Water is critical to life and survival, making up 60 percent of your body. If you lose too much water or don't drink enough, you can become dehydrated and your electrolytes can become imbalanced. Under normal circumstances, you probably drink enough fluids to meet your daily needs. But participating in vigorous activities such as bodybuilding increases your daily needs because you're losing so much water. If you find drinking water monotonous, you can add flavor without packing on excessive calories.
Citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons and limes, are great to add to water. Not only does citrus lend water a refreshing taste, but it also supplies vitamin C with very few added calories. Vitamin C helps to heal wounds and create scar tissue. Try adding citrus slices to your water or squeeze the fruit to release more juice for a stronger taste. Water bottles or cups with infusers are an easy and convenient way to add fruit to your water.
Fresh berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries add flavor along with essential vitamins and antioxidants with minimal calories. Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants can help lower your risk of some diseases. There is no need to crush the berries before adding them to the water. The longer you allow fresh berries to soak in the water, the more flavorful the taste will be. You may even consider mixing fresh berries with citrus fruit for a unique flavor.
Vegetable- and Herb-Flavored Water
Adding cucumbers to water provides a crisp taste. Herbal teas are available in numerous flavors and can also be used to flavor water. Most herbal teas contain minimal calories as long as you don't sugar. Consider using mint in your water for an energizing and invigorating taste. You can also mix mint with different flavors such as lemons or fresh berries for additional taste.
Sugar-Free and Nonnutritive Sweeteners
Sugar-free flavorings and non-nutritive sweeteners are available in numerous flavors and in powder or liquid form. Most sugar-free flavorings contain a sugar substitute, making them calorie-free, and some have added caffeine or vitamins and minerals. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Diabetes Association consider "non-nutritive sweeteners to be safe when consumed within the daily intake levels established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."
- Today's Dietitian: Dehydration
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Water: Meeting Your Daily Fluid Needs
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin C
- InfuserWaterBottles.com: Infuser Water Bottles
- MedlinePlus: Antioxidants
- Celestial Seasonings: Herbal Teas
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: FDA Regulates the Safety of Bottled Water Beverages
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Use of Nutritive and Nonnutritive Sweeteners