Healthy ways to flavor water

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7 Ways to Make Water Taste Better

Not everybody has a taste for water, but we all need it to ensure that our bodies continue functioning properly. If you want to drink more water, but aren’t crazy about the taste (or lack thereof), here are some tips that can make it more enjoyable:

1. Add fresh fruit. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and oranges, are classic water enhancers, but other fruit flavors might also tempt your taste buds. Try crushing fresh raspberries or watermelon into your water, or adding strawberry slices. Cucumber and fresh mint are refreshing flavors as well — especially in summer.

2. Use juice. Any fruit juice can be a good base flavor for water, but tart juices, like cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple, are especially delicious. Go for juices that are all natural, with no added sugars. And remember: Fruits and their juices don’t just taste good — they contain vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your health too.

3. Make it bubbly. Many people prefer sparkling to still water. If plain old water isn’t inspiring to you, try a naturally effervescent mineral water — which will give you the added benefit of minerals. Or try bubbly seltzer, a carbonated water. You can add fresh fruit or natural juice flavors to your seltzer, as suggested above, or look for naturally flavored seltzers at your local market. If you become a seltzer devotee, you might want to consider getting a seltzer maker for your home.

4. Get creative with ice. Some say that ice water tastes better than water served at room temperature. If that’s so, flavored ice cubes may make an even better drink. Use some of the flavoring suggestions above and start experimenting with fresh fruit, mint, or cucumber ice cubes. Simply chop your additive of choice, add it to your ice cube tray along with water, then freeze. You may also consider juice, tea, or coffee cubes. If you want to be more creative, use ice cube trays that come in fun shapes, like stars, circles, or even fish.

5. Drink tea. Herbal, fruit, green, white, and red teas are generally considered to be better for you than black teas (or coffee, for that matter) because they contain little to no caffeine. And there are countless flavors of these teas to choose from. Start with the selection at your local market or health food store. If you’re interested in pursuing more exotic flavors and sophisticated teas, start researching the vast array of specialty teas that come from all parts of the globe.

6. Try bouillons, broths, and consommés. If your palate leans toward the savory, you may pass on tea and start sipping one of these hot and savory liquids instead. Choose low-fat and low-sodium versions for maximum health benefits. Because soup is water-based, a cup of hot soup will count toward your daily fluid consumption.

7. Add fast flavor. If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy flavor booster, you might also consider sugar-free drink mixes, and flavor cartridges that can be used with your faucet filter system.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Healthy Living Center.

There’s always a trendy new health drink, but you’ll never do better than good-old water. H20 has a long list of health benefits, and it can even help promote weight loss.

That said, water can’t boost your health if you don’t drink up—which is hard if you hate the taste. Sound familiar? Here are some great ways to add a hint of flavor to ordinary H20.

Courtesy of TheKitchn

Add a Cinnamon Stick
Spice water up (literally!) with this tip from TheKitchn: Simmer a cinnamon stick in a cup of water, then use the resulting liquid as a concentrate that you mix with cold water and ice. Not only does the flavored water taste great, but cinnamon comes with a host of its own health benefits; it can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol.

Add a Splash of Fruit Juice
Pouring just a touch of 100 percent fruit juice into your glass can add flavor and color—without piling on a ton of sugar.

courtesy of Ball Drinkware

Buy a Water Infuser
Spiking water with some fruit is another simple way to upgrade its taste. Show off colorful berries and fruit slices with a water infuser (we like the one above, which is designed for use with mason jars). Cute, right?

MORE: 8 Genius Ways to Use Mason Jars in the Kitchen

Steep Herbs
Adding leaves to your H20, like mint or crushed basil, is a great way to punch up its flavor (it’s kind of like making a mojito, minus the sugar and alcohol). Steep leaves in the water overnight, and feel free to add a squeeze of lemon or lime in the morning.

Courtesy of By Stephanie Lynn

Add Flavored Ice Cubes
Whether you freeze coffee, water and pomegranate arils, or pureed raspberries and pineapple (as shown above), we love the idea of following By Stephanie Lynn’s suggestion to make flavored ice cubes for your water. They add a cool, refreshing burst—and also just look pretty!

MORE: 10 Ways to Drink More Water

Jenna Birch Jenna Birch is a Michigan-based freelance health and lifestyle journalist, covering topics ranging from general health and nutrition to beauty and psychology.

I don’t know you. But I don’t have to know you to know one thing: You’re probably not getting enough water.

The statistics are all over the place—some reports say 43% of us are dehydrated, others say 75% of us are. Either way, the takeaway is clear. We should all be drinking more water, not less. Especially as the weather starts heating up.

But while a glass of pure cold water is incredibly refreshing and vital, it’s not exactly craveable. Imagine how much more water we’d all drink, though, if it had subtle hints of mint, cucumber, and raspberry.

Or grapefruit. Or watermelon and basil.

Actually, you don’t have to imagine this. You can drink it.

Flavored but not sweetened

You don’t need sugars, syrups, or artificial flavoring to make amazing-tasting waters: just look to the fruits, veggies, and spices you’re already using in your kitchen. Almost any fruit, herb, spice, or veggie-infused water you can make is going to add a new level of deliciousness and healthy hydration to your day. And you’ll be shocked—pleasantly—by how much flavor a branch of rosemary or a slice of grapefruit peel can impart. Add even less expected flavors like ginger and cilantro and you’ll have a beverage that’s on par with anything sweetened and artificial.

Take the #wasteless approach

As you cook, think about the ingredients you’re preparing for dinner as potential water infusers. Before you throw away a peel or a stem, stop and ask yourself “would this make my drinking water taste better?” The answer is usually going to be “yes.”

