Summer Heat = Need for More Water, plus Fun Ideas to Spice Up Your Beverage

June 29, 2018

Water anyone? Our bodies are made up of about 70% water.  Water plays a role in digestion, absorption, circulation, transportation of nutrients and maintaining body temperature.  Your brain and kidneys work together to trigger the body’s thirst mechanisms.  Most of us should listen a little more carefully to those cues our bodies send when it comes thirst.  As the world of science changes so do the recommendations made on the daily intake amount. More advancements in technology improves the way we learn about this amazing machine we live in! Therefore, we may need a little more than 8 glasses of water a day and depending upon our age and activity maybe a little less. 

According to the National Academy of Sciences, adult women (age 19+) need about 11 cups of water a day and men should take in about 15 cups per day.  Children need a little less, 5-7 cups per day.  Food contains water and all beverages count.  We like water because it has no calories and can play a role in weight management.  A good rule of thumb is about 3-5 cups of water come from your food intake, which means you will need to drink about 6-8 cups for females and 10-12 cups for men. 

All beverages count….careful with that!  You can add lots of calories mindlessly through drinking and even those beverages with caffeine (tea and coffee) count.  You will excrete a tiny amount of additional water with caffeinated beverages, but they still count.   You don’t lose that much water when you drink caffeine containing beverages, but be mindful of extra calories that are drinking.  Try some infused water or spa water to help with a no calorie, no sugar, no additives, FREE option.

Infused Water Recipes Here:

  1. Cucumber Mint- Thinly slice one cucumber. Add the sliced cucumbers to a ½ gallon glass jar, add 8 muddled fresh mint leaves, and fill with filtered water. Stir gently and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Citrus Blueberry- Slice two organic oranges into thin slices (leave the rind on for better flavor). Add sliced oranges and 1 cup of blueberries to a gallon size glass jar. Add filtered water to fill the jar and stir gently. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and store in refrigerator.
  3. Pineapple Mint-Peel and thinly slice about 1/4 of a pineapple. The more thinly sliced the pineapple, the more flavor it will infuse. Add to a ½ gallon size glass jar with 10-12 leaves of muddled fresh mint. Add filtered water to fill and stir gently. Store in refrigerator.
  4. Watermelon Basil -Add about 2 cups of finely chopped fresh watermelon (without rind) to a gallon size glass jar. Add 15 leaves of muddled basil and filtered water to fill. Store in refrigerator and allow at least 4 hours to infuse.
  5. Strawberry Lemon- Add 15 fresh strawberries, washed and finely sliced to a ½ gallon glass jar. Add one sliced lemon with rind on. Fill with water. Stir gently and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight in refrigerator and enjoy.
  6. Cherry Lime- Add two cups of fresh cherries, cut in half, and one fresh lime, sliced into thin slices, to a gallon size glass jar. Add water to fill. Mix gently and store in refrigerator until ready to drink.
  7. Grapefruit Raspberry -Add one grapefruit, thinly sliced with rind on, to a gallon-size glass jar. Then add ½ cup slightly muddled fresh raspberries. Add water and mix well. Store in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before drinking.
  8. Mango Pineapple Peel-Thinly slice one fresh mango. Add to ½ gallon glass jar. Add 1 cup of finely chopped pineapple and filtered water. Allow to infuse in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours before drinking.
  9. Grape Orange -Place 2 cups of halved organic grapes into a gallon size glass jar. Add one orange, thinly sliced with rind on. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.
  10. Pineapple Basil- Add ¼ of a sliced fresh pineapple and 15 leaves of muddled fresh basil to a half gallon jar. Add filtered water. Infuse overnight and enjoy.



This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.