In this post, we reveal everything you need to know about infused water, including its benefits and how to make it at home. Let's dive in!
Fancy a slice of lemon in your water, miss? How about a wedge of grapefruit, or better yet, a stick of rosemary? Why not combine all three and see what happens? Infused water is taking over refrigerators near you and, if you’re not already on board, then this may be the sign you’ve been waiting for.
This comprehensive guide contains everything you’ll ever need to know about the H2O revolution. Sit back, relax, and read on!
In this article we discuss the following, and much more:
- What is Infused Water
- Benefits of Infused Water
- How to Make Healthy Infused Water at Home
- Storing Your Infused Water Safely
- The Many Different Types of Infused Water
- Delicious Infused Water Recipes
- All You Need to Know About Infuser Water Bottles (Types & Risks)
What is Infused Water?
Lemon infused water has been a staple within the wellness scene for years. Its benefits on the human body didn’t even necessarily have to be formally known prior to use, as they could be felt almost instantaneously at first sip.
It didn’t take long for health experts around the world to begin exploring various other methods of naturally infusing water. Lemons, after all, couldn’t be the only fruit to diffuse their nutrients when submerged.
Infused water is the combination of any of fruits, vegetables and/or herbs added to water. The different combinations not only give the water natural flavor, but also offer many holistic healing properties for the body and its various organs.
Technically speaking, herbal teas are a type of water infusion, as they are usually made of dried fruits and plants that release flavor and nutrients when rehydrated in boiling water. Some people enjoy infusing their water with both tea and fresh foods. For example, green tea leaves, combined with fresh mint and lime makes for a powerful fat-burning, headache-fighting mixture.
Because infused teas are not the most convenient elixirs to make in bulk, or with little time to waste, regular fruit and veg infused waters are gaining popularity daily. They have become the new “grab & go” drink, as opposed to the ceremonial coffee or even a freshly made smoothie each morning (these too take time to prepare).
But the convenience is not really the biggest selling point of infusing water in the home. It’s the multitude of health benefits that come from regular infused water consumption that has people strategically preparing their infusions the same way one might a meal plan, or vitamin schedule.
How Can Infusing My Water Benefit Me?
What’s great about infused water is that it doesn’t require a particular health status in order to be of benefit to an individual. You can use it, for example, as a detoxifier for your kidneys, even if you already have the healthiest kidneys within a 10 mile radius. Likewise, you can use the same water as a kidney detoxifier if you’re suffering kidney damage or infection. Infused water does not require a disfunction quota in order to be of service.
This essentially means that the benefits of infused water are endless, as well as universal. They are available to anyone with a jug to fill, water to drink and fruits to purchase. Even the most rural communities in the world have access to the benefits of infused water simply through learning what natural foliage can be found and harvested.
Aloe is an example of a wild plant that grows in abundance across most of Africa and the Middle East. Since there are over 500 species of aloe in existence, simply learning to identify them on the streets makes it possible for said communities to gain access to a natural remedy which helps prevent liver failure, dehydration and constipation.
Infusing your water therefore opens you up to a world of natural healing possibilities; one that doesn’t require a visit to the doctor every time something “feels off”. Statistics have shown that drinking just half a liter of infused water can increase a person’s metabolic rate by up to 30%, all within the same hour. As a result, one’s immune system becomes stronger, resulting in better overall health over time.
Parents to young children have found ample benefit in water infusing as it offers a tasty, healthy alternative to existing store-bought flavored drinks. These beverages are usually filled to the brim with sugars and chemical ingredients, causing more harm to tiny bodies than we can possibly imagine. Introducing infused waters into your child’s diet not only satisfies in flavor, it also feeds their bodies with subtle nutrients that pave the way for a less illness-prone adolescence in the long run.
The most important thing to understand before getting into infusing your water is that it is never a ‘quick fix’ to any health related ailment you might be suffering from. Changing the way you consume your plant based nutrients and minerals is a slow and progressive investment in your health. It is an investment that builds and strengthens over time, the more often you give it attention.
Your skin problems might not clear up after three glasses of lemon, cucumber and mint infused water, but you can best believe that come a month of committed consumption your skin will start to show changes for the better.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of water infusing is more so the preventative element of the practice, as opposed to just the masking of existing symptoms (like so much of western medicine teaches us to do).