Sliced cucumber is a classic addition to water, but it’s actually kind of wasteful: because are you really going to eat those slices of cucumber after they’ve been floating in water for a few days? Probably not. Instead, next time you’re peeling a cucumber for a salad, add the (washed) peels to your water for a similar effect. The same goes for apple or pear peels, too.

Juicing a lemon for a recipe? Instead of throwing away the squeezed lemon halves, add them to a pitcher of water for a lemon infusion. Ditto for limes, oranges, and grapefruit.

When you’re prepping strawberries, save the tops—even that little bit of fruit still attached to the greens will impart a wonderful sweet strawberry flavor to your water.

Herb stems, or that last bit of the herb bunch you bought for a particular recipe and aren’t sure what to do with now, are natural partners for water. So is that vanilla bean you used to infuse your creme brûlée or the cinnamon stick you used to make rice pudding—just give them a rinse and add to your water jug.

Fennel fronds are another great (and often discarded!) addition to water, especially if you’re a licorice fan. Try pairing the fronds with orange peel to make your water molto Italiano.

The Basic Infusion Method

You don’t need a recipe or any special instructions here: just fill a pitcher or large jar with drinking water and add your herbs, peels, and fruits. Now let it sit for a couple hours. For overnight storage, or if you prefer your water cold, keep it in the fridge. Infused water usually keeps for about two to three days, and you can keep replenishing the water in your vessel with the same ingredients over the course of those days. After two or three days, start all over again.

If you’ve been a fan of Natural Living Ideas for a while now, you’re probably used to reading our favorite piece of natural health advice: “Drink more water.” In fact, if there were one substance – one ultimate panacea – to cure every disease, address any weight-loss concern and set every natural health mishap right, water would be The One. That said, it was only a matter of time before good ol’ H2O made its way up the chain from regular (albeit quiet) cameo appearances into the center stage spotlight.

In a survey of over 2800 people in 14 different cities, researchers at Rockefeller University discovered that only around 34% of people drink enough water on a daily basis. That means that nearly 2 out of every 3 people is living in a constant state of dehydration. Even more alarming: 10% of the individuals who took the survey reported not drinking any water at all on an average day!

While the reasons for not drinking enough water are many, there is one excuse which stands out far more prominently than any other.

“Water is boring.”

So, as part of our unrelenting mission to bring you better health and a longer, happier life; we’ve scoured the internet, as well as our own brains and kitchens to compile the best, brightest and tastiest ways to take the ‘boring’ out of drinking water and replace it with ‘interesting, tasty and fun’ – in true natural living style!

1. Toss in Some Fresh Fruit

Slice or cube up some fresh organic fruit and drop it into your water for a little flavor and color. Berries, mango, watermelon, pineapple, kiwi and orange are just a few of the colorful fruits which make great additions to a glass of cool water.

2. Or Just the Peels

For a blast of citrus flavor without the pulp and seeds, swap out your lemon, orange or lime slices for just the rind. Citrus fruit peels contain potent oils which will add both flavor and a fresh aroma to your drinking water.

3. Add Fragrant Herbs

Fresh herbs such as basil (for a licorice-like taste), lemongrass (for a kick of citrus), lavender (floral aroma), peppermint or cinnamon can quickly lend a lot of flavor to your water. Get creative with your herbs and try different combinations to keep things interesting.

This technique is especially good for those who grow potted herbs as you’ll always have a fresh supply when you need to jazz up a glass of water!

4. Infuse It Overnight

Get more flavor out of your fruits and herbs by adding them to a pitcher of water and leaving it in the refrigerator overnight. Come morning, your fresh produce will have infused the water with both their flavor and nutrients.

5. Muddle Your Fruit & Herbs

If you want the added flavor of infused water without the wait, try muddling your fruits and herbs in the bottom of a glass before topping them with cool, refreshing water.

You can muddle with a spoon, or pick up one of these fancy water infuser bottles to simplify the process.

6. Try It With Cucumber Slices

Just like they do in a lot of day spas, you can toss a few slices of cucumber into your water for a mild yet stimulating and refreshing flavor. You can also pair a fresh slice of lemon or lime with your cukes for an interesting and tasty combination.

Because cucumbers are so mild, they work very well with the overnight infusion method, too!

7. Add a Splash of Juice

Add color, flavor and nutrients to your water with a splash of your favorite no-sugar-added juice. Lemon, lime, grapefruit, cranberry and pomegranate are some excellent choices.

You can also pair up juices with complimentary fruit slices to make your water even more interesting. (Try cranberry juice with a fresh lime slice – one of my personal favorites!)

8. Mix Up Some “Sassy Water”

Try this recipe for “Sassy Water” from prevention.com which combines ginger, cucumber, lemon and mint for delicious flavor plus some incredible health benefits which can seriously improve your weight-loss results – especially when it comes to burning off stubborn belly fat!

9. Try Japanese Plum Wine

Xin Lu on wisebread.com recommends flavoring your water with umeshu, a Japanese wine made from green plums. One part umeshu to ten parts water is her suggested mixing ratio.

10. Have a Cup of Tea

Drinking tea can count toward your daily water total, too (just so long as you don’t spike it with sugar!) Mix up some herbal tea like any of these 17 delicious and nutritious varieties. Green tea is another great option which also makes a perfect substitution for caffeinated beverages.

11. Low-Sodium Broth

For a warm, tasty treat that will also hydrate you better than plain water, drink a mug of low-sodium broth. The nutrients and proteins in broth also make it one of the best foods for combating a cold or the flu!

