If you think water is boring, then this is for you!
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We’ve heard it time and time again: Most Americans are chronically dehydrated without even noticing. Hydration is key for survival—and if you ask me, it’s more important than ever when facing the wrath of summer’s heat. So, you’re probably asking yourself, “How can I beat the season’s rising temps?” It’s simple, really.
Trade in the juice box and fizzy soda for the ultimate calorie-free thirst-quencher. With no added sugar and virtually no calories, infused waters are an easy way to kick off the summer with an increase in water intake.
Here at Cooking Light, we’ve soaked a pitcher or two (or three)—and now, it’s your turn to try. Jazz up your H20 flow by adding a variety of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices to your water. But first, let’s get a few things straight:
1. Let it sit. A general rule of thumb: the longer it soaks, the more flavor is released. For the best results, leave the water in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Make the cut. For a less bitter taste, remove the rinds of citrus fruits. But, before you hack it, consider all the antioxidants you gain from keeping the peel. If bitterness isn't a flavor that bothers you, leave a few on the fruit.
3. Bartending 101. Many recipes call for muddling, the process of mashing ingredients to maximize flavor. Skip this step if you prefer subtle tastes. Also, remember to remove herbs from the stem before muddling—this will prevent adding bitterness.
4. Test the water. If you’re feeling for change, use sparkling or coconut water as the base instead of plain old H20.
5. Go bananas. There are absolutely no rules here except you must have an appetite for adventure! The greatest thing about adding mix-ins to your water? You can never go wrong, and there will always be a heavenly combo that suits your heart’s desires on any given day.
Orange, Blueberry, and Basil
Ingredients: • 3 orange slices • 15 blueberries • 3 basil leaves
1. Place the orange slices, basil leaves, and blueberries in a 32-ounce Mason jar, and fill with 22 oz. filtered water.
2. Stir, cover, and let it sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or overnight for more flavor.
3. Add ice, stick a straw in, and enjoy!
7 Refreshing Fruit Infused Water Recipes
The summer heat can take its toll on your body. Staying hydrated is ultra-important, especially during the scorching months when the heat index can reach triple digits, but guzzling water can get old (we totally understand). Adding some flavor to your H2O not only makes rehydrating more enjoyable, but there are a number of recipes that can give you a health boost as well!
There are few things more refreshing than the invigorating burst of fresh mint. Try strawberry mint water by grabbing:
Add your ingredients to fresh water and ice, shake or stir, and enjoy!
Benefit: Mint soothes stomachs in cases of indigestion or inflammation.
We simply can’t get enough of fresh mint this summer, but this recipe gives a much different flavors. Gra a pitcher, and add:
- 1 Sliced Grapefruit
- 2 Sliced Lemons
- 2 Sliced Cucumbers
- 1 Handful of Fresh Mint Leaves, torn
This mixture is good for 64 ounces of water and you can leave it in the fridge for a day or two.
Benefit: Grapefruits are known to be great for heart health. Try some fresh red grapefruit for a positive influence on your blood lipid levels, especially triglycerides.
Is there a more official fruit of summer than watermelon? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Add a bit of basil and you have an amazingly fresh, crisp drink.
Benefit: Watermelon basil water is a great detox system. The basil is also packed with disease-fighting antioxidants.
The sweet juice of a mandarin orange only gets better if you add it to a handful of blueberries and purified water.
- 4-5 sliced mandarin oranges (squeezed into the water for added flavor)
- Two handfuls blueberries
Benefit: The oranges offer a great immune booster with the Vitamin C and the overload of antioxidants from the blueberries will help you fight off any summer cold for sure!
Who needs happy hour when you have this sweet drink? Pack your purified water full of:
Benefit: Limes are known to help boost digestion, improve skin, and support weight loss.
Who needs the fall to celebrate the unmistakable scent and flavor or cinnamon? Pair that with your favorite apple, and you have a year-round favorite. You’ll need:
- 1 apple, sliced thin
- 1 plum, sliced thin
- 1 pear, sliced thin
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
Benefit: Not only does cinnamon help protect the heart, but it also fights against diabetes and other diseases.
If sipping something with a little kick is more your taste, strawberry jalapeno infused water is the recipe for you. Add together:
The jalapeno will give your water a bit of a spice, but the sweetness of the strawberry still allows it to be refreshing.
