Juice Up Your Water!

We all know that drinking water is important for, well, just about everything! Not only does it help with weight loss because it replaces the high calories in fruit drinks and sodas, but our bodies also need to be hydrated to stay healthy. Water is good for our complexion, maximizes muscle performance, helps balance our bodily fluids, aids in kidney health and function, and helps to maintain proper bowel functions.

Despite all these benefits, drinking more water and fewer sugary drinks is often easier said than done. A common complaint is “water has no flavor” or “I get tired of drinking just water!”

Luckily a few simple tricks can turn a plain glass of water into a refreshing, healthy beverage that not only tastes great but has added benefits for our bodies.

  1. Mint Leaves: Adding a few crushed mint leaves adds a light, refreshing zing (crushing them releases the oils for optimum flavor). Mint is also an excellent herb for easing an upset stomach.
  2. Citrus Fruits: Squeezing lemon, lime, grapefruit, or orange juices into water adds Vitamin C. Citrus fruits can also reduce the risks of strokes and cancer and improve eyesight. Slices of fruit can also be added to the water for added favor (don’t forget to eat the fruit when you’re done!).
  3. Herbal Tea: There are many wonderful herbal teas on the market. Teabags can be placed into a bottle of cold or Luke-warm water, and they will steep the same as in hot water. Herbal teas have a variety of benefits; look for one that suits your needs. .
  4. Lavender: Fresh lavender buds dropped in a water bottle not only adds a unique flavor but also has a soothing and calming effect that is perfect at the end of a long day.
  5. Other Fruits: Just about any fruit can be added to water such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, and even a few vegetables like cucumbers. Berries carry anti-oxidants which help fight disease, and cucumbers have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Adding natural flavors to water is a great way to increase your water intake. (Plus, an added benefit is that you will have plenty of leftover fruits or herbs on hand to add to wraps, salads, or other dishes!) Looking for more ideas? A search on the internet will yield even more flavor combinations, or you can have fun creating your own unique ways to juice up your water. Drink up!

Deanna Anderson is an avid day or section hiker who is hiking her way to becoming an Ultimate Outsider as well as completing the Palmetto Trail.  She is a published author and a freelance writer for The Sumter Item newspaper and Lakeside Magazine. 


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