This summer, I carried a water bottle with me everywhere, just to prevent dehydration.

Now that the hot days are cooling down, it’s easy to forget that we still need to be drinking water—13 cups for the average man and 9 cups for the average woman, according to the Mayo Clinic.

No matter the season, the average human body is around 50 percent water and not drinking enough water can be detrimental to our health. Water helps many parts of the body perform more efficiently by:

  • Regulating body temperature
  • Assisting in the transportation of oxygen and nutrients
  • Removing waste and toxins
  • Protecting joints and organs
  • Managing body weight
  • Relieving headache symptoms

This past summer, you may have made infused water to stay hydrated and cool. Growing in popularity, this beverage is popping up at farmers markets, restaurants and parties. Infusing water with citrus fruits, berries and herbs is not only more enjoyable for the taste buds, but it smells and looks wonderful.

I’ve always thought of infused water as a summer drink, but changing the infusion recipes to ‘apple cinnamon’ or ‘cranberry orange’ can create flavorful water that you can still enjoy during the fall months so you don’t get disinterested in plain water.

If you’ve never made fruit infused water before, it’s easy!

  • Wash all your fruits and herbs before adding them to the pitcher. You can follow a recipe or create your own combinations.
  • Any type of pitcher or large Mason jar will work to infuse the water. If you want to avoid drinking any fruit particles, a fruit infused pitcher or water bottle would be best.
  • Infuse your water in the fridge anywhere from 3 to 12 hours, depending on how strong you like the flavor.
  • Keep the infused water refrigerated to prevent the produce from spoiling.
  • Certain ingredients like lemon and basil may not last very long or may cause the water to taste bitter. A good rule of thumb is to prepare the amount of water that you’ll drink within three days.

Grab some herbs from your garden and get creative this fall. Your body will thank you!

 

Courtesy Kristen Sumpter

Cranberry Orange Infused Water

Makes 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 orange, sliced thin
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Filtered water
  • Mint, optional

Directions

  1. Rinse cranberries and thoroughly scrub the orange with cold water.
  2. Slice oranges.
  3. Place orange slices and cranberries in a pitcher.
  4. Fill with water (tap, filtered or sparkling).
  5. Let sit for 3 to 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to permeate the water.
  6. Drink within 3 days. Enjoy!

Recipe taken from sproutedroots.com and adapted by UGA Extension Fulton County.

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