The sun! It’s out and it’s glorious! Absolutely everything about my mood changes for the better as soon as the sun’s out. But with great warmth and light, comes great responsibility. That is, protecting yourself from too many of the sun’s rays as well as increasing your focus on hydration. One of my very good friends has recently entered into a dysfunctional relationship with kidney stones and now I’m on the lookout for early signs and symptoms. He’s been doing a lot of reading on kidney stones lately and has passed along the warning to me that the recommended amount of water to drink is actually closer to 90 oz/day for women and 120 oz/day for men. This number also changes with the weather and the amount of activity you experience in your day. While it’s important to stay hydrated all year long, the summer has a way of reminding you when it’s time to take a sip or two.
And with the summer sun comes more outdoor social activities. There’s always a rise in weddings, showers, and graduation parties in the spring and summer. With all this hustle and bustle, it’s sometimes hard to remember to drink water. And even if you remember to drink water, sometimes there’s a more attractive beverage calling your name - like your favorite iced coffee drink to cool you down, or that (somehow extremely) large beer they serve at the Squirrels baseball games. But water doesn’t always have to be so boring. If you’re looking to add a little fun to your summer beverage game, or if you’re just trying to cut back on the superfluous calorie consumption that comes hand-in-hand with summer party beverages, you should give herb-infused water a shot. We all know that our bodies function best when they’re properly hydrated, so sometimes adding a little pizazz to our water really goes a long way. Additionally, herbal-infused water is just another great way to enjoy the many medicinal benefits of herbs - my favorite!
Some of the tastiest summer water combinations I’ve tried in the past include fresh, local, and organic fruit (you don’t want to be adding any of those nasty pesticides to your hydration game!). Ideas I love include kiwi and chamomile (I love when I get to use Woodside Farm's chamomile), strawberry and lavender, and basil and peppermint. You simply just add whatever combination you’re feeling to your water pitcher and let it sit for at least an hour for the herbal flavors and benefits to be added to the water. No need to strain. In fact, the longer you let the herbs sit in the water, the more herbal benefits your water will hold - maybe just drink through a straw so you don’t end up with a mouthful of soggy basil. Additionally, your tasty water combinations can be switched up with the seasons. Feeling a little holly and jolly in the wintertime? Add a cinnamon stick! (As a side note: that last sentence can be applied to just about any time of year - cinnamon is amazing)
So the next time you’re feeling a little *over* just plain water, or you’re at a summer social function (like Mother’s day brunch or a graduation party where most of the beverage choices will actually leave you more dehydrated, reach for a tasty herbal water and drink up!