Infused Water – Stay Hydrated this Summer

We chose the name “Jazzed Up Veggies” for two reasons: we wanted to demonstrate plant-based cuisine can be fun and creative and infusing a little music into our lives is just a very good thing. It is officially summer now and for those of us in the desert it is here with a vengeance. Let’s set the summer mood first and enjoy a taste of my very talented husband’s original music. This is Summer Nights from Graham Berry’s 2013 Album Quintessence Graham’s album is available on iTunes. Just click the link.Enjoy!

Great music, right? Now, let’s talk about water. We all know it is essential to life; but do you know just how essential? We can survive for several weeks without food, but we can only survive a few days without water. Here are some important stats:

Our bodies are made up of about 60% water
Our brain is 75% water
Our muscles are 75% water
Our bones are 22% water
Our blood is 92% water

I don’t need to say much about how critical it is to keep our brain functioning well, right? And we sure know it when our muscles are dehydrated (Ouch, leg cramps). Here are some important things you may not have given much thought to about our blood: blood transports essential oxygen and nutrients throughout our bodies, provides protection against bacteria and viruses, and helps regulate our body temperature.Now, think about what the consequences are of not staying hydrated: oxygen and nutrients will have a hard time getting to our cells (very bad), our resistance to infections and illness will weaken (also very bad), and our ability to regulate our body temperature during these hot summer days will diminish (very, very bad especially in extreme climates). This is serious stuff!

We know what we need to do.Trouble is, water is just not that exciting. Instead we find ourselves drinking juice, or caffeinated beverages, or Heaven forbid, soda. (Please, please, please don’t drink soda. There are no redeeming qualities to soda. It is simply full of GMO sugar and chemically developed flavors that have absolutely no relationship to real food. Nothing good can come of drinking this stuff. Sorry for the rant.) Anyway, juices are good but they are high calorie options. Given the amount of fluid we need every day, you will be packing on the pounds if you make juice your water substitute. Caffeinated beverages (tea and coffee) taste good and have some good qualities, but caffeine is dehydrating; so we defeat the purpose by drinking these as a substitute for water.

Bottom line – there is no good substitute for water.

However, we can make water much more interesting by infusing it with fruits and or herbs. Getting your daily requirement of water won’t seem nearly so difficult when it is flavored with the best of the summer season. Here’s how:

Lemon Organic Lemon is so bright and refreshing and is the #1 recommendation for infused water. Wash well and cut half the lemon into thin slices and add slices to a pitcher of filtered water. Allow to infuse for at least an hour in the fridge. Many practitioners recommend you drink a full glass of lemon infused water as soon as you wake up in the morning. Lemon water will get your body ready for the day by charging up the metabolism and flushing out toxins. Lemons are high in vitamin C and have great antioxidant properties. They are also very low in calories – BONUS!

There are so many ways you can enjoy infused water. You can add slices of just one fruit such as orange or experiment with combinations such as grapes, raspberries and mint. Have some fun. Remember the objective is to drink more water and to enjoy it.

PS: There are many beautiful vessels to keep your infused water in. You can use a simple water pitcher or one of the special vessels available in many shops. I recommend you purchase glass vessels; but if you purchase plastic please be sure it is BPA free. Plastics can leach toxic chemicals into your drinks so purchase with care.