Benefit: The benefits of jalapenos are numerous. The pepper supports weight loss, relieves headache pain, reduces inflammation, and aids digestion.
Tips to Know Before Following the Recipes
Before we look at the recipes for infused water, it’s a good idea to cover some basics. Check out some FAQs and kitchen tips to help you get a delicious drink.
Is Infused Water Good for You?
The biggest reason that infused water is good for you is that it helps you stay hydrated. Many people prefer to drink something with flavor, and they turn to soda or other chemicals- and sugar-filled drinks. Compared to these, infused water is much better for you. In this way, infusing water helps you with your water intake and lets you make water more exciting.
Also, adding certain ingredients to your infused water can provide other potential benefits. For example, green tea, lime, and mint can help freshen your breath burn fat and assist with congestion, headaches, and digestion. Strawberry and kiwi can help with immune system protection, digestion, blood sugar regulation, and cardiovascular health. Cucumber, lemon, and lime can help with managing water weight and bloating, controlling appetite, hydration, and digestion.
Other combinations provide other health benefits, with some overlap between various fruit infused water recipes.
How Long Should You Infuse Water?
Ideally, you want to infuse the water for between three and four hours in the fridge. In a rush, you can do so for just one or two hours at room temperature. If you prefer a really strong flavor, consider infusing for 12 hours.
How Many Times Can You Refill Infused Water?
You can reuse the fruit you use to make infused water, but keep in mind that it will have lost some flavor. You can also eat the fruit if you prefer, but you will still have the issue of less flavor.
To get the most from reused fruit, try adding more water when you are just halfway through your pitcher. This will mix the less-flavorful water with the more-flavorful water and the fruit. If you plan on multiple infusions, you should also consider using orange or pineapple, as they have stronger flavors. Avoid reusing fleshy fruits, melons, or berries, as they start to decompose quickly.
What Is the Best Fruit to Put in Water?
Everyone has different preferences, so the best fruits and herbs to put in water will be different for everyone. Some of the most popular choices include cucumber, basil, mint, lemon, lime, orange, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, pineapple, and mango.
If you opt for citrus fruits, be aware that the rind may make the water taste slightly bitter. You can avoid this by removing the rind before you infuse it. Or, make sure to take the fruit out after four hours or less.
If you want to try a new infusion, consider doing so in a mason jar with a single serving instead of making a full pitcher. If you like it, then you can make a full pitcher later.
With that in mind, it is time to explore some of the most delicious infused water recipes.
Tips for Making Healthy Infused Water
You may think you can just toss some ingredients in a jug and call it a day, but there are a few best practices for making infused water. You can make them in large batches in a pitcher or single serve batches using a water bottle or glass mason jar.
Infused Water Prep
- Buy organic ingredients to avoid pesticides and other chemicals. Wash & rinse them thoroughly.
- Glass pitchers are better than plastic. Glass does not hold flavors and odors like plastic does. If you are using plastic, make sure it’s BPA free.
- Use cold or room temperature water. Make sure it’s filtered water!
- Slice hard fruits like apples thinly. Softer fruits can be sliced more thickly.
- Use a muddler or spoon to crush fibrous herbs like ginger and rosemary. Delicate herbs like basil and mint can be crushed to release their oils.
- If your pitcher doesn’t have a built-in strainer, use a tea infuser to control herb leaves and flowers.
- Infused water should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth.
- Infusion time will vary based on ingredients. Cucumbers, citrus, melons, and mint provide instant flavor to water. Other fruits and herbs will require overnight infusion.
- Citrus peels can make water bitter. Either peel the fruit before infusing or remove the citrus after 4 hours.
- After 24 hours, if you have not used all the water, strain the solids out. The infused water can be kept in the fridge for up to three days.
- Most of the nutrients will stay in the fruit, so get the most bang for your buck by using the fruit to make smoothies when you’re done infusing.
Now that you know the basics of infused water, check out these easy and delicious recipes.
100+ Fruit Infused Water Combinations (and their health benefits)
Infused water with strawberries
Strawberries can provide a sweet and slightly tart flavor (depending on the ripeness) to your water. As an an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B9 (folate), and potassium they are beneficial for the immune system, skin, tissue growth and cell function when eaten. They may aid in improving heart health, regulating blood sugar levels, and preventing cancer.