Most of us have been taught to wait until illness shows up before seeking treatment or improving our health lifestyles. In essence this is an extremely reckless way to live, particularly when there are easy day-to-day adjustments that can be made in order to reduce the likelihood that we ever have to face said illnesses.
Wellness rituals such as daily meditation, purchasing GMO free foods, and infusing water are all preventative exercises that can delay, and even prevent, the onset of certain bodily illness.
Think of water infusion as an extra layer of health care that always has your future, best self in mind.
Making Infused Water at Home
Making infused water is a simple, and relatively straight-forward thing to master from the comfort of your own home. Learning how to infuse is not as complex as learning what to infuse, as it is the fruit and vegetable combinations that really matter at the end of the day.
The first thing you need to consider when infusing water at home is your apparatus; what are you going to use to contain your healthy concoction?
Most people start small, making use of any old water jug that they have lying around the house. Your water container does not need to be able to close in order to properly infuse, so don’t worry too much about this.
As you grow to love your infusions, it’s likely you will be inclined to upgrade to a more heavy-duty water dispenser; usually around the 5 or 10 liter mark. These are great containers that can provide infused water to entire families, without one having to make infusions multiple times a day. It is likely you’ve encountered infused water like this in a cafe or restaurant already.
If you’re not catering to a big family, then large scale water holders might not be your preference. Keeping your operation relatively small has its benefits as well.
Infusing water into smaller containers, such as jars, gives you the freedom to create a variety of flavor combinations, and easily store them in your refrigerator. As mentioned, all one needs in order to successfully infuse water at home is something to contain the liquid, and something to put into the liquid.
Knowing what and how to cut, when it comes to your fruits, veggies and herbs, is what will determine the overall success of your infusion. The first thing you need to know, and accept, is that there is little to no point in infusing water if your ingredients are not properly cleaned before you submerge them.
Think about it: you intend to infuse a glass of clean water with fresh grapes. The grapes are store-bought, and definitely coated in the pesticides and waxes deemed necessary by the supplier in order to keep them in prime condition for as long as possible.
Cutting each grape in half and dropping the halves into your water will result in a diffusion from the centre of the grape, but also a diffusion from the unwashed, chemical covered skin of the grape. The center being of alkaline pH, and the skin being highly acidic.
Since it takes roughly seven parts of alkalinity in order to neutralize one part of alkalinity, your grape water is now nothing more than a glass of acidic, chemical infusion. Had you properly washed the grapes prior to cutting and submerging, however, the alkalinity of the inner grapes would be strong enough to provide you with healthy, infused water with real benefits.
Clean… your… fruits and veggies!
Infusing with Herbs
Herbs are included in the list of things to properly clean before submerging in water with intent to infuse. The great thing about them, however, is that they don’t need to be cut in order to release their nutrients into the water itself.
You can get away with inserting entire stalks of basil, rosemary, mint directly into your jug of water, and trust that the herbs will diffuse accordingly. The same goes for parsley, oregano and even fresh cuts of lavender.
The beautiful things about herb infused water is that they are usually what takes an infusion from average potency to extremely beneficial potency. To understand this, we need only consider the general benefits of drinking herb infused water. Herbal tea infusions have been used throughout history, starting with ancient civilizations, to promote better digestion and gut health. Healthy gut function has been linked to mood stabilization and general well-being.
When infusing water with herbs at home, be conscious of your herb to water to fruit ratio. Herbs in their wrong amount can lead to extremely bitter water; if you’ve ever used a straw to muddle mint at the bottom of a cocktail for too long, you’ll know the taste. A safe ratio is usually 1 part herb to every 3 parts fruit.
Infusing with Fruit & Vegetables
All you really need to remember when infusing water with fruits or vegetables is that they need to be “opened up” as much as possible. What this means is that, like the aforementioned grape example, one needs to cut into the ingredients so that there is a direct infusion point between the fruit body and the water.
Putting whole grapes into a glass of water means that very little infusion can take place. However, cutting those very grapes in half, and then infusing them, means that the water is making direct contact with the most wholesome part of the inner grape at all times.
In even simpler terms, think about what would happen if you were to drop an entire lime into a bowl of water. You could leave it in there for hours, even days, and not taste a single difference in the water at first sip. Cutting the lime open is what gives the water opportunity to infuse.
Always remember, the thinner the slice, the better the taste! Slices work even better than wedges, and quarters work even better than halves.
To Refrigerate, or Not to Refrigerate?