12. Mix In Apple Cider Vinegar

Spice up your boring water and get a daily dose of ultra healthy apple cider vinegar at the same time. About a tablespoon of of ACV added to an average-sized tea cup full of water is a good ratio to start with, though you may need to experiment with more or less to find the flavor which suits you best.

13. Toss In Some Rose Hips

If you grow your own roses or know someone who does, consider harvesting a few rose hips and adding them to your drinking water. Rose hips are loaded with vitamin C – one of the richest natural sources on the planet, in fact! (You can read more about them here.)

14. Add a Drop of Natural Food Coloring

If you’d like to give your water a splash of color, but can’t stand the taste of watered-down fruit juice, try adding a drop or two of natural food coloring instead.

You can also sweeten your colorful water with a pinch of organic stevia powder to create an interesting and healthy replacement for sugary beverages.

15. Make Colored Cubes

Add a drop or two of natural food coloring to water in a glass measuring cup or pitcher full of water. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze to create fun colored ice cubes that not only look pretty when you first drop them into the glass, but will also create nifty color patterns in your water as they begin to melt.

16. Trade Ice For ‘Iced Fruit’

Another cool way (pun intended) to jazz up your boring water is to swap out those boring ice cubes for some iced fruit. This could be as simple as breaking out the frozen berries and dropping a few in the glass. Or you can get creative by adding berries or pieces of fruit to the compartments of an ice cube tray before filling them with water. Once frozen, fill a glass with your homemade iced fruit cubes and top off with water to give the illusion that colorful bits of your favorite produce are suspended throughout the liquid (instead of sitting blandly at the bottom of the glass!)

17. Or Try Iced Herbs

Just like fruit, you can also make iced herb cubes (which is also a great way to preserve your fresh herbs.) Try them with mint leaves to give summertime beverages a fresh kick with a splash of color!

18. Cleverly-Shaped Ice Cubes

Take interesting ice a step further by using unconventional ice cube trays. Some nifty ideas:

The ice globe maker gives you big spheres of ice which keep drinks cooler longer by melting more slowly. These clever trays give ‘brain freeze’ a whole new meaning. You’ve heard of a barrel of monkeys… But what about a glass of swimming sasquatch? Then there’s my personal favorite: polar animals on icebergs.

19. Carbonate It

Pick up a Soda Maker and add bubbles to your drinking water at your leisure. Carbonated water combines well with a many of the other ideas on our list. Try it with citrus rinds (as mentioned in #2) for a fresh, fruity treat. Or add your fun, fruity and colorful ice cubes to fizzy water for a truly visually-stimulating hydration experience!

20. Try A Fun Project

Adding a small pinch of salt and a splash of juice to drinking water helps your body to absorb it better so you’ll feel rehydrated faster – just like mixing your own sports drink.

Stirring a pinch of salt into carbonated juice-water also creates a brief and exhilarating reaction (physical, not chemical) where lots of carbonation is released from the liquid very rapidly. This can be fun to watch, especially for children. Just be sure to only fill your glass partially full (about an inch from the top should be enough) before adding the salt, to prevent your kitchen science experiment from overflowing!

Are Flavored Water Drops Actually As Healthy As They Claim?

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Key Takeaways

  1. Flavored water drops are concentrated flavoring and sweetener added to water to make it taste more interesting. They can be used to replace calorie-dense beverages and reduce your calorie intake.
  2. Most water enhancers contain artificial sweeteners and colors, which could be harmful.
  3. If you prefer a natural approach, drink plain water or spice it up with a slice of fruit or some crushed herbs.

How can you re-invent water, one of the most basic requirements for sustaining life?

Well, if you’re an unscrupulous, uninformed, and unprincipled marketer, one way would be to collect water from a stream, leave it unfiltered and untreated, call it “raw water,” and claim it has unique health benefits.

Another option is to add some random minerals to water to lower its pH, claim this “alkalized water” reduces inflammation and oxidation in the body, and sell it for oodles of boodle.

Or you could simply add some calorie-free sweeteners and flavors to the water to make it taste better, which brings us to flavored water drops.

These products usually come in a tiny squeeze bottle and contain concentrated sweeteners, dyes, and flavors that you can add to your water, giving it a pleasant taste and appearance.

Best of all, these flavored water drops are calorie free, so you get to have your cake and eat it, too!

Or do you?

Are these calorie-free flavored water drops as healthy as people think, or could there be long-term risks to adding artificial dyes, sweeteners, and flavors to all of your drinking water?

Let’s dive in and find out.

What Are Flavored Water Drops?

Flavored water drops and water enhancers are products sold to improve the palatability of water. They usually consist of concentrated sweeteners, dyes, and flavorings that often come as a liquid or powder.

The liquid varieties can be squeezed by the drop into a glass of plain water, while powder packets can be emptied into a water bottle, for example.

Crystal Light was one of the first companies to come out with a powdered water enhancer, whereas Mio water drops have become extremely common in the past decade.

There are many different brands of water enhancers, so there’s a variety of products to choose from.

Some are just flavor and sweetener, while others contain caffeine for an energy pick-me-up, or even vitamins and minerals.

Summary: Flavored water drops are made of concentrated sweeteners, dyes, and flavors that you can can add to water to make it taste better. Some contain other ingredients like caffeine and vitamins.

Why Do People Use Flavored Water Drops?

People use water enhancers to “spice up” their water.

Plain H2O can get boring, and sometimes adding a bit of flavor can make all the difference.

Many people use flavored water drops to add sweetness to their beverage, replacing sugary sodas or juice.

