According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, adult men should drink 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) a day, and women should drink 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) a day. Keep in mind this is a rough estimate since the required water intake is individual. For instance, it may increase for those who are physically active, sick or live in hot or dry climates, to name a few reasons. Although everyone’s hydration needs are individual, many have something in common. They don’t drink enough. For many people, water is too boring to sip on throughout the day, and many other drinks come with too many added sugars. So the perfect solution is naturally flavored water.
How to Make Flavored Water
Choose your favorite flavor combination of fruit, vegetables, and herbs based on your taste preferences. Here are some combination ideas:
- lemon and lime
- cucumber and mint
- lemon and ginger
- strawberry and cucumber
- blackberry and orange
- apple and cinnamon
- watermelon and mint
- grapefruit and rosemary
- raspberry and lemon
- strawberry and kiwi
Other additions include blueberries, kiwis, pomegranate, raspberries, pineapple, parsley, coriander, lavender, mango, melons, grapes, cherries, tomatoes, nutmeg, whole cloves, and cranberries. If you use ginger, you should seep it in hot water to make a concentrate of the spicy flavor before adding it to cold water. Similarly, you can add a bag of tea (or a few) to a small amount of hot water to make a concentrate to add to cold water later.
Mix a generous amount of the chosen fruits, herbs, etc. in a cup or pitcher with water and ice cubes if desired. Let stand for a few hours to let the flavors seep into the water, and enjoy. Drink within 1–2 days, stored in the refrigerator. Remember, you can also add combinations to hot water for a soothing but hydrating beverage.
Alternatively, place chopped-up fruit, herbs, and vegetables into ice trays with water to make flavored ice cubes, ready to be added to a drink at any time. You could also skip the ice strays and add frozen fruit to water, like frozen strawberries or blueberries.
Health Benefits of Flavored Water
The main benefit of drinking flavored water is hydration. Many people struggle to drink enough during the day and suffer from mild dehydration on a regular basis. However, dehydration can become a serious health concern and lead to unpleasant symptoms. It could also impact the look of your skin, which is why proper hydration should be the first step of any skincare routine.
But if you’re drinking naturally flavored water to replace sugary beverages like soda, weight loss might result from consuming less sugar and carbohydrates. Plus, hydration helps with weight loss since adequate water consumption can increase the metabolic rate and help a person feel full and therefore eat less. 
Hydration is also key for good digestive health. Chronic dehydration can lead to constipation, which causes its own unpleasant side effects like sluggishness and bloating. This can negatively impact a person’s mood, and so can dehydration. In fact, even mild dehydration could impact mood, energy levels, and the ability to concentrate. It could also cause headaches. Studies have shown that when people increased their water intake from 1.2 liters a day to 2.5 liters a day, they felt calmer, happier, and more energized. 
However, water flavored with fruits and the like have been overhyped when it comes to health benefits. One important point is that although certain foods are rich in vitamins, it’s likely you’ll consume much of those vitamins through infused water. So although oranges are rich in vitamin C, it’s unlikely you’ll reap much of those benefits by adding an orange slice to a glass of water.
But still the main point is staying hydrated. As Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES states, “While the amount of flavoring added to water is typically too small to provide significant nutritional value, flavored water can be a benefit in situations where people will consume more water because they prefer the taste with the flavoring added.” 
Read: The Benefits of Eating Eggs (Even Everyday)
More About Dehydration
Anyone who doesn’t drink enough water is at risk of dehydration, but some people have a heightened risk. This includes infants and children who can’t communicate when they’re thirsty and older adults. With age, the body cannot carry as much water and the ability to detect thirst diminishes. The risk is even higher risk with an elderly person with memory problems.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Chills or heat intolerance
- Dry mouth
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Low blood pressure with a high heart rate
- Muscle cramps
- Flushed skin
- Swollen feet
Symptoms could also be mental or emotional since severe dehydration could shrink the blood vessels in the parts of the brain that affect memory and coordination. Such as:
- Difficulties with memory
Mild dehydration is treated by simply consuming more fluids. (But it’s also important to drink beverages with electrolytes if there are symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.) Moderate dehydration requires intravenous hydration, which is administered in a hospital or urgent care unit. People who experience severe symptoms of dehydration should seek emergency medical care. These include seizures, lack of sweating, fever, fainting, rapid pulse, nausea, and hallucinations.
Fortunately, it’s easy to stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle around with you and keep it nearby when you’re at work or relaxing at home. If you are bored by plain water, flavor it with a combination suggested above and change it up every few days. You could also eat foods that are high in water content, like soups and smoothies, and many kinds of fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, oranges, cucumber, celery, and lettuce. 
Keep Reading: Research Shows Kimchi Reduces Difficult Fat and Reduces Neuroinflammation Of The Brain.
- “Detox Water Health Benefits and Myths.” Healthline. Helen West, RD. August 25, 2021.
- “How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?” Healthline. Kris Gunnars, BSc. November 5, 2020.
- “Is Flavored Water Good For You?” Very Well Fit. Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CPT. October 1, 2022.
- “Dehydration.” Cleveland Clinic. February 16, 2021.