This is a frequently asked question from prospective water infusing folk. Should I refrigerate my infused water, or can I leave it out?
The answer is simple: focus on timing. Safely infusing water is all about proper timing, and respecting the lifespans of the fruits that you have used along the way.
First and foremost, accept that infusing fruits and vegetables into water should always be done using cold or room temperature water. Pouring hot water over fresh produce does nothing more than kill off beneficial nutrients and weaken the natural compounds entirely. This is where infused water and herbal teas essentially differ.
Secondly, infused water is always best consumed on the day of preparation, or sometime the following day. If stored in a refrigerator, then consuming within 3 days is acceptable.
If you are infusing water outside of the refrigerator, then it will simply need to sit for between 1 to 2 hours before peak consumption period. Infusions outside of the refrigerator can sit for up to 12 hours, but after this it is essential that the fruit be removed and the water be consumed or thrown away. 12 hours is enough time for harmful bacteria to begin nesting within the soaking fruits, and this can be very harmful to one’s health.
Infusing water using a refrigerator means that you can prepare your mixture, and leave it for between 3 and 4 hours before peak consumption occurs. It is recommended, but not essential, that fruits be removed after this time to prevent bitterness from occurring, particularly with citrus fruits and certain herbs. Cutting the rinds off of lemons and oranges can help in preventing this.
You might think refrigerated infusions are safe from the threat of said mold and bacteria, but you’d be wrong. The truth is that all water infusions, whether inside or outside of the refrigerator, have the potential to grow certain organisms after a certain period of time. It is always safest to simply remove what can be removed, and consume as soon as can be consumed.
The Many Different Types of Infused Water & Their Benefits
Cucumber Infused Water
Benefits include: Intense rehydration, powerful antioxidants, prevents bad breath, a natural cellulite treatment, a natural skin brightening treatment.
Watermelon Infused Water
Benefits include: Highly beneficial for problem skin, a promoter of healthy adrenal and lymphatic function, naturally powerful detoxifier.
Lemon Infused Water
Benefits include: Great for overall health, a natural anti-aging tonic, cures bad breath, promotes memory function and brain health, contributes toward managing stress and anxiety.
Strawberry Infused Water
Benefits include: High levels of vitamin C, strengthens bones and teeth, detoxifier for the adrenal glands, promotes healthy thyroid function.
Ginger Infused Water
Benefits include: Known to ease symptoms of asthma, great for hormone and menstrual regulation, can prevent and cure nausea, natural blood thinner, supports healthy nails and hair.
Pineapple Infused Water
Benefits include: Known for powerful astringent properties, can pull toxins from deep parts of the body, helps with existing cysts as well as prevention.
Orange Infused Water
Benefits include: Known for powerful astringent properties, can help pull toxins from skin and thyroid, significantly reduces the presence of harmful mucous in the body.
Citrus Infused Water
Benefits include: Powerful astringent properties, anti-aging benefits, a daily dose of vitamin C, promotes healthy lymphatic activity.
Mint Infused Water
Benefits include: Great remedy for bloating, improves digestion, aids in relief from cramps, treats bad breath, reduces fever and fever symptoms.
Rosemary Infused Water
Benefits include: Mood stabilizer, anti-bacterial properties, helps upset stomachs, natural anti-inflammatory.
Kiwi Infused Water
Benefits include: A powerful dose of vitamin C, great for improving skin and hair quality, anti-aging benefits, immune booster, regulates blood pressure.
Protein Infused Water
Benefits include: Elevated energy, stress reduction, improvement in physical strength and performance, libido stimulator.
Cherry Infused Water
Benefits include: A good source of vitamin C, blood cleaner, improves quality of the kidneys and heart, reduces cholesterol, aids those with arthritis.
Blueberry Infused Water
Benefits include: Can help prevent heart disease, improves memory power, helps preserve good vision, great for maintaining healthy digestion.
Raspberry Infused Water
Benefits include: A source of vitamin A, boosts immune system, burns fat, promotes the production of red blood cells, a natural anti-inflammatory.
Blackberry Infused Water
Benefits include: Cleans blood, can help regulate diabetes, immune-booster, great for bone strength and heart function.
Coconut Infused Water
Benefits include: Powerful assistant to healthy thyroid function, helpful in weight regulation, a natural digestive, may improve brain function.
Grapefruit Infused Water
Benefits include: Breaks down fat, can help one manage sugar cravings, aids in night blindness, promotes deeper sleep.