- strawberry + mint
- strawberry + cucumber + mint
- strawberry + lemon + basil
- strawberry + orange + basil
- strawberry + lime
- strawberry + kiwi
- strawberry + grapefruit + mint
- strawberry + calamansi
- strawberry + kiwi + calamansi
- strawberry + starfruit
Infused water with oranges
Oranges add a sweet citrusy flavor to your infused water. They are high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamine, folate and antioxidants. When eaten, they are great for improving heart health, preventing kidney stones and increasing iron absorption.
- orange + lemon
- orange + lime
- orange + lemon + lime
- orange + blueberry + mint
- orange + blackberry + ginger
- orange + cranberry
- orange + apple + cinnamon + clove
- orange + strawberry + basil
- orange + kiwi
Infused water with cucumber
Cucumbers are vegetables that provide a mildly crisp, fresh flavor when added to water. They are high in nutrients and antioxidants. Ingesting cucumbers can promote weight loss, hydration, improved digestion and lower blood sugar.
- cucumber + lemon + celery
- cucumber + lemon + rosemary
- cucumber + lime + thyme
- cucumber + lemon + lime + grapefruit
- cucumber + cantaloupe
- cucumber + strawberry + mint
- cucumber + lemon + mint
- cucumber + lemon + mint + ginger
- cucumber + honeydew + mint
Infused water with lemon
Lemons are the most common fruit found in water since they’re easily accessible and add instant brightness to any type of water. They are high in vitamin C and fiber, which helps with heart health, weight control, kidney stone prevention, iron absorption and digestion.
- lemon + lime
- lemon + lime + orange
- lemon + lime + mint
- lemon + raspberry + mint
- lemon + cucumber + mint
- lemon + strawberry + mint
- lemon + strawberry + basil
- lemon + lime + grapefruit + cucumber
- lemon + cucumber + mint + ginger
- lemon + ginger
- lemon + cucumber + celery
- lemon + cucumber + rosemary
- lemon + blueberry
- lemon + blueberry + lavender
- lemon + blueberry + rosemary
- lemon + apple + carrot
Infused water with lime
Limes are a great alternative or compliment to lemons. Their acidic and slightly bitter flavor adds a crisp citrus taste to water. They are high in vitamins A,B, C and D as well as potassium, magnesium and calcium. This makes limes great for the skin and digestion while fighting infections, aiding in weight loss, lowering blood sugar, preventing heart disease and contributing to cancer prevention.
- lime + mint
- lime + lemon + mint
- lime + cucumber + mint
- lime + cucumber + thyme
- lime + strawberry
- lime + strawberry + basil
- lime + orange
- lime + lemon + orange
- lime + lemon + grapefruit + cucumber
- lime + watermelon + kiwi
- lime + coconut
Infused water with grapefruit
Grapefruits are another great citrus to infuse in water for its tangy bitter flavor. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, antiioxidants, potassium, folate, magnesium and thiamine. It can help with weight loss, boosting the immune system, diabetes and heart disease.
- grapefruit + strawberry
- grapefruit + lemon + lime + cucumber
- grapefruit + rosemary
- grapefruit + thyme
- grapefruit + pomegranate + mint
Infused water with mint
Mint is an herb that is great in water, especially icy cold water, because it makes it taste extra fresh and, well…minty. It’s high in vitamin A, antioxidants, iron, magnese and folate making it beneficial for digestion, brain function while relieving congestion and freshening breath.
- mint + lime
- mint + lime + lemon
- mint + lemon + cucumber
- mint + lemon + cucumber + ginger
- mint + lemon + raspberry
- mint + pineapple + ginger
- mint + grapefruit + pomegranate
- mint + strawberry
- mint + strawberry + cucumber
- mint + strawberry + grapefruit
- mint + orange + blueberry
- mint + apricot + raspberry
- mint + blackberry
- mint + apple + lime
- mint + peach + plum
- mint + honeydew + cucumber
- mint + watermelon + basil
Infused water with ginger
Ginger is a root that adds a bit of a spicy, peppery flavor to your water. Due to its high gingerol content, it is a great anti-inflammatory/antioxidant and can alleviate nausea, reduce soreness, lessen symptoms of osteoarthritis, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, improve brain fuction and possibly prevent cancer.
