Dehydration and the Benefits of Drinking Fruit-Infused and Flavoured Water
It’s no secret that hydration is important. We’ve always been told that drinking plenty of water is crucial for good health and fitness. As a matter of fact, our bodies consist of about 60% of water. According to a study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the heart and brain consist of more than 70% water and our breathing machine called lungs have approximately 83% water, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, we often disregard how important it is to be adequately hydrated.
What are the health benefits of drinking water?
Getting enough water in our systems ensures that all of our organs continue to carry out all their functions. In addition to that, there are many ways that water benefits the body, including keeping the skin elastic and plump, aiding in digestion and metabolism, enhanced kidney health, better cognitive function, improved mood, stronger immune system, and so much more.
What are the health benefits of drinking infused water?
The exact health benefits of your infused water will vary depending on the ingredients you add. It will also depend on the strength of the infusion. But in general, infused water has been believed to help flush toxins, enhance mood, help with weight loss, avoid grogginess, balance your pH, keep the food moving in the digestive system, help reduce muscle fatigue, and boost the immune system.
It promotes increased water consumption
Infused waters are usually tasty. Besides the substances that promote health, it may be enticing enough to help you drink plain water and consume adequate amounts as recommended.
Infused waters can help maintain your kidneys and liver in good shape
You probably know that water alone can help flush toxins easier. But paired with certain fruits, vegetables, or herbs, infused waters can help your kidneys and liver (organs responsible for getting rid of toxins) remain in top shape. Although experts say that the specific effects of infused waters are unclear or what specific toxins they help flush, many professionals claim that they contain vitamins and minerals. So basically, that means you are making ‘vitamin water’ which helps keep the toxins out by strengthening the health of toxin-flushing organs in our bodies.
It enhances mood
Infused waters can help fight depression and elevate mood. Studies have shown that lack of fluids and even 1% dehydration can significantly reduce concentration and lower mood. It can be a concern especially if you aren’t meeting the daily requirements for water intake. If you are not drinking enough because old-fashioned water seems dull, you could increase your fluid or water intake by consuming flavoured or fruit infused water.
In one study conducted to assess the effects of increased water intake, participants who doubled their intake of water claimed to have more energy, became happier, and felt calmer.
Infused water can help with weight loss
Whether you like to drink plain water or infused water, research says that both habits have shown to increase a person’s metabolic rate which means that more calories can be burned. In fact, repeated these studies done in a controlled, randomized trials in overweight or obese otherwise healthy individuals (eight men and eight women), show that the effect of 50 ml water or 500 ml isoosmotic saline induces thermogenesis. Inducing thermogenesis can help individuals burn more calories by producing more body heat in specialized body tissues such as skeletal muscles and brown adipose tissues.
It can help you overcome grogginess
Besides elevating your mood, fruit flavoured or infused waters can keep you from feeling groggy any time of the day. Study says that certain fruits and herbs that can be used to create infused water can promote blood circulation, which can naturally keep you awake and feel refreshed. This is particularly useful if you want to remain alert and alive without drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages.
Infused waters can help balance your pH
Although it cannot directly alter your blood pH, you can concoct an infused drink that is appropriate for your acidic or alkaline environment in the body. Simply put, if it is too acidic, you can support your body by consuming an alkaline drink and vice versa. However, this theory needs more research and clinical studies.
It keep the food moving in the digestive system
Maintaining regular bowel movements and digestive health involve adequate hydration. If you drink plenty of water, it can help prevent constipation as it can aid the food that we eat to pass smoothly through the gut.
Why is it important for seniors to remain hydrated?
As a natural part of the aging process, we experience several physiological changes which can predispose us to dehydration. In fact, with advancing years, the sense of thirst can decline which is why seniors tend to not drink enough water. It’s not known exactly what are the causes of this reduction in thirst, but the effects are well-known. As we grow old, our appetites also decrease so we eat less and less food and as a result, we also get less fluids.
Besides that, the fluid levels in our bodies get affected by our daily activities, medications, exercise, stress, weather, and of course, our general health. The fluid balance can also be affected by certain conditions or chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, heart diseases, and more. Aging also predisposes the body to lose the ability to conserve water and are more susceptible to temperature changes. Such changes are in fact, one the reasons why many seniors become prone to heat stroke and heat exhaustion when exposed to high temperatures.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration simply means that the body loses more fluids than the body takes in. It is caused by loss of water in our bodies from various reasons like extreme heat, vomiting, diarrhea, severe sweating, and certain medications.
Severe dehydration can be troublesome and if not treated, can become life threatening not just to the elderly. This is because when one is severely dehydrated, there is no longer enough fluid that keeps our body functioning and no more fluid to carry blood to all the organs.
What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration?
The signs and symptoms of dehydration vary depending on its severity and duration. The most common ones include muscle weakness or cramps, headaches, persistent fatigue, lethargy, dizziness, nausea, confusion, forgetfulness, increased heart rate, and deep rapid breathing.
Other less common manifestations can include decreased or absent urine output, dry or sticky mucous membranes in the mouth, decreased tears, sunken eyes, and loss of skin elasticity.