Basil Infused Water
Benefits include: Eliminates infections, strong anti-bacterial properties, eliminates phlegm from breathing tract, great for asthmatics, can help prevent herpes contraction.
Peach Infused Water
Benefits include: Good for cardiovascular function, high in potassium, helps maintain body weight, can aid diabetes.
Apple Infused Water
Benefits include: Relief from constipation, promotes growth of beneficial gut bacteria, can reduce candida.
Celery Infused Water
Benefits include: Helps alleviate acid reflux, fights autoimmune disease, flushes the liver, aids eczema and psoriasis, helps aid symptoms of UTI’s, prevents ulcers.
Banana Infused Water
Benefits include: Instantly energizing, regulates blood pressure, reduces menstrual cramps, strengthens bones.
Avocado Infused Water
Benefits include: Aids in dental health, helps with morning sickness, a detoxifier for kidneys, stimulates eye health.
Mango Infused Water
Benefits include: Blood cleaner, lowers blood pressure, normalizes insulin levels, improves libido, helpful to asthmatics.
Lime Infused Water
Benefits include: Powerful skin care, aids constipation, strengthens joint function, can regulate a fever.
Thyme Infused Water
Benefits include: Prevents respiratory disorders, aids muscle cramps, healthy bones and healthy hair, anti-bacterial properties.
Dragon Fruit Infused Water
Benefits include: Powerful anti-fungal, rich in vitamin A, soothes nerves, cleans the kidneys.
Carrot Infused Water
Benefits include: Regulates blood sugar, healthy strong teeth, reduces hair loss, stimulates overall digestive health.
The Top Infused Water Recipes that You Need to Know About
Since combining fruits and herbs into water offers endless combination opportunities, it helps to memorize some of the top recipes for easy execution.
The following are combination options, meaning that two or more varieties of fruits and herbs are used in the making of the water. This means a higher concentration of minerals in the water, and higher levels of alkalinity as opposed to acidity.
Infused water recipes are never specific in quantity of each ingredient, as you will need to determine this by yourself by analysis of the size of your water container in question. As mentioned earlier, a general rule to stick to would be 5 parts water, to 3 parts fruit, to 1 part herbs.
- Always cut open the fruits/vegetables that you are about to submerge in water. Slices are better than wedges.
- There is no need to cut up herbs.
- Use a muddler (or the back of a spatula) to gently muddle the fruits once submerged. This promotes a stronger release of flavor.
- Fresh fruit is best, but certain fruits can be used frozen (berries and bananas).
- You can top up water infusions once a significant amount has been consumed, without needing to add new fruits. The fruits will be less potent during the second round, but still relatively substantial.
Cinnamon & Orange Infused Water
Use actual cinnamon sticks as opposed to ground cinnamon.
Remove the rind from the oranges if you prefer a sweeter infusion; leave them on if you prefer a more bitter infusion.
Consider freezing basil leaves into ice cubes for an added touch!
Ginger, Lime and Blueberry Infused Water
Do not cut open the blueberries; instead, try to eat them one at a time with every sip and bite them open.
Ginger should be peeled and cut into thin disks for maximum infusion.
Fresh lime is imperative, never use lime cordial!
Granadilla, Papaya and Pineapple Infused Water
Use the pulp of the entire granadilla.
Papaya should be infused without skin, and in relatively small chunks. This promotes maximum flavor.
Garnish with fresh rosemary for an added extra.
Mint, Melon and Cucumber Infused Water
Honeydew melon works best in this flavor combination. Cut into bite sized cubes.
Tear the mint from the stalk if using a small water container. If using a large one, then insert entire stalk.
Pomegranate, Kiwi and Mint Infused Water
Pomegranate seeds need to be muddled at the bottom of the container in order to release their flavor properly.
Kiwi skin should be completely removed and then cut into disks before infusing in water.
Strawberry and Basil Infused Water
A flavor combination that will astound you!
Cut the stalks from the strawberries, and halve the fruit.
Basil leaves to be removed from the stalk if using a small container, or entire stalk can be inserted into a large container.
Fruit Medley Infused Water
In order to do this properly, so that no flavors are lost, you will need a balanced number of fruits from different flavor and acidity categories. Choose one item from each row and combine accordingly:
- Lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, pineapple
- Strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, pomegranate, blackberry
- Celery, coconut, ginger, cucumber
- Watermelon, honeydew, papaya, mango, grapes
- Basil, mint, rosemary, thyme
Infuser Water Bottles
In order to make the art of water infusing even more accessible, certain companies have come out with nifty devices known as “infuser water bottles”. These are readily available through almost every major e-commerce site, as well as from health and wellness stores everywhere.
