Drink this up, water haters

Do you prefer flavored water to slake your thirst? Many folks are repulsed by water – your temple’s most important nutrient. Today, grocery store shelves moan and groan from the weight of a constellation of flavor-enhanced water and juices. They might help us stay hydrated, but convenience has its cost.

Water is more than hydrogen and oxygen; it’s the source of all life. Without fresh, clean, hydrating water and nutritious fresh fruit, we’d perish.

Please, read labels. Avoid artificial colors, chemicals, flavors and preservatives because there are already too many chemicals we’re exposed to on a daily basis. (Try Ayala’s, Hint, Metromint or Lakewood brand juices if available in your area.)

Many flavored waters are little more than water with food dye and sugar. This is a problem when people use it to rehydrate after a hard workout or a scorching day. Drinking two or more a day can add a bunch of sneaky sugar to your diet. Not good if you want to lose weight, have diabetes or a high risk for diabetes. Here’s what to look for on the ingredient label and avoid:

• Sugar

• Artificial sweeteners sucralose and aspartame

• Artificial colors – linked to ADHD, anxiety, migraines, cancer.

• Preservatives – potassium sorbate has been shown to cause changes in human DNA and stress the immune system.

• Sodium benzoate – forms the carcinogen benzene when combined with citric acid, (vitamin C).

• Propylene glycol – an ingredient in anti-freeze and to de-ice airplanes,.

• Plastic bottles – most still contain BPA that can leach out and contaminate the water, and disrupts the endocrine system by mimicking the female hormone estrogen.

Home infusion

Folks are a bit hesitant to prepare fresh, infused waters, but they are easy, healthy, refreshing and a whole lot more. Use any fresh fruit (except bananas and avocados), herbs and spices for a refreshing, nutritious beverage. You’ll need:

1-quart jars

filtered water

wooden spoon

Stevia (optional)

1. Choose the recipe, or create your own combination. Collect all of the ingredients.

2. Place the fruit, herbs, and/or spices in the bottom of one of the glass jars, and muddle with a wooden spoon. (Mash up the fruit in the bottom of the jar to release the flavor-filled juices.)

3. Fill the jar with filtered water and taste it. Use seltzer water for a fizzy treat. If you’d like something a bit sweeter, try adding some stevia or raw honey.

4. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor.

Here’s just one refreshing combination. Get in touch with your taste buds and what’s in season and go for it to enjoy your own water treats!

Strawberry-Lemon with Basil

1/2 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 lemon, sliced

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Use ingredients and follow the above infusion directions.

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