We are told that we need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. For water drinkers, that’s easy – but it’s a struggle for those who don’t like drinking anything bland. But the thing is, we can’t live on soda, juice, coffee, wine (or whatever your favorite something to drink is) all day.
For those who don’t like drinking plain, boring water, adding a little bit of flavor can help to increase water intake. Adding flavor can be done naturally or artificially. Still, whatever you choose, you probably may need to go drink it occasionally and learn to drink more plain water eventually because flavored water is not always available wherever you go.
If you’re looking for water flavoring options, read on to discover more.
Is Flavored Water Healthy?
We all know that water is essential to our health, and we need to guzzle up this fluid to prevent dehydration, thus preventing other diseases as well. Flavored waters are healthier than the usual sugary sodas, lemonades, iced teas, and juices, but they are much more exciting than plain H2O. It may be the healthier choice if you are choosing to add flavor to your water to keep yourself from drinking lots of high-calorie, sugary beverages. However, some flavored waters contain sugars and artificial sweeteners that come with additional calories, so you must read the product label closely to determine if a brand is an effective low-calorie option.
Adding natural flavorings such as lemon, cucumber, cherries, watermelon, oranges, and herbs like mint and basil are examples of naturally flavored water. The health benefits vary, depending on the ingredient you use.
Flavored water can improve your mood because the flavorings can add a feeling of satisfaction to the senses while you’re being mindful that you are increasing your water intake. It can also help speed up recovery from workouts after being fatigued. Plus, it can be an asset to a weight loss regimen through detoxification.
Water Flavoring Options You Can Buy
You can find water flavor enhancers that you can buy at the grocery store to jazz up your water. They come in exciting flavors and are usually sweet. You have to add them to the water yourself, but if you want flavored water direct from the bottle, you can buy them as well. These are some water flavoring options you may want to add to your water:
1. Powdered water enhancers
Sometimes, you want to add some delicious flavor to your water so you may enjoy drinking it.
True Citrus offers a wonderful variety of citrus-flavored yumminess with low-glycemic varieties. There are flavors like lemon, lime, orange, lemonade, iced tea, raspberry lemonade, black cherry limeade, limeade, mango orange, peach lemonade, strawberry lemonade, wildberry lemonade, and lemon and watermelon aqua fresca. Some varieties have a little sugar, so they are technically not sugar-free, but it’s a small amount that won’t typically bother blood sugar levels.
Everly Hydration Drink Mix is another great choice for powdered water enhancers and is available in handy, transportable pockets or large bulk pouches. It adds yummy flavors to your water without adding unwanted calories or carbs. You can choose from flavors like grape, peach mango, pomegranate berry, and fruit punch.
2. Liquid water enhancers
If powder doesn’t work for you, water flavoring drops are more convenient to add to water. These liquid water enhancers can add a fresh, fruity sweetness to water without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners. When the water tastes better, you may drink more of it.
SweetLeaf Stevia Natural Water Drops are an excellent choice for adding a touch of fresh fruit flavor to any fresh or sparkling water. These yummy water drops are available in four fruity flavors and are sugar-free because it’s flavored with stevia. Another stevia-sweetened, healthy option is Stur-Natural Water Enhancer.
3. Electrolytes powders
One of the most important aspects of hydration is ensuring that your body gets the necessary electrolytes. These powders contain essential minerals like sodium, calcium, and potassium, which all have important purposes in keeping the body healthy and working fine. From helping your nerves and muscles function correctly to keeping your pH levels balanced, electrolytes are essential. Ultima Electrolyte Powder is an excellent choice because it’s naturally sweetened and available in handy packets. Key Nutrients Electrolyte Recovery Plus is another option available in different flavors and free from carbs and sugar.
4. Flavored collagen powder drinks
Collagen is an important protein that holds our skin, bones, and cartilage together. Without it, our tissues won’t grow or move as intended. Also, keeping yourself hydrated will keep your skin looking youthful, and adding collagen to water will boost that benefit. It also makes water taste terrific!
Ancient Nutrition Multi-Collagen Protein Powders are available in different refreshing flavors to support healthy skin, nails, and joints while helping you enjoy drinking water.
5. Essential oils
If you want to add some fantastic health benefits to your water and not just flavor, some therapeutic-grade essential oils have much to offer. Essential oils can be used in a lot of ways, but if you’re okay with ingesting essential oils, then it’s a great option as well.