Flavored water drops have become seriously popular, too. They’ve truly changed the beverage industry, with Mio bringing in $100 million in their first nine months.

Wander the grocery store aisles, and you can easily find a bevy of brands owned by food and beverage industry giants hoping to profit off of the trend.

Not only do these water enhancers make water taste more interesting and appealing, these little flavor pods are convenient to tuck away in a drawer in your office, in the glove compartment of your car, or in your kitchen cabinet.

So, it’s no surprise that they’re popular.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. Many people don’t drink enough water, so if adding a bit of flavoring can help people increase their hydration levels, that’s a good thing.

That said, some water enhancers market themselves as being healthier than water alone, and that’s where things get hairy.

Summary: People use water enhancers to improve the taste of their water or replace sugary beverages or juices.

What Do Flavored Water Drops Contain?

The ingredients in flavored water drops and water enhancers vary by the brand.

Some of the most common ingredients you’ll find are:

  • Citric acid
  • Caffeine
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Artificial dyes
  • B vitamins
  • Electrolytes

Though not a common ingredient these days, propylene glycol was prevalent when water enhancers first came out.

Poke around online in search of that ingredient and you’re sure to find articles designed to scare you. They’ll mention that propylene glycol is a preservative also found in antifreeze, e-cigarette vaping fluid, and car batteries.

Some of that’s true, but that doesn’t mean it’s inherently poisonous. After all, many common cleaning products, which would be dangerous to consume, also contain water. Does that mean water is now poisonous?

Luckily, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has dubbed propylene glycol “generally recognized as safe” as a food additive. That means you don’t need to worry too much if you find a flavored water dorp that still contains this ingredient.

Let’s cover a few of the more common water enhancer ingredients individually.

Citric Acid

Citric acid is found naturally in citrus fruits. It’s often added to food as a preservative, but it also gives things a sour, tart taste.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that increases resistance to fatigue, boosts strength and power, and improves cognition and alertness.

Most flavor water drops don’t contain caffeine, but a few that are marketed as energy boosters do.

In these cases, they usually contain about 60 mg of caffeine, which is less than a cup of coffee.

This isn’t enough to boost your strength in the gym, but it could help keep you awake if you’re feeling sleepy.

Sweeteners

Most water enhancer products market themselves as zero- or low-calorie foods. So, if you’re trying to avoid drinking your calories, these flavor droplets are a good option.

However, most use artificial sweeteners to get their sweet taste without adding calories. These include sucralose (often referred to as Splenda), acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), and aspartame.

Artificial sweeteners are man made chemicals that taste like sugar but contain little to no calories.

While artificial sweeteners may not be as dangerous as some people claim, studies suggest that regular consumption of these chemicals may be more harmful to our health than is generally recognized. In fact, aspartame may interfere with healthy gut enzymes.

Stevia, on the other hand, is a natural sweetener made from the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana.

Research shows that not only is it safe, but it can also confer several health benefits, including a lower bad cholesterol level, improved blood glucose control, potential anti-cancer effects, lower blood pressure and inflammation levels, and more.

This is why we only uses natural sweeteners in our supplements.

Artificial Dyes

Artificial food dyes are chemical substances added to many foods to enhance their appearance or add bright colors.

As with artificial sweeteners, the consumption of azo dyes might not be as harmful as some would have you believe, but there is evidence that these chemicals can cause various negative effects in the body.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are involved in hundreds of biological processes in the body, mostly related to the metabolism of food and the production of hormones and red blood cells.

Marketers often claim that these vitamins can provide an energy boost. While it’s true that B vitamins are involved in the process of converting carbs and fat into energy, there’s no evidence that consuming extra amounts confers such a boost.

In other words, while B vitamins are required by the body to process food and turn it into energy, increasing the amount of B vitamins you get on a daily basis is not a way to magically boost your metabolism or increase energy levels beyond normal.

It’s true that a vitamin B deficiency could cause issues, but deficiencies are rare.

Many B vitamins in flavored water drops are included at around 10% of your recommended daily intake. While that could be enough to alleviate a serious deficiency, most people get plenty of these vitamins from their normal food intake anyway.

At bottom, any positive effects from such small amounts of B vitamin supplementation are likely due to the placebo effect.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electrical charge.

Some of the most important electrolytes in our bodies are sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, and phosphate. We get these minerals from the food and beverages we consume.

They’re essential in many processes in the body, including regulating hydration levels, transmitting nerve impulses, contracting muscles, and regulating pH levels.

When levels of one or more of these electrolytes in our body get too low, problems arise. Severe imbalances can cause fatigue, headaches, or even irregular heartbeat.

One way we lose electrolytes is through sweating, but true imbalances are usually a result of dehydration, not eating enough, or spells of diarrhea or vomiting.

If you work out for more than a couple of hours at a time, particularly in the heat, you can lose a significant amount of electrolytes, especially sodium and chloride.

That’s one reason why electrolytes are a common ingredient in sports drinks like Gatorade.

The reality is most people get more than enough sodium from their diet to cover the tiny amount lost through sweating, though. That’s especially true if you’re sedentary.

However, it’s not too surprising that some water enhancer brands would jump on the electrolyte bandwagon and include these cheap minerals for marketing purposes.

For most gym-goers, an electrolyte drink is unnecessary. If you’re an endurance athlete working out in the hot sun for 2 hours or more, additional electrolytes could be worth considering.

If you’re mostly sedentary, or just working at your desk in an office, you definitely don’t need a boost of electrolytes in your cup of H2O.

