Try These Hydrating Water Recipes (Yes, WATER Recipes!) For a Cool Summer
Have you ever looked at the clock, noticed it was already the afternoon, and suddenly realized you hadn’t had a sip of water all day? Not good! Something as basic as staying hydrated is easy to forget when we’re busy with work and play, but we need H20 help our bodies function optimally.
Water acts as our body's lubrication system, keeoubg our joints flexible and mucous membranes in top form (to better stave off bugs), distributing oxygen throughout our bodies, and regulating our body temperature, among other things. On average, women should aim to consume 2.2 liters of water per day, and even more throughout hot summer months or periods of intense exercise.
While coffee, tea, and sugary drinks are, technically, liquids, they aren’t optimal for hydration. Caffeine is a diuretic that prompts your body to release more water, and sugar drinks can cause blood glucose levels to spike, then plummet dramatically, which isn’t great for athletic performance (or anything else!). But let’s face it: Water can be a bit boring. Bubbles and a squeeze of lemon can help liven things up, but why not expand the flavor spectrum a bit? These simple tweaks will transform your dull ol’ agua into something muy delicioso, and with gentle health benefits, to boot.
Essential Oil of Lavender
When added to a pitcher of water (just two or three drops will do), Lavender oil—from the lavandula augustifolia variety—acts as a natural stress reducer and mood booster. Toss a few ice cubes into your pitcher before pouring (it will help disperse the oil molecules). Note: If you’re pregnant, check with your healthcare provider before consuming any edible essential oils or strong herbs, since some boast medicinal properties that can be dangerous to a growing fetus.
Cucumber water has become the drink du jour at spas around the world, and with good reason: The fruit imparts a light, almost-floral taste to water without overwhelming, and adds minute amounts of anti-inflammatory potassium, and anti-oxidants including vitamin C. Purchase organic produce so you can leave the skin on (non-organic cukes are often waxed).
Adding a teaspoon of grated water to your water pitcher infuses your hydrating elixir with a spicy, stimulating flavor that will energize you, settle a queasy stomach, and nip noxious gas emissions (read: flatulence) in the bud. Ginger is also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, which help our bodies stave off and heal from some cooties quicker.
Fresh rosemary’s pine needle-like leaves are loaded with essential oils that—given time to steep--will give your water cocktail a hit of refreshing flavor with a memory-boosting charge. Crush the leaves slightly before tossing into your water to release more of the volatile oils and impart a deeper flavor to your water.
Mix, Match, and Macerate
Summer offers the best season for unlimited flavor combinations for infused water. Go simple with a single fruit, herb, or vegetable addition, or try these combinations for more complex flavors: