These days when you purchase a plastic bottle for your water, you might come across some tumblers that contain ingenious semi-hidden compartments that allow its contents to seep and flavour your water. These compartments, while highly unsatisfactory for keeping their contents dry, are actually designed for fresh cut fruits and vegetables, and come across as a popular trend of flavouring (or infusing) your water with fruits and vegetables.
These infused waters come in a huge variety of combinations, and are popular across many countries and generations. However while there are companies out there that would sell packaged and ready to consume vitamin enhanced waters, there is evidence suggesting they may not be as nutritious or beneficial as companies make them out to be. As such, when talking about infused or flavoured water, it is by far the best if you prepare them at home and with the freshest of ingredients.
Does it really work though? Does adding a few slices of carrots and celery in pitcher of water do anything good for you? The answer is yes, albeit a slightly muted one. When fruits and vegetables are soaked in the water it is estimated that about 20% of its nutrients are released into the water. However, one of the surprisingly best benefits of drinking infused water is simply because it encourages you to drink more water - which is ironically something a lot of us don't do enough of these days. Hydration helps with fighting fatigue as well as improving your body's circulatory system, and you would be surprised at how much of a lift you get by simply staying hydrated throughout the day. Hydration also helps with maintaining your skin's elasticity and plumpness, and there are many celebrities who admit to proper hydration as one of their beauty secrets.
Also, with its ability to fill you up and flush toxins out of your system, infused water has been touted by many as a great detox choice, and it's not uncommon to see infused water paired with salads and smoothies as part of a healthy diet. Moreover, with a large variety of flavours, you can mix and match one for each day, and invigorate your schedule with some zesty flavours.
So what are the things you need to start making your own infusions? For starters, you should invest in a good BPA free pitcher or container. Depending on how you wish to consume your infusions, you may also choose to get a small tumbler designed for infusing water - these are for smaller batches and are more portable. After that it's really just a case of finding what sort of flavour combination appeals to you most! If you need ideas you can simply look up infused water recipes on the internet and get some good combinations from connoisseurs around the world.
Once you've selected the combination you'd like to try, it's simply a case of adding your choice of washed and cut fruit/vegetables to water and letting it sit in the fridge. Different combinations require different amounts of infusion times, but in general you should let your mixture infuse for at least an hour in the fridge before consumption. You should take note that you can keep your infused water in the fridge between one to three days depending on the type of ingredients in it, and that the longer you let your mix infuse, the more flavourful it will be. Furthermore, always remember to wash your fruits and vegetables well before infusing, as some produce may contain some residual pesticides on their surface. If you are not confident you may simply remove the outer layer or skin altogether. You can also choose to eat the infused fruit and vegetables - though it will taste a little bland because the flavour would have seeped into the water.
Finally, remember that you can refill your pitcher when the water level gets low. A good tip is to refill the water when it gets about the halfway mark instead of letting it run out completely. This way you don't need to let the newly added water infuse as long. Depending on your recipe, some fruits and vegetables will give out stronger flavour and will last longer than others, so do research on your recipes before trying them out.