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The Health Benefits of Flavored Water

Water doesn’t always taste good. It may be a bit brackish or have picked up a plastic or metal flavor from the container where it was stored. The water is still good, but your taste buds aren’t interested. Rather than pouring it out, how can you make your stored water more palatable?

Flavoring your water is an easy answer, but you didn’t store good, clean water for weeks or months just to fill it with harmful chemicals or fake ingredients. Fortunately, quality, all-natural water flavorings are out there. Many of them also come with health benefits, letting you get more out of every glass.


Putting a slice of lemon into a glass of water isn’t just a restaurant trick. This habit also offers your body key nutrients and disease fighting benefits.

Lemon was trusted by the Romans as a cure for all poisons, but the key to that benefit was lemon’s power as a liver and cardiovascular health booster. Lemon juice stimulates liver function, while the potassium in lemon strengthens veins and fights high blood pressure. Thus, while lemon may not “cure” poisons, it will help your body flush them out.

The citric acid and vitamin C in lemons also work to boost your immunity. Drinking lemon water means helping your body fight off colds, flu, and fever. Scurvy won’t be a problem for you anymore, either – lemons fight it off!

To get the optimal benefits, squeeze half a lemon into eight ounces of water and drink it at room temperature. Alternatively, slice up two lemons and let them infuse overnight in a pitcher of water. If you don’t have any lemon, try using limes, oranges, and grapefruit—they can all offer similar benefits.

Vanilla Extract

You may only think of vanilla extract when you are baking, but it can also help you healthfully flavor water. A few drops in an eight-ounce glass provide flavor and a fast home remedy for multiple ailments.

Vanilla extract can be used to cure upset stomach or emotional distress. Vanilla is useful for soothing nausea, while multiple studies have shown it can also counteract anxiety and stress. In an emergency situation where you’re drinking your stored water and everyone is a bit edgy, adding a bit of vanilla extract is a fast, easy way to restore peace of mind.

To get the maximum benefit, add a few drops to water at room temperature and sip it. The extract will go to work internally to soothe your stomach, while the smell of the vanilla will go to work on your mind to calm and soothe your spirit.

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Putting cucumber slices in water is an old afternoon tea trick, but it turns out there was a reason behind doing it. Cucumber has a natural temperature a few degrees below the ambient temperature, helping it cool down whatever beverage (and whatever drinker) happens to be around it. It’s something to keep in mind if your off-the-grid lifestyle doesn’t come with an icemaker!

Your cucumber slices will also give you anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting benefits. Cucumbers contain three lignans (lacriciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol), which have been proven to fight breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers. Fresh cucumber extracts, meanwhile, inhibit the behavior of pro-inflammatory enzymes like COX-2. The juice is also rich in anti-oxidants.

To infuse water with cucumber, slice a ripe cucumber thinly and let it set in the water for at least an hour to spread the flavor (longer is better). Peeling the cucumber before you slice it will give a sweeter flavor to the water and also protect you against any toxins or wax on the skin of cucumbers not from your own garden.


Last but not least, you can always add mint to your water. This common and enthusiastic grower can be found in most climates and brings a familiar, fresh taste to water. Though it may be tempting to dismiss mint as nothing more than a garnish, it can offer you important health benefits.

Mint water brings nutrition and digestive health. Drinking mint-flavored water is a long-standing home remedy for digestive problems, but modern research has confirmed that this natural diuretic can help stop colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. It is rich in vitamins A, C, and B12 with traces of iron, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

To get the flavor going in your water, add fresh mint leaves and then crush them. This crushing spreads the mint oil from the leaves so you can drink the water right away, or you can let it set for a few hours for a stronger flavor. Oh, and of course drinking mint water will leave you with minty-fresh breath as a bonus!

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