We know it, good hydration is essential to stay in good shape, especially in the summer when the thermometer panics and the urge to cool off is constant.
ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety) recommends consuming at least 1.5 liters of water per day, and more depending on the activities performed or the outside temperature.
To achieve these goals without too much trouble, we can count on flavored water.
Gourmet, colorful, thirst-quenching… They are our best summer allies! On one condition, however: that they remain healthy drinks, made with the shortest and simplest ingredient list possible. Aurélie Biron-Paumard, dietitian nutritionist for WW, shares some tips for choosing and cooking flavored water.
What happens to the body when you don’t drink enough water
Commercially flavored water: beware of hidden ingredients
Water, fruits, vegetables and aromatic plants: this is the recipe for flavored water when you take the time to prepare it yourself. But on supermarket shelves, the list of ingredients often tends to be longer.
In a study published in June 2021, the magazine 60 million consumers analyzed the composition of summer drinks (flavoured water, herbal tea, iced tea). What came of it? Although they claim to be less sweet and more natural than soda or classic fruit juice, the promises were far from being kept… A large number of these drinks, which we may tend to sip without moderation, actually contained a good dose of sugar .
bonus, many also contained additives (especially dyes) or synthetic aromas, i.e. chemical aromas (compared to natural aromas).
“If you buy your flavored water in the supermarket, a good reflex is to take a few seconds to scan the tag, recommends Aurélie Biron-Paumard. Although manufacturers have made great efforts in recent years, it is still possible to find ingredients without any nutritional value or interest”. And to add: “when a product is labeled ‘zero calories,’ also check that there is no artificial sweetener”.
If they do not contain calories, these ingredients still retain an attraction to the sweet taste in general.
Obviously, these drinks are not prohibited (remember, a balanced diet does not prohibit food!). But they must remain occasional pleasures because drinking too much sugar poses a health risk (weight gain, increase in triglyceridemia and uricemia, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers).
Added sugar, sweeteners: “we are eating and drinking sweeter than ever” warns a study
Flavored water: nothing better than homemade!
Nothing beats avoiding hidden ingredients homemade flavored water. “Especially as these drinks are particularly easy to prepare,” stresses Aurélie Biron-Paumard. The main ingredient is simply water to which we add flavor”.
For this extra taste, several options are possible: “you can add a little syrup, or even a few drops of fruit juice, but again, they will be sweet drinks that should not be abused”, explains our expert.
For a drink to enjoy without moderation, it remains ideal infuse cut or sliced fruits and vegetables in water for several hours, with aromatic plants or spices for more pep. “But a small precision: it is preferable to prefer fruits and vegetables that have not been chemically treated, especially citrus fruits, and to wash them well if they are not peeled”, insists Aurélie Biron-Paumard.
Otherwise the risk? Find yourself tasting flavored water… with pesticides!
For water, you can also vary the pleasures by alternating between still water and rushing water. During heat waves, ANSES recommends drinking mineral water to compensate for the loss of minerals through sweat and dehydration associated with high temperatures, especially water containing bicarbonate salts, sodium chloride, potassium or even magnesium.
If flavored waters are great ways to stay well hydrated in the summer, especially when you don’t like water, however, they should not replace the consumption of natural water, “especially in children who need to be taught to drink and simply love water”, concludes the nutritionist.
How do you stay hydrated when you don’t like water?
3 flavored water recipes to vary the pleasures
- Water with fennel, thyme and cucumber
Recipe: rinse a quarter of a cucumber, half a fennel and a few sprigs of fresh thyme (for a pint container). Thinly slice the vegetables, then place them in the bottom of a Mason Jar or other glass container. Add a generous helping of ice cubes and then insert the thyme sprigs before pouring water up to the top of your container. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Pomegranate, watermelon, lime flavored water
Recipe: rinse watermelon and lime. Quarter the watermelon to divide it into small triangles. Then slice half a lime and take a few pomegranate seeds (for a pint container). Place all ingredients in the bottom of a Mason Jar or other glass container. Add a good dose of ice cubes and then pour water to the top of your container. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Apricot and raspberry flavor water, verbena infusion
Recipe: prepare a verbena infusion (fresh, dried or in a bag) by adding it to boiling water. Filter the infusion if you used leaves and let it cool. Rinse two apricots and about ten raspberries (for a half liter container). Cut the apricots in half, remove the pits and place all the fruit in the bottom of a Mason Jar or other glass container. Add a good dose of ice cubes and pour the verbena infusion to the top of your container. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
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