a daily basis as 75% of our body is composed of water. There isn’t a better thirst quencher on the market and one that is readily available at your home. Your body regulates the volume and concentration of body fluids (Burke; Deakin, 2016) so it’s much better to sip on water throughout the day then drink 1L all in one go.
Tip to try tomorrow: Start your day with a glass of water. Have a glass of water by your bedside and first thing in the morning drink this glass. After 7-8 hours without any, your body will thank you.
Water is needed by our bodies for many different functions.
- needed to transport nutrients into cells
- regulates body temperature
- support immune system
- hydrates and keeps skin soft & supple
- maintains blood circulation throughout your body
- lubricates joints
- eliminates cellular waste
- keeps digestion moving along
- increase hydration when it’s warmer outside
- increase hydration when you are exercising
- a drink of 300-400 ml of water before sport supports your body during exercise (Noakes, et al 1991)
- just a 2% decrease in hydration status can reduce athletic performance as well as increase fatigue (Murray, B. 2007)
- more benefits of hydration
Yes, it is possible to drink too much water. This is called hyponatremia.
Infused waters take on the subtle taste of the fruit/veg/herb combo and provide you with not only with vitamins and minerals but also makes it easier to drink more. Some people say they have a hard time drinking water because it doesn’t taste like anything. If you are new to infused water try a glass of water with 1-2 (organic) lemon slices – refreshing and also helps to support digestion.
Infused waters contain no added sugars and are therefore much healthier for you than fruit juice or other sports drinks (which are usually made from a concentrate and have added sugars.) To get the most flavor out of your infused water and allow the tastes to permeate, make a batch of infused water and store it in your refrigerator. However, if you make your water in the morning, it will still be tasty!
You can make a pitcher of infused water and store in your refrigerator or you can buy a special infusion bottle for daily use. You can also just as easily drop a fruit/herb mix into your own water bottle as you head out the door, once you’ve finished it simply fill again and the fruit will continue to re-infuse.
“How much do I need to put in?” This is, of course, a personal preference and dependant on how much you are making. You’ll need more for a pitcher than when you are only creating a personal-sized bottle. You’ll need to experiment and see what might be your favorite combination (see list below for some examples). What’s great about infused waters is that you can always change up the flavor profile so there is no chance of getting bored with a flavor.
Here is a list of some ingredients to combine for delicious infusions:
- strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, red/black currants
- citrus fruits
- lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, mandarin
- ginger root
- cinnamon (sticks)
lemon, mint, cucumber
blueberry, ginger, basil
citrus combo: lemon, orange, grapefruit
cucumber, mint, fennel
lemon, mint, cucumber
(…insert your favorite here)
Hints and Tips for Infused water:
- try to always use organic fruit and vegetables to minimize pesticide exposure – if organic is not possible, ensure that you peel the fruit/veg first.
- cut off the citrus (lemon, lime, orange, mandarin, grapefruit) rinds if you plan on infusing your water all day or storing in the refrigerator as the rind can make the water taste bitter after a while (personal preference)
- sparkling water tastes great infused with a mixture of any of the above-mentioned combinations
- create ice cubes with leftover herbs from dinner or leftover fruit before it goes bad.
- simply add a bit in the bottom of an ice cube tray and fill with water.
- you can also muddle the fruit with minimal water and freeze in trays (watermelon works well this way)