If an elderly has any of these signs or symptoms for 2 days or more, it is crucial to call a healthcare provider immediately or visit the emergency room as soon as possible.
How much water should we drink to prevent dehydration?
The most important way to prevent dehydration in the elderly is to make sure they are getting enough fluids. The next question however, is how much water should we be drinking each day?
Perhaps you have heard it more than a dozen times but typically, it is recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. This can serve as a good rule of thumb but remember that fluid loss varies per age and other factors, which is why consumption of water and fluids should also be based on these factors.
As we have discussed, hydration needs vary whether you are in your senior years or not, as well as other factors including activity levels, altitude level, ambient temperature and humidity, exercise, and numerous other factors.
For instance, if you exercise a lot and lose a lot of fluid through sweat in particularly warm weather and very humid conditions, you will need more water than a person who is staying indoors, given all other factors are not present.
Other person-specific recommendations advise drinking one-half to one ounce of fluid per pound (lb.) of body weight per day. This means that your fluid intake depends on your weight, and individuals of the same age but different weight status may need to consume different amounts of fluids.
Can you add flavour to your water to prevent dehydration?
The act of adding flavour, such as infusion of fruits and herbs won’t prevent hydration itself. But, for many people (myself included), consuming enough liquids to stay hydrated each day can be challenging. To some, it may seem like an overwhelming task.
In Canada’s food guide website, one suggestion is to make healthy drink choices. One of the tips they mention is to try adding fruits and herbs to water for flavour. Let’s discuss some infused-water recipes to try.
Fruit-Infused and Flavoured Water Recipes
Dehydration is a major cause of fatigue and can lead to many other health concerns. Drinking water with fruit or flavourings in it may be better than plain old water because the added flavours make it more enjoyable, which means you’ll drink more!
You could even add some lemon juice for an extra kick. If you feel like your energy levels are dipping during work hours, try drinking something that tastes good instead of going back for another cup of coffee. Your brain will thank you later when it has all the key nutrients needed to function properly throughout the day!
If you want to stay hydrated and you’re tired of drinking plain water, try these refreshing and delicious fruit-infused or herb-water recipes.
Read on for recipes and tips that will help make staying hydrated a little more exciting.
Apple of your Eye
Want to invigorate your senses with apples and lemons? Try this recipe!
- Wash all the ingredients
- Slice the lemons, apples, and carrots according to your desired size and shape
- Mix them into your water bottle or your drinking glass
Best Mango and Mint Infused Drink
This mango infused drink is a sweet, refreshing drink perfect to have during the summertime. It's a popular drink in Asia and Mexico, and it is made by blending fresh mango slices with water. With lime juice, this drink becomes a bit sour but with lots of vitamin C.
- 2 ripe mangoes
- 1 cup of ice cubes
- 1 cup of cold water
- Peel the mango fruit and slice the flesh into small chunks.
- Place into a blender and add water
- Blend at medium to high speed.
- Add ice into the pureed mango fruit
- Pour a cup of cold water into the blender or fill it up as high as two-thirds of the blender container.
- Blend again until it's pureed well.
- Add the lime juice or sweetener (optional).
- Strain the pulp if you desire a smooth drink.
- If your mangos are too sweet, skip adding the sweetener or add more ice and cold water.
- If you want to add herbs, muddle them first to infuse more flavour before adding them in.
- Refrigerate for two to three hours.
- Add ice or serve cold!
To make this mango infused drink more flavourful and interesting, you can add herbs! Just get a twig of mint, basil, rosemary, or thyme, which are great options for this refreshing tropical drink.
Cantaloupe agua fresca (Fresh Cantaloupe Water)
This recipe, cantaloupe water is a refreshing drink with a light fruity taste perfect for a warm day.
- 1 lb or 450g cantaloupe chunks, (approx half of a medium-sized melon)
- 1 cup of cold water (about 240ml)
- 1 tbsp lime juice (optional)
- 1 glass ice cubes
- Mint as garnish
- Remove the cantaloupe skin and seeds
- Dice the cantaloupe flesh or cut into chunks
- Place the cantaloupe chunks into a blender
- Blend until smooth or desired consistency is reached
- Strain the blended mixture through a very fine strainer. You can use a cheesecloth if you have one so that you can get a nice clear juice.
- You should have around 1 ½ cups of mixture
- Add the cold water and lime juice into the mixture
- Refrigerate and serve over ice with a leaf of mint as garnish
Herb infused Cucumber Refreshing Water
Want to relax and rehydrate this summer with a tall glass of cold water touched with unique taste of fresh herbs and produce? Try this herb infused spa water.
- 1o to 12 thin slices cucumber
- 3 to 4 thin slices lemon
- 4 sprigs each of slightly crushed fresh mint
- 2 sprigs each of slightly crushed fresh rosemary
- 2 to 3 cups chilled still spring or mineral water
- In a pitcher, pour 2 to 3 cups of cold water.
- Add the cucumber and lemon slices, as well as the mint and rosemary sprigs
- Cover the pitcher and refrigerate.
- Let it chill for at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours to let the ingredients infuse well.
