We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, right?

But water can be so, well… boring.

infused waterThis is especially true for those who are used to drinking soda, juice, or other sugary beverages.

Switching to infused waters can bring back that zing of flavor that takes the boredom out of plain old water.

Not only that, but the delicate, clean, fresh taste of infused waters helps to retrain your taste buds so that you enjoy healthful foods and “eating clean” rather than consuming junk.

Infused water offers the refreshing flavor of fruit and herbs but without the calories – or the sugar spike.

So what is infused water?

It is water that’s had slices of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, and/or spices added for flavor.

You don’t squeeze the juice out – just slice and toss them in. Refrigerate for a couple of hours, and you’re good to go.

To make your own infused water:
1. Choose a Container

You’ll need a good container for storing your infused water in the fridge. The ideal material is glass, since it’s nonreactive. A gallon size is good, if you can find a jug that will fit in your fridge.

And if you know you want to make a habit of it…you can find infusion carafes and pitchers at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Target, and Amazon.

2. Fill with Water.

infused waterIt’s best to use high-quality water rather than tap water, which usually contains things you don’t want in your body, such as chlorine and fluoride.

You could use filtered tap water, bottled water, or alkaline water, which is water that’s had minerals added to make it more alkaline.

You can also use carbonated water such as mineral water, but the slices tend to float to the top because of the bubbles.

One good option if you like your water fizzy is to try a mix of 1/4 carbonated and 3/4 non-carbonated. That way you still get the fizz, but your slices won’t be as floaty.

NOTE: Infused water only lasts for about a day – two at most – so don’t make too much. After the water is gone, discard the water-logged slices.

3. Now for the fun part – choosing what to put in!

berries for infused waterThe first time I ever had fresh infused water was several years ago at a hotel luncheon. The caterers had set out a large, clear acrylic water dispenser at the coffee/tea table. Intriguingly, it had sliced strawberries in it, along with whole sprigs of fresh rosemary.

One sip and I was gone. I couldn’t believe anything so simple could taste so refreshingly good. And no calories!

A high-end hair salon close-by offers its clients cucumber water, which is a simple and elegant type of infused water.

Cucumber water is actually a good base for other infused waters. Add fresh mint leaves and lemon slices for a simple detox that will clear your skin.

Here are some other ingredients to try. Mix and match, and use organic if at all possible (otherwise, be sure to wash thoroughly to remove pesticides):

  • Fruit: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries (no need to slice the smaller berries – just toss them in whole), apple, pear, orange, lemon, lime, pineapple, melon, kiwi

  • Vegetables: celery, cucumber, beets, tomato, carrots

  • Herbs: mint, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, cilantro, parsley, lemongrass

  • Spices: fresh ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks

You can find recipes for infused water on Pinterest and other sources, too. And don’t be afraid to experiment! Think blackberries and sage might work well together? Try it!

Have a new favorite water infusion combination?
Share it with us in the comments!