Summary: Water enhancers contain a variety of ingredients depending on the brand. Most flavored water drops include artificial sweeteners, though. While these chemicals may not be especially dangerous, there’s some evidence they could be harmful in large amounts over time.

What’s a Safe Amount of Flavored Water Drops?

If you want to use flavored water drops, you should follow the directions on the package in terms of mixing the concentration in water.

There are dozens of videos posted to YouTube where people—typically teenagers and younger children—are drinking entire bottles, pouring them into small shot glasses and downing them in one swallow.

Don’t do this.

If you drink the whole bottle, you might be ingesting dangerous amounts of certain ingredients, like caffeine.

The fact that people are not educated about the potential danger of doing this is worrisome, yes. However, these are extreme cases, and we live in the age of people eating Tide Pods.

Ultimately, there are countless products on the market that when consumed in orders of magnitude greater than recommended serving size, can pose serious health risks.

If you’re going to use flavored water drops, follow the guidelines for serving sizes and how many times a day you should use them. The same concept should also apply to just about every other food or beverage you consume in your daily life.

Summary: If you use flavored water drops, following the serving size directions. Don’t drink the whole bottle in one gulp.

Do Flavored Water Drops Hydrate You?

No, but the water they’re added to, does.

Many people fear that anything added to water somehow makes it less hydrating. This isn’t true.

Even a cup of coffee, which is made from water and coffee beans, is hydrating. Many people claim it will dehydrate you due to caffeine, but it’s not going to dehydrate you more than the water that’s part of the beverage.

In fact, caffeine isn’t a potent diuretic, so even if you use a water enhancer product that contains caffeine, it will still help hydrate you.

Summary: Water that’s had flavored water drops added to it is still just as hydrating as plain water. That’s true even if it contains caffeine.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

How much water you should drink depends primarily on your weight and how much you sweat.

For a baseline, the Institute of Medicine recommends drinking between 3/4 and 1 gallon of water per day for adult men and women.

If you’re a regular here at Legion, you probably do quite a bit of exercise, and this increases the amount of water your body needs.

Specifically, you want to replace all water lost through sweating.

When we’re talking exercise, the amount of water lost can range anywhere from 3/4 to 2 liters per hour depending on the intensity of your workouts, the climate, and how much your body generally tends to sweat.

So, if you start with a baseline water intake of about 3/4 to 1 gallon per day, add 3/4 to 2 liters per hour of exercise, plus a bit more for additional sweating, you’ll be good.

Summary: Drink around 1 gallon of water per day, with a bit more to account for sweating from exercise.

What Does the Science Say About Flavored Water Drops?

There haven’t been any peer-reviewed scientific studies on flavored water drops.

The truth is, there’s hardly any evidence at all to suggest water enhancers do anything other than add flavor.

Unless you’re consuming them in huge amounts, you’re unlikely to get any dangerous doses of chemicals inside them – an obvious fact that applies to a huge range of substances we consume every day.

And there aren’t really any special health benefits, other than keeping you hydrated and helping you avoid sugary beverages.

Summary: There aren’t any scientific studies on flavored water drops.

Can Flavored Water Drops Help You Lose Weight?

Maybe.

Water that’s been “enhanced” won’t help you lose weight by default.

However, if you replace calorie-laden, sugary beverages with zero or low-calorie drinks, like water with a drop of flavoring, you can reduce your total calorie intake.

And if you reduce your calorie intake enough, to the point you’re burning more energy than you’re consuming, you’ll lose weight.

In other words, if using flavored water drops helps create a calorie deficit over a sustained period of time, you’ll lose body fat.

Just be aware that artificial sweeteners can cause an uptick in hunger for some people.

So if you’re not one for meal planning and eating intuitively, consuming flavored water that’s been sweetened could cause you to increase your calorie intake.

Summary: Water enhancers can be used to lose weight by helping you drink fewer sugary beverages and reduce your calorie intake.

Should You Use Flavored Water Drops?

Choosing whether you should use water enhancers or not comes down to a few key points.

While I generally shy away from artificial sweeteners and colors, it’s very unlikely that a serving of these products every now and then will cause any real harm.

That said, if you want to avoid those ingredients outright, I understand. Stay away from artificially sweetened and colored water enhancers.

However, will flavored water drops help you drink fewer sugary beverages?

Will they help you consume more water in general?

If so, I say go for it. Just don’t replace all of the water in your diet with flavored versions.

Summary: If you want to avoid artificial sweeteners and colors, find a natural flavored water drop or skip them entirely.

Other Ways to Enhance the Flavor of Your Water

Ideally, you should learn to enjoy unflavored, all-natural H2O as your drink of choice. It’s a good habit to develop. You don’t want to live the rest of your life unable to enjoy water unless it’s been flavored and sweetened.

You can add a bit of zest to your water in many other ways, though:

  • Add a wedge of lemon or lime, or add a bit of juice
  • Add a cinnamon stick
  • Add crushed mint or basil
  • Add carbonation or drink seltzer water

If you really want to get fancy, you could buy a water bottle with a fruit infuser and add your favorite flavors, like orange slices, cucumber, or strawberries.

Summary: Try adding a wedge of fruit or crushed herb to make your water taste more interesting.

The Bottom Line on Flavored Water Drops

Water enhancers are products used to add flavor to water.

This is a good thing for people who find water boring. Many people don’t drink enough water, so making it more appealing can help these people stay properly hydrated.

Some use flavored water drops to replace sugary drinks, which can drastically reduce their calorie intake.

In these instances, flavored water drops could help people lose weight by putting them in a calorie deficit.

