Like the classic Bob Marley jam, we wanted to take the fourth and final entry into this months blog and ‘stir it up’ with some healthy and fun ways to add some flavor (and added nutrition) to your hydration regiment.
We’ve gone over the importance of clean, safe water – but getting enough of it (here’s looking at you, kids) can often be the first hurdle in your journey to proper hydration. Even ourselves, as the ‘obsessive water folks’ can find it difficult to consume all we need for proper hydration without some type of flavor enhancement to keep it interesting and mix things up.
Here are some ways you can get great flavor into your water without adding all sorts of sugars or artificial flavors and without buying expensive, pre-packaged sports drinks that contain more of those exact things we’re trying to avoid…
- 1 cup fresh Watermelon
- 3-5 mint leaves
- Gordon Reverse Osmosis or Spring Waters
Cut up 1 cups worth of fresh watermelon (bite sized or smaller) and stir in between three and five mint leaves. The longer you let it set, the stronger the flavors will become. The water you use here does, in fact, make a difference as flavor profiles will be much stronger through reverse osmosis filtered water that has significantly less contaminants, like chlorine or iron.
Pro-tip: You can always add more mint to your drink, but you can’t necessarily take mint out and remove/reduce the mint flavor. Titrate the amount of mint that’s right for you by carefully adding an additional leaf or two at a time, tasting and repeating.
You’ll notice that mint is a really common choice as an accompanying flavor for many of the infused water recipes you might see online (Lemon Mint, Cucumber Mint, etc.). Sure, a lot of this can be directly linked to mint’s naturally “clean” taste characteristics, but it’s also due to the many health benefits mint provides.
Here’s just a few of the health benefits associated with mint-infused beverages:
- Improved digestion & relief of minor stomach irritation
- Improved breath/fights against halitosis
- Boosts immune system
- Reduces fever(s)
- Improved mental awareness, focus and memory
- Reduces stress
- Promotes healthy skin & hair
- ½ fresh cucumber
- 1 lemon
- Gordon Reverse Osmosis or Spring Water
Slice both the fresh cucumber and lemon into thin, nearly translucent slices (you really do want to be thin with these, but not to the point that the fruit/vegetable breaks down in the drink). Leave the peel on the cucumber, as it will help keep the integrity of the slice. The longer you let it set, the stronger the flavors will become.
Again, the water you use here does make a difference, as flavor profiles will be much stronger through filtered water that has less contaminants and odors that can mask or dilute flavors. Personally, I go heavier on the lemon here as I like the clean, sharp taste. I cut my cucumber a little thicker than my lemon, again for integrity purposes. It’s all preferential, but the more you drink it, the better you’ll be able to dial it in and find the right balance for you.
While I might be a bigger fan of lemon than cucumber, I picked this drink to highlight because it contains the ‘mighty-and-oft-overlooked’ cucumber. We’ve studied the health benefits of cucumbers extensively – creams and lotions, antioxidant salads or even putting slices over your eyes in the spa, cucumbers are naturally hydrating as they are a majority water themselves.
Some of the benefits of enjoying a cucumber infused beverage include:
- Nutrient-laden; cucumbers contain high levels of Vitamin’s C & K, as well as magnesium, manganese and potassium.
- This is especially great with reverse osmosis water. While the water works through the system and contaminants are removed, minerality is often lost or lessened. Reintroducing your own minerals via fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways your body can get all of what it needs, and none of what it doesn’t.
- Natural anti-oxidant
- Aids in hydration (96% water)
- Naturally helps to lower blood sugar
- Promotes regularity
- Supports skin and bone health