Health Benefits of Staying Hydrated
You may not be aware of all the ways in which your body loses water every day. You may have thought of going to the bathroom and sweating, but did you know that even breathing expels water from the body?
It’s easier to lose fluids when the weather is warmer, so summer is an important time to get on top of improving your drinking habits.
About 60 percent of your body is made of H2O, so water is fundamental to your very existence! Your bodily fluids are responsible for digestion, absorption, circulation, saliva production, nutrient transportation, and body temperature maintenance.
The feeling of being thirsty is actually triggered by a region in your brain called the posterior pituitary that regulates the amount of water your kidneys release and how much they hold on to. When you’re thirsty, that’s your brain telling you that your kidneys don’t have enough water to perform the critical functions that keep us healthy.
There are other health benefits to staying hydrated, too. Water can help us feel full, so it’s a good way to control calorie intake. It can also help keep our muscles strong and give us clearer complexions. Water is critical for managing waste since it enables the kidneys to break down the worst toxins in our bodies. Not getting enough water can lead to the development of kidney stones.
How to Choose the Perfect Infuser Water Bottle
There are hundreds of infuser water bottles on the market today, so how do you choose the right one?
Here are some factors to keep in mind:
Size of the infuser container
Make sure the infuser container is big enough to fit enough of the things you want to infuse your water with to ensure a strong-enough flavor. Check to see how far down the bottle the infuser reaches; the further it goes, the better chance the flavors have of dissipating fully through your water.
Size of the infuser holes
You want infuser holes that are big enough to allow the flavor to move throughout the water without letting bits of the ingredients get through. You want flavored water, not pulpy water.
Type of plastic
Check to make sure the plastic your bottle is made with is BPA-free. This information is usually advertised prominently, so if you can’t find anything that says BPA-free on the bottle or in the description, it probably isn’t.
Quality of the seal
When you’re carrying a bottle around all day in your bag, where it might not always stay upright, the last thing you want is a leaky seal. Screw tops provide the best seals, especially if they also come with a rubber gasket.
Ease of drinking
It’s great to have an air-tight bottle, but it’s not much use if you can’t easily drink from it. Check to see whether the bottle is easy to drink from; for example, does it have a quick flip-top opening? You’ll also want to check how leaky the quick opening is since that defeats the purpose of having a good seal on the bottle top.
If you know you’re a water guzzler, opt for an oversized bottle. But remember, the larger the water capacity, the more fruit and herbs it will take to flavor the water. The standard capacity is around 24 ounces. On the other hand, if you know you’re not likely to get through that bottle in a day, consider getting something smaller. You never want to have leftover water sitting in your infusing ingredients for more than a few days because the flavor can become bitter and “stale” tasting.
How to Make Delicious Infused Water at Home
You can apply the following basic steps with any combination of ingredients to get the perfect infused water at home.
Step 1: Make sure you have a good ratio of fruit to water; the more fruit you use, the more flavorful your water will be.
Step 2: Make sure to “muddle” the ingredients (press them around in the bottom of your container) to release the juices and flavors.
Step 3: Pour your water over the muddled ingredients and stir or shake the mixture. Then leave it overnight for 24 hours to allow the flavors to dissipate thoroughly. Optional: you can use a strainer to remove excess pulp before drinking.
- Make sure to wash your ingredients thoroughly! You don’t want to infuse your water with any surface germs!
- You can use your fruit mixture two or three times, but don’t try to stretch it too far since the fruits can become bitter and lose their flavor over time.
- To help release more flavor from herbs, try putting them in first and adding some boiling water, like you would for tea, and then adding the rest of your ingredients and cold water.
- If you’re looking for a bit more of a fruity punch, trying creating an “agua fresca” by blending some of the fruit and adding it to your water.
Try these mouth-watering infusion combinations!
Fruity and refreshing, perfect for every day:
- Strawberry, lemon, basil
- Pineapple, lemon, mint
- Blackberry, orange, mint
- Cucumber, grapefruit, orange
- Watermelon, mint
- Strawberry, lime, cucumber
Herbal and unusual, perfect for entertaining:
- Orange, cilantro
- Grapefruit, rosemary
- Raspberry, rose petal, vanilla
- Blueberry, lavender
- Peach, sage
- Apple, ginger, lemongrass
Infused water is the perfect summer drink whether you’re on your way to the gym or hosting friends for dinner. It’s simple to prepare, and it encourages you to drink more water throughout the day. Drinking water is an essential part of staying healthy, so make it fun!
This article was originally published on Fix.com.