by Drinking water—it seems so simple, yet so many of us forget to do it enough throughout the day. The classic benchmark when it comes to drinking enough water is eight glasses per day, but this number is fairly arbitrary, since it does not account for a person’s weight, physical surroundings, or activity levels. So you might think “I’ll just drink water when I’m thirsty. That will keep me hydrated.” Unfortunately, that won’t do, because thirst is actually a sign of dehydration. A better goal is to drink enough water that you don’t become thirsty, even when the temperature outside is scorching hot. If plain water isn’t exciting enough for you, skip sugary juices and sodas and try these methods for incorporating flavor into your water. Just remember that for every soda or alcoholic beverage you do drink, you’ll want to drink an extra glass of water to compensate.
Spice things up
You might fight fire with fire by adding fresh halved jalapenos or habanero peppers to your water. Pairing peppers with cooling cucumbers creates a refreshing combination that can curb your appetite and cleanse your body with the awesome power of capsaicin.
Take advantage of seasonal flavors
Fresh fruit is an excellent addition to your water, as it adds a touch of sweetness without the overwhelming sugariness of soda. Seasonal fruits like peaches, raspberries, cherries, and plums will offer a sweet-tart appeal that will inspire you to keep sipping more water. For a more potent fruit flavor, infuse a whole pitcher of water with fruit at night to enjoy all day long.
Make your own teas
Caffeinated tea may be dehydrating, but you can make an array of deliciously hydrating, toxin-fighting teas from common ingredients you might already have. Combine grated ginger, dried mint, lemon peels, and cinnamon sticks in a tea infuser for a delicious homemade tea that will quench your thirst whether it is served hot or cold. You might also explore the dried herbs sold in the bulk section of health food stores to create your own unique combinations.
Squeeze in some citrus
Citrus fruit is available year-round, and it is a classic choice to enhance the flavor of water. Instead of just squeezing one lemon wedge into your water, use a few oranges, lemons, and limes to make your mouth pucker and boost your immunity with a shot of vitamin C. Citrus fruits also pack in flavonoids that improve circulation and have been shown to prevent the growth of cancer cells; it doesn’t get more refreshing than that!
Add some bubbles
If flat water is just not exciting enough for you, swap it out for seltzer water or club soda. You can make healthier alternatives to typical sodas by floating fresh juices or flavored simple syrups in sparkling water, which will add some fizzy bubbles. Even with the added sugar from juice or simple syrup, you won’t be getting nearly as much sugar or acid as you would find in the average can of cola. What are your favorite summertime water infusions? Try your own spin on our recipes and share your results in the comments below!