- Add ice cubes before serving and enjoy
Minty-Berry Refreshing Drink
Summer is just around the corner. So here’s a mix of minty, berry infused-water recipe with a twist of lemon. Plus, it’s sugar free!
- Wash all the ingredients
- Slice the lemons and cut the strawberries in half
- Mix them into your water bottle or your drinking glass
Minty Watermelon Water
Besides high water content, watermelon contains beneficial plant compounds and nutrients to improve our health. So if you have extra watermelon from your fruit basket, why not try consuming it in your drink to remain hydrated? Here what you need and how to prepare a pitcher of minty watermelon water..
- 1 to 2 cup/s of sliced watermelon
- ¼ cup of loosely packed spearmint leaves (or any mint of your choice)
- 2 cups ice cube
- 3 cups cold water
- Place few watermelon slices and mint leaves at the bottom of your pitcher or glass jar
- Add 1 cup ice cube
- Add the remaining watermelon slices and mint into the pitcher or jar to form layers of alternate ice and fruits
- Pour the cold water over them
- Store in the refrigerator and let the fruit and leaves infuse in the water for about 6 to 8 hours or more
- Drink whenever you feel like drinking water or when you’re thirsty to remain hydrated
Orange and Blueberry Water
Mandarin oranges and blueberries are good sources of vitamins and that’s why we added them on this list. To make orange and blueberry water, just gather the ingredients and follow the instructions below.
- 15-20 blueberries
- 2 full mandarin oranges
- A glass of ice
- Six cups of cold water
- Thoroughly wash the fruits
- Slice up the mandarin oranges into wedges
- Before placing them into a pitcher, gently squeeze the them to strengthen the flavours
- Add 15-20 blueberries
- Pour approximately six cups of cold water over the mixture
- Add a glass of ice if desired
- Leave the mixture inside the fridge overnight
This recipe makes a healthy pineapple water drink, with only 3 ingredients! It’s perfectly sweet (as long as you have sweet pineapples) and makes a good refreshing spring or summer drink for refreshments during potlucks, and BBQ parties.
- 4 cups sliced or fresh pineapple chunks
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 glass of ice cubes
- Cut the pineapple slices into chunks if needed
- Add all the pineapple chunks in a blender
- Pour about 1 or 2 cups of water over the pineapple chunks
- Blend until smooth or if desired consistency is achieved or if all of the chunks have been blended
- Strain mixture into a bowl (optional) if you want to remove the pineapple fibres
- Transfer the pineapple water into a pitcher.
- Add the remaining of the water to the mixture
- You can add a little sugar if you like to make the mixture sweet, but it's not really needed if your pineapple is sweet.
- Stir well
- Refrigerate and add more ice or water if needed.
- Enjoy drink over some more ice!
- 1 pint raspberries (slightly crushed)
- 1 or 2 thinly sliced orange
- 2 glasses of water
- 1 glass of ice
- seltzer (optional)
Preparing this drink is simple.
- Place 1 or 2 thinly sliced orange in a pitcher
- Add the lightly crushed raspberries and ice
- Stir well to combine all the ingredients
- Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow the flavours to infuse well; ultimately transforming into an energizing beverage!
- For sparkling water, add seltzer during preparation and before serving.
Rosemary and Grapefruit Water
Got rosemary in your herb garden? Why not use it too? Just snap few twigs and grab a grapefruit.
- A few twigs of rosemary
- Cold water
- Crushed ice
- Half grapefruit
- Slice the grapefruit into two
- Place the rosemary, grapefruit, crushed ice into your water bottle or container of your choice.
- Pour cold water over the ingredients and let it sit for at least eight hours in the refrigerator before drinking.
Warm Ginger Lemon and herb infused Water
Looking for a simple or quick and yet nourishing drink? Here’s a comforting flavoured water that offers both gingery and citrusy taste to add to your morning rituals.
- 4 to 8 thinly sliced lemon
- 1 to 2-inch piece fresh ginger (peeling optional)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 dash of ground turmeric (optional)
- 1 pinch of fresh black pepper (optional)
- 1 pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Rinse all ingredients and bring a kettle of water to a boil
- Slice the lemon in half and cut into thin slices
- Keep 4 to 8 slices and juice the remaining lemon into a serving mug
- Add sliced ginger into the lemon juice
- Add a dash of ground turmeric, black pepper, or cayenne (optional) to bring more balance and add more nutrients into the mix. Black pepper aids in increasing the bioavailability of turmeric in the drink.
- Pour a small amount of boiling water into the mixture and wait for 2 to 3 minutes to let the flavours infuse.
- Enjoy drinking.
This drink is best when served warm. It tastes best when fresh ingredients are used. You can enjoy this drink for up to 24 hours if the remaining mixture is stored in the refrigerator and reheated.
Try drinking flavoured water!
Drinking enough water is important for your health, but drinking plain old water can get boring. If you want to stay hydrated while enjoying the taste of delicious flavours or fruit infusions, try some of these great ideas from this article!
What are some other ways that you drink flavoured water? Share with us in the comments below so we can all learn how to keep ourselves healthy through an easy addition to our diet!