As you may know, the human body is made up of more than 60% water. So, it’s no surprise that hydration can affect our health in many ways!
Proper hydration helps with digestion, detoxification, energy and mental focus, and immunity and healing—just to name a few (it’s essential to all bodily functions!).
Our water intake comes not just from drinking water—which is the main source—but also from consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, which have high water content. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet (proper acronym SAD) is notoriously poor in fresh fruits and vegetables, while high in diuretics like caffeine and alcohol, which draw water from the body.
Though severe dehydration is a serious, life-threatening condition, mild dehydration is relatively common (though “common” does not mean “normal,” nor ideal). Some of the most noticeable signs of mild dehydration are headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps and irregularity (aka constipation).
So, are you getting enough water and staying properly hydrated?
How much water do we need daily?
Despite the common “8 glasses per day” rule, daily hydration needs vary by person, our bioindividuality, our level of physical activity and sweating, and what our diet is like—how much fresh produce we eat, how much caffeine and alcohol we drink, etc.
But, a general rule of thumb is to multiply your weight by 0.67—so, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water per day. Add 12 ounces for every 30 minutes you spend sweating. Water intake should also be increased in hot/humid temperatures or high altitude, as well as when fighting an illness, when pregnant or breastfeeding, and when drinking alcohol. (We recommend a glass of water after every alcoholic beverage!)
A simple ol’ glass of water will do the trick, but infused water can pack in some additional health benefits too.
Infused water is a fun and easy way to pack more flavor and health benefits into a glass of water.
Simply prepare your added ingredients, add them to a glass pitcher, mason jar, or infusing water bottle, and refrigerate for a few hours (overnight is a good option too). Infused water can be stored in the fridge for up to three days.
For best results, use filtered water (here’s more about our favorite water filtration methods) and fresh, organic produce and herbs.
Healthy infused water recipes
Here are few simple and beneficial infused water “recipes.” These are suggestions to get you started, but all can be adjusted to your taste and preference. Feel free to experiment with new ingredients and combinations!
We’ve chatted before about the many health benefits of lemon water, including digestion and detoxification. It’s particularly great first thing in the morning as part of a healthy morning routine. But lemon water can also be enjoyed at any other time of day to boost hydration, too!
Wash and squeeze half a lemon into a full glass of water.
Cucumber infused water
Cucumber helps to flush toxins, reduce bloating, cool inflammation in the body and keep cells hydrated.
Wash and thinly slice one cucumber (peel it if it’s not organic!) per 64 oz. of water.
Mint promotes digestion, soothes stomach irritation, and reduces inflammation throughout the body.
Add a handful of muddled mint leaves to the cucumber-infused water recipe above.
Just like lemons, limes help to cleanse and detoxify our organs, boost immunity, aid digestion and stabilize blood sugar.
Squeeze the juice of one lime into a glass of water and enjoy immediately; or, add thin slices of one (well-washed) lime to 64 oz. of water.
Added to the health benefits of lime, strawberries are rich in phytonutrients that help to maintain proper functioning of the nervous system.
Wash and finely slice about 10 strawberries per 62 oz. of water. Add thin slices of one (well-washed) lime.
Watermelon is high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect cells against damage and disease. Basil also has strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties protecting against disease.
Use about 1 cup finely chopped watermelon and a handful of muddled basil per 64 oz. of water.