The word spa conjures up images of restorative baths, relaxing massages, and patrons in fluffy robes sipping refreshing water with cucumber. While fruit-infused water may seem like a small part of the spa experience, it provides big health benefits.

Essential to life, water delivers oxygen to cells, flushes toxins from the body, and may help to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. By adding an array of flavourful fruits, herbs, and flowers to water, spas create naturally flavoured water that is supercharged with health-promoting nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants.

Best of all, you don’t need to go to the spa to reap the benefits. Creating spa water at home is as easy as slicing up a few of your favourite fruits and herbs.

Why not give it a try? Stay healthy and hydrated all summer long by mixing and matching the following flavourful ingredients into your water.

Berries

Add some colourful flavour to your water with a handful of sweet summer berries. Berries derive their deep purple and red hues from polyphenols, powerful antioxidants thought to ward off heart disease, certain cancers, and age-related cognitive decline.

Citrus fruit

Give ordinary water a healthy boost of immune-boosting vitamin C and tumour-inhibiting limonoids with orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit slices.

Cherries

Cherries, especially the tart ones, contain a plethora of antioxidants that are thought to work together to ward off free radicals and decrease inflammation.

Cucumber

A spa favourite, cucumber is a good source of heart-healthy potassium and bone-building vitamin K.

Ginger

Spice up your water with ginger. Ginger gets its aroma from chemical compounds called gingerols. Research suggests gingerols may ease digestive upset, reduce arthritis pain, and even provide protection against cancer.

Hibiscus

Add hibiscus to your water for a sweet, fruity flavour. Preliminary research has found compounds in this bright red flower may help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Lavender

Synonymous with calm, lavender not only soothes the soul, but also may relieve anxiety. In Germany, this edible purple flower is often brewed and served as a tea to treat insomnia.

Mint

The taste of cool mint not only refreshes, but also has been used for centuries to treat a number of digestive issues including irritable bowel syndrome.

Peach

Juicy peaches add an intense sweet flavour and a burst of beta carotene to water. A powerful antioxidant, beta carotene helps keep the immune system strong and skin healthy.

Pineapple

Pineapple turns water into a tropical treat. Pineapple is a good source of manganese and thiamine, two nutrients essential for metabolizing food into energy.

Vanilla bean

Make your water taste like a treat with subtly sweet vanilla. Preliminary studies suggest this popular flavouring may have anticarcinogenic properties.

Watermelon

Brimming with vitamin C, beta carotene, and heart-healthy lycopene, this juicy summer favourite will fill your water with nutrients and flavour.

Preparation tips

  • Use organic produce and filtered, spring, or mineral water to avoid unwanted chemicals.
  • If using nonorganic fruit, peel off the skin when possible. Otherwise, there is no need to peel most fruits.
  • Slice fruit so that the juiciest area is exposed to the water.
  • Chill your spa water for one to 24 hours before serving. The longer you wait to serve the water, the stronger the flavour will become.
  • Experiment with the amount of fruits and herbs added to get the optimal flavour for your taste buds.

Recipes

Replenish your electrolytes, naturally

When we sweat our electrolyte stores are depleted, leading to muscle fatigue, cramping, and poorer performance. Thankfully, electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, are found in many foods. Cucumber and watermelon, for example, are both potassium-containing foods. For your next workout skip the corner store sports drink and replenish your electrolytes from a reusable water bottle filled with this delicious Minty Watermelon and Cucumber Refresher.

About the Author

Stephanie Raymond is a Toronto-based freelance writer