How to Make Water More Exciting with Natural Flavoring
Ah, water. It’s refreshing, 100 percent natural, and it keeps us hydrated. Unfortunately, it’s also boring. It’s tough to always choose straight H2O when we’re constantly surrounded by sweeter, tangier, or just more flavorful options — even if those options are usually packed with sugar, calories, and/or a bunch of unwanted additives.
If your daily beverage routine has you bored, unhealthy or both, try some of these techniques to give your water a fresh new taste — naturally.
We know — you’ve probably already thought of this one. But we thought we’d throw it out there in case you hadn’t. Tea can be a wonderful, low-calorie (and sometimes caffeinated!) way to get the water we need to stay healthy. Black tea has been shown to lower levels of the stress-producing hormone cortisol; green tea is loaded with antioxidants that help strengthen your immune system; and hibiscus tea is high in vitamin C and has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Find out more from our story on healthy teas here.
Mint is a great addition to a glass of water — especially in the warmer months. Add a few sprigs to a pitcher of water to give each glass a crisp, minty kick. Let the pitcher sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes or even overnight if you’d prefer a stronger taste. For an even mintier edge, bruise the leaves.
Our favorite. A handful of cucumber slices in a pitcher can make all the difference. But if you’d like to take it a step further, try grinding up cucumber chunks in a blender, pouring the cucumber juice through a cheesecloth into a bowl, and leaving it in the fridge to drip overnight. Mix the juice with a cold pitcher of water the next day, and you’ve got yourself the most refreshing water you’ve ever tasted.
This one is a twist on tea since it requires steeping hibiscus flowers. The only difference is that we suggest chilling the water after you infuse it so you’re left with a cheery-looking, light pink glass of water with a slightly tart flavor. If you’re a newbie to teas and steeping, check out this Lifehack.org article on how to steep the perfect tea. Hibiscus flowers will require about 10 minutes.
Lemon or Lime
An obvious option — but a delicious one nonetheless! To add some flavor to your water at work, try bringing a lemon or lime to the office with your water bottle. Or you could buy lemon or lime juice and keep that in the company fridge to use whenever you need it.
There’s a reason ginger is used to cleanse the palate between bites of sushi: It’s got this crisp, cool taste that, as it turns out, also goes really well with a glass of cold water. Try making ginger juice the same way we recommended making cucumber juice — only use a grater instead of a blender. You can add the ginger juice to a pitcher of water, or you can buy ginger juice in the grocery. Even better: Try this awesome recipe for cucumber-ginger water from NutritionToKitchen.com.
Lemon or Cranberry Ice Cubes
Keep your water ice-cold and tasty with homemade lemon or cranberry ice cubes. (You can use any fruit or veggie you want, depending on your preference. These are just our recommendations.) For cranberry ice cubes, place one or two cranberries in each square of the ice cube tray, cover with water, and freeze. For lemon ice cubes, slice the fruit up and use a cupcake tray.
Cucumber, Melon, and Mint
Don’t be afraid to try combinations of any of the ideas on this list! We love this recipe from StilettoChef.com for cucumber, melon, and mint water, though it might be even better in club soda. (Note: Club soda is also calorie-free!) That reminds us …
Don’t forget that still water isn’t the only kind of H2O out there. Some bubbles might be just what you need to get out of your water rut.
— Melissa Valliant, HellaWella
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