When adding essential oils to water, make sure you stir it often as the oils rise to the surface. Also, use a drinking container made of glass since many essential oils dissolve plastic or cause toxins from plastic to leach into the water. Ancient Apothecary Organic Essential Oil and Young Living’s Vitality Essential Oil are great options.
If you want to simply sweeten your water, you can stir in some powdered or liquid stevia or other low-glycemic sweeteners to simply sweeten the water.
Technically, this isn’t a way to flavor water, but it can make it feel like soda. You can use plain, store-bought seltzer water for this or add your own carbonation using a carbonating machine like SodaStream. By the way, SodaStream also offers its own line of water flavorings, so you can drink water like it’s soda but with way less sugar and no caffeine.
Common Artificial Sweeteners Used in Water Flavor Enhancers
Flavored water enhancers are sweet because they contain high-intensity artificial sweeteners that are around 200 or 200,000 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). These are the most common artificial sweeteners they use:
- Aspartame – This is a very low-calorie sweetener that’s 200 times sweeter than table sugar.
- Acesulfame potassium – Known as Ace-K, this non-nutritive sweetener contains no calories and is 200 times sweeter than table sugar.
- Saccharin – It’s a non-nutritive sweetener that is 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar.
- Sucralose – It’s also another non-nutritive sweetener, but it’s 600 times sweeter than table sugar.
Are they Healthy?
Like sugar, artificial sweeteners bind the taste buds on the tongue and the inside of the mouth to send a message to the brain that they taste sweet. However, they are not metabolized by the body in the same way. High-intensity sweeteners are not broken down into glucose molecules but pass through the digestive system without being absorbed. Since they are not absorbed, they don’t raise blood sugar and provide little to no calories.
Some research has found that artificial sweeteners can alter taste perception, increasing appetite and contributing to sweet cravings by training the taste buds to prefer sweeter flavors.
So, if you keep drinking water enhancers with artificial sweeteners, you may train your brain to prefer highly intense sweet flavors, which is not good for the body.
Artificial sweeteners in flavored water enhancers are generally recognized as safe, but the reality is we don’t know their long-term effects. Some studies have even found that certain sweeteners may have adverse health effects since they can alter bacteria in our digestive system. These bacteria, known as gut microbes, play a major role in gut health and are involved in digestion, metabolism, and immunity.
Due to claims that it has negative side effects, an artificial sweetener that has been controversial in recent years is aspartame. Because of increased public concern, many food and drink manufacturers have avoided adding aspartame to their products.
Natural and Alternative Water Flavoring Options
If you want to avoid the potential side effects of store-bought, artificial flavoring options – go natural. These are some of your options:
1. Citrus fruits
Looking to add some tartness to your water? Add a little bit of citrus to enhance its flavor. Lemon is a common water additive that will entice your taste buds while keeping you refreshed. Using slices of lime, oranges and grapefruit are also traditional. Citrus fruits will add a nice dose of vitamin C and will help facilitate digestion.
2. Fresh fruits
One of the best ways to flavor water naturally is to add fresh fruits and let them infuse. Watermelons, apples, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are tasty options. If you want to boost carbs, infuse your water with kiwis, cherries, pomegranate, and pineapple. The good thing about fresh fruits is that they are healthy and loaded with vitamins and antioxidants our body needs.
There are diverse fruit combinations that will make your water taste more exciting. Some recipes mix them with herbs like mint to make them taste more refreshing. Slice or crush your fruits and let them infuse the water for 4-5 hours.
Like lemon, cucumber is a popular water additive, and botanically, it is considered a fruit. A cucumber is a neutral option, adding a little bit more freshness to your water.
4. Herbs and spices
If you have an herb garden or just like keeping stock of herbs in the pantry for cooking, you can use them for making delicious herbal water. Mint, basil, parsley, coriander, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper are a few ideas. Combine herbs together and let them infuse in your wattle bottle for a couple of hours, or mix them with fruits.
5. Fruity ice cubes
Looking for fun ways to jazz up your water for a party? Make some fruit-infused ice cubes to make healthy, beautiful-looking beverages. People who like cold, icy water will enjoy flavored ice cubes. Fresh fruits, cucumber, and mint are excellent options. Chop up your fruit, place them into the ice cube tray with water, and let it freeze.
Fruit, herbal, red, and white teas can be considered healthy water flavorings because they contain no caffeine. You can find countless flavors that have little to no caffeine and are different in taste than the usual black tea. Try out a variety of flavors so you can choose the tea that’s most enjoyable to drink for you. Once you develop a taste for the usual teas, you can try specialty and herbal teas with exotic flavors.