On the other hand, most flavored water drops contain artificial sweeteners and colors. While these are generally regarded as safe, there’s some evidence these substances could be harmful in the long-run.

If you want to avoid these chemicals, just drink plain water or enhance your water with a fruit infusion or crushed herbs.

What’s your take on flavored water enhancers? Have anything else you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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Over the last several years, flavored water has become more popular. In fact, when walking down the beverage aisle it can be quite over-whelming with the abundance of choices we have. We all know that drinking water is good for us. The amount you should be trying to include in your day will vary from person to person, especially when we are dealing with kidney disease. As kidney function declines, and/or you are on dialysis, too much water or other fluids can be detrimental to our health. You may be placed on a fluid restriction. Other factors your physician and dietitian will consider when making a fluid intake recommendation is what type of medications you are on. Whatever your situation, choosing the best fluids are equally important. Many flavored waters offer vitamins or herbs, and some claim to help us with our performance throughout the day in a variety of activities. Some claim to help relax us, increase endurance or energy levels and even prevent sickness with various additives. Are these flavored waters just as good as plain water? Are they better in some cases? Although flavored waters may taste better than plain water, unfortunately, there are additions to these waters that you might not want in your drinks, especially if you are a kidney disease patient.

Artificial Sweeteners and Sugar
Plain water has zero calories and no artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately, many flavored waters contain artificial sweeteners or sugar. Ingredients like sucralose or aspartame can be a regular additive to enhance the flavor of many of these types of waters on grocery store shelves. The reality of these artificial sweeteners is this, there haven’t been enough studies completed to make a good definitive recommendation on whether to include in your daily diet or to avoid them completely. Some studies link intake of these sugar substitutes, to headaches, memory loss and other symptoms. Other studies dispute these claims. I am a firm-believer in sticking to all-natural ingredients. If it’s a man-made ingredient, or difficult to pronounce, it’s probably not something that my body was made to consume. Some flavored waters may even contain sugar. Well, that kind of defeats the purpose of drinking water for the health benefits, doesn’t it? Added sugar to these drinks really doesn’t’ make them any different than a regular can of soda. Many also contain preservatives. If you’re looking for a chemical-free drink with zero calories, most flavored waters do not make the cut.

Vitamins and Minerals?
Some flavored waters claim to contain vitamins or so-called healthy herbs. Although, these “additives’ may be safe for the general population, having kidney disease makes these drinks potentially dangerous to consume. Many of these waters claim to contain ingredients that you may have been told to limit in your daily diet. These waters may can contain potassium, phosphorus (which is a very common additive in flavored water), and even caffeine. I don’t know about you, but if I’ve been told to limit potassium in my diet, if I’m going to consume it, I’d much rather it be a baked potato or nice, ripe banana, rather than a bottle of water. Same thing with phosphorus. Glaceau Vitamin Water’s Energy formula contains water and vitamins, but it also contains crystalline fructose, caffeine, gum ester, and caramel color. It also contains 125 calories per bottle. Other flavors have similar ingredients. Snapple’s Antioxidant water contains electrolytes and vitamins, but it also contains modified corn starch, sugar, disodium edta, and epigallocatechin gallate. Again, as I’m sure you noticed….there is a ton of words there that I can’t pronounce. Why on earth do I want to put that in my body?! The last thing to remember when deciding to consume these products is this: These products are not regulated by the government. Unfortunately, a company can claim to have anything in it that they want, without monitoring. So, keep that in mind. In my opinion, a bottle of water is not the place we should be looking at to get our vitamin/mineral and overall nutrition from. The best diet comes from a well-rounded intake and taking any prescribed dialysis vitamins and/or other vitamins that your physician and/or dietitian recommend.

Getting Your Water In
Not all flavored water contains sugar and preservatives. But, the best practice comes from consuming all-natural products. You can even flavor your own water by adding a little cucumber, lime, lemon, mint, or other favorite fruits and/or herbs to your water. Drinking purified water, chilling your water, and finding a container that you like to drink out of can help too. Always make sure to include your water intake into your fluid restriction, if on one.

Before you decide to buy your next bottle of flavored water, take a look at the ingredients list. There might be things in there that you’d rather avoid, or at least consume in moderation. By paying attention to what you are drinking, at least you won’t “ accidentally” consume excessive ingredients, vitamins, minerals and or caffeine that may not be the best choices for you, while thinking you are only drinking “water.”

4 Healthy Sparkling Water Recipes You Will Want to Drink Daily

Sparkling water recipes allow you to treat yourself to something refreshing and sweet, while also keeping you healthy. By adding natural flavors and nutrients from fresh fruit and herbs, you can craft libations and sugar-free sodas that will make your taste buds positively swoon!

Whether you’re curious about how to make plain water taste better, or you are trying to find an alternative to sugary sodas, these healthy sparkling water recipes will keep your body hydrated and happy throughout the day. And, bonus: with just five ingredients or less, they are simple to make.

Easy & Healthy Sparkling Water Recipes

Serves 4

This is probably the easiest sparkling water recipe you will ever make! It calls for just a few ingredients, which is great when you’re on a time crunch. The best part, however, is that this delicious concoction tastes like a healthy cream soda!

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 liter of chilled, filtered sparkling water
  • 8 ice cubes
  • ½ teaspoon of stevia powder (optional)
  • 1 fresh lime (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place ice cubes in a pitcher large enough for your recipe. If desired, sprinkle stevia powder or other sugar-free sweetener over the ice cubes, then pour sparkling water over the ingredients. Add the vanilla extract. Using a large spoon, stir the mixture gently. Divide the beverage into drinking glasses. Add fresh lime juice and wedges to add some zip, and then…sip!