- ginger + pineapple + mint
- ginger + lemon
- ginger + mint + lemon + cucumber
- ginger + orange + blackberry + ginger
- ginger + mango + raspberry + ginger
Infused water with basil
Basil is a vibrant green leafy herb that adds another dimension to water giving off a fresh fragrant flavor. Fresh basil is a great source of vitamins A, C and K as well as manganese, magnesium and calcium. It is beneficial for the skin, lowering blood sugar and reducing stress (through aromatherapy).
- basil + watermelon
- basil + watermelon + mint
- basil + strawberry + lemon
- basil + strawberry + orange
Infused water with rosemary
Rosemary adds another level of refreshment to water with a fresh, slightly savory essence. Its high in iron, calcium and vitamin B6. Plus, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties provide these great health benefits: boosts immune system, improves circulation and digestion and promotes eye and brain health.
- rosemary + cucumber + lemon
- rosemary + lemon + blueberry
- rosemary + raspberry + blueberry
- rosemary + grapefruit
Infused water with tropical fruits
To change things up, you might want to infuse tropical fruits into your water, which will add a unique blend of flavors and tend to be less tart and more sweet when fully ripened.
- kiwi + orange
- kiwi + watermelon + lime
- kiwi + calamansi + strawberry + strawberry
- mango + raspberry + ginger
- pineapple + strawberry
- pineapple + ginger + mint
- pineapple + coconut
- coconut + lime
- starfruit + strawberry
Other fruit infused water combinations
Feel free to play around with the ingredients and come up with your own concoctions. To start, you might want to pick any one of the combinations above and use even amounts of fruits/vegetables and a sprig or two of herbs. Generously add more ingredients of any flavor you want to “punch up.” You can even experiment with sparkling water. There are infinite combinations of flavors to try! Enjoy!
How Long Can You Keep Lemon Slices In Water?
If infusing water with lemon, lime, and orange and you haven’t used too many they are okay to sit in the water for up to 24 hours.
If you have used grapefruit or a large amount of citrus fruit remove them from the water after about 6 hours or once your desired flavour has been achieved.
The reason for this is that if you leave a large quantity rind in the water for too long, the bitterness from the rind becomes more pronounced in the water.
Another way to avoid this bitter flavour is to remove the rind before adding the fruit to the water.
More Tips for Making Fruit Infused Water
- Chill your infused water in the fridge or overnight for the best tasting results.
- If using citrus like lemon or lime, remove the peel before adding to water. Peels create a bitter flavor that intensifies the longer they are soaking in the water.
Without further ado, here are my favorite infused water recipes. I use the term recipe loosely here because it is all a matter of preference, I’m just sharing some good combos – amounts are up to you!
Simple Lemonade Recipe – if you ask me what is the drink that can be made in the shortest time, I would recommend this lemonade Recipe. It is very refreshing and can be made with only 2 ingredients. If you haven’t tasted it, give it a try and you’ll fall in love with it.
Get the recipe here.
Related Coffee Ideas:
Is Infused Water Healthy?
As with most things, there are certain pros and cons involved.
In general, keeping hydrated is good, and the main benefit is that you’ll be drinking more water. Dehydration can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and even seizures.
By infusing water with delicious flavors, you’re more likely to drink enough throughout the day.
However, you should be aware of a few other advantages and disadvantages before you start mixing drinks.
It Can Help You Lose Weight
We love the taste of sweet drinks, from sodas to fruit juices. Unfortunately, even “healthier” options contain copious amounts of sugar.
You can reduce your intake by replacing them with infused water, improving your hydration and helping you feel fuller.
It Can Support Cancer Treatments
Cancer patients often struggle to drink enough fluids during treatment. Unfortunately, dehydration can only worsen the symptoms caused by therapy.
Cancer institutes and blogs recommend infused water as a way for patients to stay hydrated despite the challenges.
You Can Get Food Poisoning
You need to prepare your fruits and herbs correctly before starting the infusion process.
Ensure that the skin or rind is still intact, and wash everything before you begin. It’s also critical to use a sealed container to store your water.
It Can Erode Tooth Enamel
Citrus fruits are a popular recipe choice due to their pungent flavor.
However, their high acidic content can lead to enamel erosion if you drink too much. Try to balance your ingredient selection to avoid damage to your teeth.
How to make your own infused water at home
Try these flavorful concoctions. You will not even miss the unhealthy soda!
