Infusing your water with natural fruit has become the latest craze in food-conscious circles. There are even special water bottles which are designed for these fruit and water infusions. But are you actually getting anything valuable out of this process, or is it just the latest in nutritional fads?
When you infuse water with fruit, not a whole lot gets from the fruit into the water. Some of the valuable nutrients in fruit are water soluble, like Vitamin C, but not many. Mostly what happens is that some of the natural fructose, or fruit sugar, leeches into the water along with the oil-soluble compounds responsible for the flavor and smell of the fruit.
The fruit that is most commonly used for infusing is lemons. Lemons have a lot of aromatic oils in their peels; that’s the spray of liquid and strong smell you get when you twist a fresh lemon peel. Proponents of fruit infusion claim that infusing water with lemons will release citric acid into the water, and that getting more citric acid into your system can prevent a multitude of chronic health issues. In addition, citric acid helps improve skin quality and reduce the appearance of blemishes.
Be very careful to keep an infusing bottle clean when not in use and refrigerated when it is being used. Keeping warm, wet fruit in the calm interior of a bottle is just asking for explosive bacterial growth and real trouble. And regardless of any of the benefits of infusion, drinking bacteria-laced water isn’t going to do your body any favors.
One way in which fruit infused water can really benefit your health, however, is by improving the taste of your water and therefore encouraging you to drink more of it. Getting enough water to drink each day is absolutely vital to maintaining your health, but a lot of people have trouble following this directive since they don’t like drinking plain water. Fruit infused water could be the answer to that problem, since it provides all the benefits of drinking plain water without the downsides of added sugar and chemicals from drinking juice, soda, or other beverages.
There isn’t much in the way of empirical evidence supporting the health claims of fruit infused water. There might be some vitamins, natural sugars, and aromatic oils released into the water during the infusion process, but it’s still up in the air whether these infusion by-products actually provide any health benefits. Regardless of this, drinking fruit infused water certainly won’t hurt you, as long as you keep everything clean and sanitary, and might help you to improve your health by increasing your water intake.