Steep tea in hot water and drink, but if you prefer drinking cold beverages, chill the tea and make it an iced tea. Add a healthy sweetener like stevia to sweeten it if you like.
7. Fresh juice
You can add fresh fruit juice as a base to make your water more exciting to drink. Find some plain, fresh juice – not concentrate, no artificial sweeteners or sugar – and add a splash or two to flavor the water. Avoid the temptation of just drinking the juice altogether – your goal is to increase your water intake, not juice.
It’s best to use tart juices like grape, pomegranate, apple, and cranberry for the best results. You can also make your own juice using a juicer.
8. Frozen berries
Add some delicious flavor and color to your water by adding frozen berries. Take a handful of frozen berries and place them in a large pitcher to encourage your household to drink more water. Get creative!
Ginger has a strong taste, and everyone might not like it. But if you are dealing with nausea, indigestion, flu, colds, or warding off infections, bacteria, and germs – infusing water with ginger would be a great idea to consume more water. Steep ginger slices in warm water, and if you want to get the benefits of ginger and its spicy taste, add in more slices. If you don’t like the strong flavor to feel like you’re still drinking water and not ginger tea, then use less ginger. Add the ginger water to an ice-cold glass of water for subtle, natural flavoring.
You can also make ginger syrup to add to your water if you prefer it sweet. Combine sugar and water until it dissolves, then add ginger slices. Let it boil, then cook for another 15 minutes. After it cools, take out the ginger and use the syrup to flavor your water.
10. Apple cider vinegar
For health-conscious individuals, apple cider vinegar is a pantry staple. It’s a home remedy for everything, and more recently, it has been popular for individuals who want to lose weight and reduce blood sugar levels. This adds acidity to water like citrus juice or fruits.
Fresh lavenders are an excellent ingredient to flavored water, making your drink look pretty, too. Get fresh lavender and put it in a jug of cold water, then let it sit for a couple of hours. If you want to make it a lavender tea, use hot water so that the flavors of lavender would also mix in more quickly. Strain the flowers before drinking.
The taste might seem odd, especially to non-flower tea drinkers, but you will surely benefit from hydration.
12. Mineral salt
Salt can enhance the sweetness of sweetened water and boost the body’s absorption of water. It can also transform the water into an electrolyte drink. Add roughly 1/8 teaspoon (a pinch) for eight ounces of water. But if you’re limiting your sodium intake, adding salt to water is not wise.
13. Broth or stock
Make some homemade chicken or beef stock or broth and drink it up. This option is tasty when served hot, and you can dilute it with more water to increase your water intake while lessening sodium. Sure this isn’t a sweet option, but it’s still yummy.
Helpful Tools for Flavoring Water
If you prefer to flavor water using natural options, you may need tools to make it convenient for you.
1. Infusion glass, pitchers, and mugs
Though you can infuse fruit or herbs easily in any mug, cup, glass, tumbler, pitcher, or bottle – you may want to separate the solids from the water. Infusers are helpful tools for filtering and straining, preventing fruit slag and pieces from pouring into your drink and, at the same time, making it easy to refill the fruit and herbs as you use them. You can find an infusion mug for individual use, infusion water bottles for travel, and infusion pitchers for larger servings of infused water. These containers come with built-in infusers for convenience.
2. Infuser and infuser pods
You can also buy a stainless steel infuser or pods to turn any container into an infusion container.
3. Cherry pitter
Cherry pitters allow you to easily remove cherry pits without splatter. This makes a clean pit removal so that the juice won’t spill on your chopping board but be infused in the water.
4. Strawberry huller
Make strawberry preparation a breeze with a huller. It removes the greens from strawberries quickly. Some hullers even come with strawberry slicers. This is a worthy purchase if you’re consuming fresh strawberries on the regular.
5. Herb scissors
Herb scissors come with multiple blades to chop a variety of herbs quickly, which would otherwise be a more time-consuming task if you use regular kitchen shears or knives.
6. Apple corer
Remove the apple cores in an instant using apple corers.
7. Orange peeler
This can peel oranges and other citrus fruits faster.
8. Mason jars
Infused water is fun and pretty to serve in mason jars.
Drinking water doesn’t have to be boring. You can jazz up your H20 with store-bought water flavorings or healthy natural options to consume your daily recommended water amount. As much as possible, find options with less or no artificial sweeteners for your health and safety.