1 – Thyme grapefruit lime water
Get out your pitcher or glass and fill it halfway with ice. Place a couple of slices of grapefruit, four slices of lime, and a handful of fresh thyme inside. Push the thyme down with a spoon to make it fit, then pour filtered water on top. Stir with a straw or long spoon, and enjoy!
Benefits: Thyme has been used in holistic medicine for thousands of years. It contains tons of vitamin C, potassium, and manganese, as well as anti-inflammatory compounds. Grapefruit is rich in Vitamin C and A and contains a high amount of antioxidants. Finally, limes are high in Vitamin C and antioxidants as well, helping to boost immunity.
2 – Basil apple ginger water
To make this infused water, fill a pitcher halfway with ice once again. Add four or five slices of green apple cut lengthwise to create thin circles. Next, add a handful of fresh ginger shavings and 7-8 basil leaves. Fill the pitcher up with water, and stir with a straw. This infused water will revitalize you while giving you an immunity boost!
Benefits: Basil is high in Vitamin K, which helps keep bones healthy and heals wounds faster. Apples contain tons of fiber, Vitamin C, and polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant compound. Research proves that ginger is perhaps one of the most powerful roots on the planet, helping lower inflammation and ward off disease.
3 – Strawberry blueberry mint infused water
For this one, repeat the steps above with the ice and pitcher. Add in a couple of handfuls of strawberry slices and a few handfuls of blueberries. Pour in your water, and top off with a couple of mint leaves. You won’t miss soda after trying this one!
Benefits: Strawberries are rich in Vitamin C and B9, manganese, and potassium. Blueberries have a lot of Vitamins C and K, as well as manganese. Both of these berries have been known to boost cognitive ability and boost antioxidant levels also. Finally, mint helps relieve indigestion, improve brain function, and wards off colds.
4 – Lavender lemon water
After filling the pitcher or glass with ice, add 4-5 slices of lemon. Next, top it off with a couple of small handfuls of fresh lavender. Stir and enjoy!
Benefits: Lavender has been known for its ability to reduce stress and insomnia. Lemons are a good source of Vitamin C and help improve digestion.
5 – Cucumber mint lemon infused water
Cut up half a cucumber into thin slices, and then do the same with half a lemon. Next, fill up the glass, mason jar, or pitcher with ice. Now, put your cucumber and lemon slices in along with a small handful of mint leaves. Fill your glass with water and let your taste buds dance!
Benefits: Half a cucumber contains about 30% of your RDI of Vitamin K, plus it improves digestion and hydration. For mint and lemon, refer to the benefits listed above.
6 – Green tea lemon mint water with honey
This is basically a cup of green tea, but cold and with the addition of mint. It still has the same benefits as a warm mug of tea but is refreshing on a hot day. To make this, follow the same routine with the ice, and then add your ingredients. Put in 5-6 slices of lemon, a handful of mint, and a few sprinkles of green tea leaves.
Pour your water in the glass, and then drizzle honey over the top. Stir thoroughly to ensure the honey gets mixed in.
Benefits: Green tea is perhaps one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It contains many bioactive compounds that prevent cell damage and reduce inflammation. Plus, it improves metabolism and brain function and lowers the risk of certain cancers. Honey is a powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory food, and many cultures use it as medicine.
7 – Lemon grapefruit orange water with rosemary
This infused water will make you pucker your lips from the tartness, but it’s packed with nutrients! To make it, cut an orange, pink grapefruit, and lemon into thin slices. Fill your pitcher up halfway with ice. Put about three lemon slices, two orange, and three large grapefruit slices into the jar or glass. Next, add a few generous sprigs of rosemary.
Fill with water, and let your body soak up the healing benefits from this infused water.
Benefits: Oranges are most well-known for their high Vitamin C content. They also have a fair amount of calcium and help your body make collagen, which gives you smooth skin. Rosemary is high in manganese, which helps the body heal wounds faster and improves metabolism.
Let’s face it – water can taste pretty boring after drinking it every single day of your life. Since we have to drink it to survive, why not make it a little more exciting? Adding fresh fruits, roots, and herbs to your water can spice up your life in a small but noticeable way. Best of all, there are virtually endless combinations to try so that you’ll never get bored!
What is your favorite infused water to make? Let us know in the comments!