2) Blueberry Muffin Drink

Serves 4

After just one taste of this sparkling water recipe, you will forget all about indulging in that sugar-laden blueberry muffin at breakfast! Share your muffin love by bringing these ingredients (prepped at home, of course) to work tomorrow, and use your office’s sparkling water dispenser to make healthy morning or mid-afternoon drinks for your co-workers.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 40 fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)
  • 4 fresh lemons
  • ½ liter of chilled, filtered sparkling water
  • Ice cubes
  • ¼ teaspoon of stevia powder (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place blueberries, the juice of four lemons and stevia powder in a large mixing bowl. Using a fork, muddle the mixture. Place 1 to 2 ice cubes in each drinking glass and divide the berry and lemon mixture over the ice. Pour sparkling water in each glass. Serve with a garnish of lemon and some whole blueberries for flair!

3) Minty-Lime Refresher (A Mojito Mocktail)

Serves 4

Who doesn’t love a refreshing mojito on warm, summer days? Skip the alcohol and stay hydrated with this virgin-style mojito that will give you that tempting taste sans the sugar – and the hangover.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 40 large fresh mint leaves
  • 3 to 4 fresh limes, cut and peeled
  • 1 liter of chilled, filtered sparkling water
  • 1 cup of ice cubes (crushed, if possible)
  • ¼ teaspoon of stevia powder (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place limes, mint leaves, and stevia in a large mixing bowl. Use a fork or muddler to muddle the ingredients. Divide mixture into the four drinking glasses along with ice cubes. Pour sparkling water into each glass, and use a spoon to gently mix all the ingredients together. Garnish each drink with fresh mint leaves and lime wedges. Cheers!

4) Strawberry Basil Soda

Serves 4

If you want a refreshing and unique take on soda without the sugar, try this simple strawberry recipe. It’s so delicious that you will likely (finally) kick your cola habit to the curb.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 strawberries, crushed and hulled
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon of stevia powder
  • 1 liter of chilled, filtered sparkling water
  • 16 fresh basil leaves with stems removed
  • 8 ice cubes
  • 1 fresh lemon (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place the strawberries in a large mixing bowl and crush them using a potato masher. Chop up 8 basil leaves and mash them into the fruit. Using a spoon, gently mix stevia or other sugar-free sweetener into the berry mash. Add 2 tablespoons of the strawberry-basil mixture to the bottom of each drinking glass along with two fresh basil leaves. Add ice cubes. Pour filtered sparkling water over the mixture. Stir gently with a spoon. If desired, serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Enjoy!

Have some extra time? Try doubling the amount of fresh basil leaves and allow half of them to soak overnight in a liter of sparkling water for even more basil flavor.

Stay Healthy with Natura Sparkling Water Systems

Natura sparkling water systems and filtered water dispensers make it easy to craft delicious, healthy sparkling water recipes on demand. We offer a variety of sparkling water machines for corporate offices, restaurants, and hotels of all sizes. Our patented filtered water system eliminates impurities while retaining beneficial, thirst-quenching minerals to keep your customers, clients, and staff hydrated. Taste the Natura Water difference today.

Find out more about how to get your own Natura Water System.

Sparkling water vs Club Soda vs Seltzer vs Tonic

When at a local restaurant or walking down the aisle of a grocery store, you’ll likely find various types of carbonated beverages, including:

  • Sparkling Water
  • Club Soda
  • Seltzer
  • Tonic

Many people assume these products are the same; however, this is not the case. These products are quite different from one another. Below, we’ve provided you with a breakdown of the various carbonated beverages so that you know which one to purchase when you want to quench your thirst.

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water, often sold as sparkling mineral water, is a product that comes naturally carbonated. The carbonation comes from a natural spring or well. Sparkling water also contains calcium, sodium, and magnesium. These minerals could be an excellent addition to your dietary plan.

When you buy sparkling mineral water, you need to pay extra-close attention to the label. Manufacturers source the water from different locations, so the number of minerals in each could be different. For instance, one manufacturer could offer water with more calcium, while another offers more sodium.

Due to the various minerals, you may find that the taste of sparkling water can also vary. You may need to sample different brands to find the one that you like best. You will probably also find out very quickly that this kind of carbonated water is more expensive than the other tasty varieties we are sharing with you.

Club Soda

Another product that you’ll find is club soda. Club soda is similar to sparkling water because it also has some minerals. However, the biggest difference between the two is that manufacturers add carbonation and minerals after the fact. They don’t occur naturally in club soda like they do in sparkling water.

Each manufacturer adds the minerals they want so the flavor and nutritional profile of club soda can vary from one brand to the other just like with sparkling water. Many people find club soda to have a slightly salty taste too.

Seltzer

Another type of carbonated water that you’ll find is seltzer. Seltzer, like carbonated water, gets its carbonation later on. However, unlike club soda, seltzer does not contain any minerals. Many people find that seltzer tastes much more like “natural spring water” than sparkling mineral water or club soda.

You may also find that seltzers often come with natural flavors. This is not something that sparkling mineral water and club soda can do because the minerals take over the taste of the other waters. Since there are no flavors, the manufacturers can add them in. Like citrus? They can add citrus flavor for a boost of tasty excitement.

Tonic Water

Tonic water likely has the most exciting taste of the four different types of carbonated water on our list. However, it also is the least healthy. That’s because many manufacturers often add high-fructose corn syrup or natural sugar to the beverage to improve the taste. Because of the added sugary substances, it really is not much different than grabbing a soda.

