Are you drinking enough water?
Most of us are aware of the importance of drinking enough water. Getting our daily dose of water helps our organs perform their functions, keeps our skin clear and hydrated, and allows physical action in our bodies to flow smoothly. Even with this knowledge, it can still be challenging to drink all the water our bodies deserve daily. In the summer, when we tend to play hard, sweat, and spend prolonged time in the sun, drinking plenty of water is critical. Those who are not drinking enough may experience poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath, and general fatigue.
To start your day right, set a large glass of water by your bed each night and drink it when you wake up. Drinking water first thing in the morning pulls out toxins from the previous day and freshens your system for the day ahead. Keep a bottle of water accessible throughout the day, whether you are on the go or at a desk. Having a bottle of water close by will remind you to take a sip when thirsty. The first sip will usually let you know how much more water you need. A sip or two may be enough, or you may need a big glass.
If you drink most of your daily water before early evening, you most likely will not be thirsty before bed. This is good, because drinking before bed and then waking to use the bathroom disturbs your peaceful night’s sleep.
What about quality? Some people like bottled water, while others prefer filtered water. The key is to like the taste of the water you are drinking, and the water should agree with your body. If the taste of plain water is unappealing, experiment to see how you can make it tasty and drinkable. Try the fruit and herb water recipes below. Drink up!
Fruit & Herb Flavored Water Subtle flavor without sweetness
These aren't sweet waters, so they'll be disappointing if that's what you're expecting. This is water with subtle flavors infused into it. Water with a little something extra. A touch of flavor--not an explosion of flavor--with little or no sweetness. You've probably had pitchers of ice water with lemon served at restaurants. This is the same idea, but with more variety. Many spas serve fancy waters like these, and it turns out that they couldn't be simpler to make. And, they are oh-so-refreshing. The easy formula for making flavored waters is to use only fruit and herbs, water, ice, and a jar or pitcher. This is something you can make in a minute or two so you can always have flavored waters on hand in the fridge.
Fruit: whatever kind you like (except no bananas); make sure it's good and ripe for maximum sweetness and flavor. Citrus and berries work well as do pineapple and watermelon. If you don't want to buy whole ones, many grocery stores sell small containers of precut fruit.
Herbs: these are optional, but many herbs are a surprising complement to fruit flavors; almost any herb will work depending on your personal preference
Jars or Pitchers: 2 quart mason jars or any 2 quart pitcher will do. There is also something called a fruit infusion pitcher. It's another option if you think you'll be making infused waters regularly. It's an easy, tidy way to strain fruit from water. Also available is a fruit infusion water bottle for a portable on the go option.
Muddler or Wooden spoon; for mashing fruit and herbs
Water: I use filtered water, but regular tap water is fine if yours tastes good to you.
Fruit: 2 cups berries, citrus, melons, pineapple...most fruits will work (see recommended amounts in directions)
Herbs: a sprig of mint, basil, sage, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, or lavender
Water: (tap or filtered)
1. If using herbs, add a sprig of fresh herbs to jar/pitcher; press and twist with muddler or handle of wooden spoon to bruise leaves and release flavor; don't pulverize the herbs into bits.
2. Add approx. 2 cups of fruit to jar/pitcher; press and twist with muddler or handle of wooden spoon, just enough to release some of the juices
3. Fill jar/pitcher with ice cubes.
4. Add water to top of jar/pitcher.
5. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Suggested flavor combinations:
ALL CITRUS (no herbs)-Slice 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 lemon into rounds, then cut the rounds in half. Add to jar and proceed with muddling, add ice & water.
RASPBERRY LIME (no herbs)-Quarter 2 limes; with your hands, squeeze the juice into the jar, then throw in the squeezed lime quarters. Add 2 cups raspberries. Muddle, add ice & water.
PINEAPPLE MINT-Add a sprig of mint to the jar (you can throw in the whole sprig; or,remove the leaves from the sprig, if you prefer to have the mint swimming around and distributing in the jar). Muddle the mint. Add 2 cups pineapple pieces, muddle, add ice & water.
BLACKBERRY SAGE-Add sage sprig to jar and muddle. Add 2 cups blackberries; muddle, add ice & water.
WATERMELON ROSEMARY-Add rosemary sprig to jar & muddle. Add 2 cups watermelon cubes; muddle, add ice and water.