Infuser water bottles essentially give an individual all the tools that they need to be consuming infused water all day, everyday. Instead of infusing water in your fridge, meant mostly for home consumption, an infuser water bottle gives one the freedom to carry their infusions to all their day to day activities.
These are just like regular water bottles, except they contain a hollow cylindrical center that is removable. It is inside of this space that one inserts the infused water recipe of their choosing, cutting fruits, veggies and herbs to fit the contraption.
Once reinserted into the bottle, one can then fill the leftover surrounding space with water and let the infusing begin. You’ll have ready to drink infused water by the time your commute to work is completed, or even after your daily gym session.
What’s great about the inner basket that holds the fresh ingredients is that it can also be combined with ice cubes should the drinker prefer a cooler infusion experience. Kids are as taken by these new contraptions as adults are, and parents are thrilled as they can now send the benefits of infused water straight to the classroom.
Types of Infuser Water Bottles
Essentially, all infuser water bottles do the same thing, just in different ways. As mentioned, the key components of any infuser water bottle is a compartment for fruits, a compartment for water, and a way to open and close the device.
Centre Loader Infuser Water Bottles
These are bottles where the fruit-holding compartment is situated in the center of the bottle. It is likely that these compartments are attached to the lid of the bottle itself, so inserting and removing them is as easy as opening and closing the bottle for refill. Drinking takes place in a different part of the lid.
Bottom Loader Infuser Water Bottles
With bottom loader infuser bottles, the fruit-holding compartment is generally situated at the bottom of the bottle, instead of in the center. These bottles usually detach into 3 parts: a lid, a middle water-full part, and a fruit-holding base. When joined together, the middle part and the base merge so that the water can infuse with the fruits.
Jar-Style Infuser Water Bottles
A lot of people actually prefer the shape of jars when it comes to porting infused water around. Some bottle manufacturers have tended to this preference, by creating infuser water bottles that are simply jars with air-tight lids, and portable straws. This allows one to use it as one would any other water bottle, but without the threat of spillage as with normal jars.
Dangers Associated with Infuser Water Bottles
The major benefit of infuser water bottles is the convenience and portability of the device. It is intended to accompany the user anywhere and everywhere, but this notion itself can present certain risks.
‘On the go’ water bottles generally encounter a multitude of environments and temperatures all within one day. You might use it in your air-conditioned office, and then leave it in your hot car while you run an errand, followed by an hour in a steamy yoga class or gym.
The danger is that the water contains living, active fruit compounds, and the fluctuation in temperatures throughout the day can make your water unsafe to drink the longer the fruit lives inside of it.
Bacteria can begin to grow inside of an infuser water bottle as early as 4 hours after preparation. It is recommended that one drink the majority of the water within this time frame, and then remove all fruit from the holding compartment. After this, you can finish the water within the following 2 hours.
Another problem with infuser water bottles is that people tend to neglect proper sanitization of them, because one assumes that water is already clean. On the contrary, infuser water bottles need to be washed regularly, and properly, or one runs the risk of the fruit residue forming molds that are invisible to the naked eye.
Dangers of Infused Water
While there are many excellent benefits to making and drinking infused water, you should keep in mind certain risks and dangers.
The first, as discussed above, is the risk of bacteria and mold growth. Make sure you follow the precautions discussed above to minimize the risk and keep your infused water safe and healthy for drinking.
Another potential danger has to do with the amount of acid content in some kinds of infused water. In particular, infused water made with citrus fruits can be on the acidic side. If this acidic drink is consumed all day, it can impact the health of your teeth by eating away at the enamel and potentially lead to tooth sensitivity or cavities. While this does not mean you should not drinking infused water, it does mean that you should drink it in moderation.
We hope you have enjoyed this guide on infused water! If you are interested in taking your infused water to the next level, consider making fruit, vegetable or herb infused water using naturally alkaline water. Check out our blog post on alkaline water to learn more!
About the Authors: This article was collaboratively written by our team of researchers and writers with the benefit of all available scientific studies and other relevant literature. Our team of researchers and writers include experienced health researchers including a qualified medical professional. Please note that information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.