Tonic water contains something called quinine. This compound adds a bitter taste to the water. Because the flavor tends to be so bitter, many manufacturers don’t add more than trace amounts to the water. A good thing about the bitterness though is that it pairs pretty well with lime and gin, so it is a popular bar drink.

Of the four different carbonated waters on our list, tonic water is the one that you’re least likely to drink on its own. Many people drink seltzer straight-up. And, if you find one with a taste that you like, you can drink sparkling mineral water and club soda out of the bottle. However, you likely won’t do this with tonic water. Instead, you’ll find yourself using tonic water as a mixer for cocktails.

Which One Is Best?

If you’re trying to figure out which one of the four carbonated waters you should drink, you should identify your reasons for wanting to drink them in the first place. If you struggle with drinking enough water during the day, then you’ll likely want to drink seltzer. Seltzer comes in many natural flavors, making it easier to swallow than tap or spring water.

Carbonated water hydrates you just as well as regular water. So, if you find yourself struggling to drink the recommended 64-ounce water requirement, you’ll want to try seltzer water.

If you find minerals lacking in your diet, you’ll want to try either sparkling water or club soda. You’ll need to try various products to find one that you enjoy.

All these bubbly waters are calorie free and are considered to be pretty healthy, so don’t feel bad about trying a few until you find the one you like best. And hey, maybe you will even go as far as ditching the sugary soda while you’re at it too!

“Plain seltzer without additional additives can be as hydrating as water,” says Feller. “The CDC lists plain seltzer and water as a smart beverage choice and some research has found that there is no difference with regard to hydration status when a person consumes still or carbonated water without additives.”

You can drink it during exercise, but be mindful

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If seltzer is as hydrating as water, can you drink it when you work out? Yes, Feller says, but it really depends on your carbonation tolerance: “I would suggest that each person see if they are able to tolerate the carbonation during vigorous activity.”

“Having seltzer water can keep a person hydrated however if the carbonation causes gas or bloating it may also cause cramps and can disrupt the persons ability/comfort to exercise,” adds Marinucci. “It is also more filling than plain water so a person may not drink as much as they need if they choose seltzer over plain water.”

From my own experience drinking seltzer in a Pilates class today, I don’t recommend it. The seltzer made me feel like burping and threw off my breathing flow.

Your teeth could suffer, but moderation and washing down with water helps

Seltzer is indeed, harsh on your teeth, but not if you drink it right (and in moderation).

“The problem with seltzer is that it can be acidic,” says Dr. Lee Gause, a dentist who specializes in implant and cosmetic dentistry and founder of Smile Design Manhattan. “Teeth fare better in a neutral or even slightly alkaline solution. Different seltzer brands have different levels of acidity, primarily stemming from both the citric acid that gives seltzers the bubbles and zesty lemony taste. Even unflavored seltzers contain a carbonic acid that gives it its bubbles.”

Over time, that acidity can lead to enamel erosion.

“I have seen a lot of patients whose main cause of erosion was an overly acidic diet from citrus to sodas and lack of regular or alkaline water,” says Dr. Gause. “All of that being said, is safe to consume in appropriate volumes — keep it to once a day with meals, at a maximum, and be sure to wash everything down with standard water.”

Grause also recommends using a straw if you want to be “extra careful”, as this allows the seltzer to bypass your teeth.

When to cut down on seltzer

Dr. Gause recommends skipping the seltzer if you already have an acidic diet, “consuming lots of lemon juice, pomegranate, grapefruits, tomatoes, blueberries, pineapples, apples, corn, mushrooms, broccoli, etc.”

Might I add that these are all foods I eat in great quantity, so I certainly need to cut down. I also have IBS, and the carbonation in seltzer can cause further irritation.

People who have IBS and or a sensitive GI may want to steer clear of carbonated water.

“People who have IBS and or a sensitive GI may want to steer clear of carbonated water,” says Feller, with Marinucci adding, “If someone is experiencing digestive symptoms like feeling gassy/bloated/has a hiatal hernia and continues to consume seltzer with symptoms then that would be considered too much.”

“Also, if a person is using it to fill up and intentionally skip multiple meals/snacks then that is too much because every skipped meals/snacks are missed opportunities to fuel the body with nutrient dense foods,” says Marinucci.

Make your own, so you know what’s in it

Reading labels is always wise, but with seltzer — in particular flavored seltzer — it can be tricky to know exactly what you’re getting. The term “natural flavor” has been a hot debate, with even the FDA calling for more transparency, given that the labeling is vague at best, and doesn’t illuminate the processes that may be involved. Seltzer brands like La Croix, which famously touts no calories, artificial sweeteners or sodium says its flavors are “derived from the natural essence oils extracted from the named fruit” boasted on the can. How exactly this happens is a proprietary mystery.

No disrespect to La Croix here (that grapefruit one is my best friend at barbecues, and I love that it’s not too fizzy or too sweet), but if you want to know exactly what’s in your seltzer, make your own at home (I use a SodaStream, but there are other kits out there).

“The simplest ingredients possible is a good rule of thumb,” says Dr. Gause. “You can easily make your own without having to spend on branded water, know exactly where it came from.”

In any event, seltzer is absolutely the best sparkling beverage choice, especially if you’re watching calories or looking to up your hydration.

“For someone who regularly consumes soda, having seltzer water can be an excellent alternative because it is calorie-free, sugar-free and chemical-free,” says Marinucci. “The naturally flavored seltzers may not taste as sweet as regular or diet soda, however in time, a person’s taste buds can adjust and they will actually begin to it. For a little extra natural flavor and nutrition, squeeze some fresh fruit like lemon and enjoy.”

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