Despite the trendy name, detox water (also called spa water or infused water) is simply water with a combination of sliced fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices added to it. Whether the ingredients provide any health benefit is unknown, but what so-called “detox” spa water can do is help people drink more fluids by infusing a natural hint of flavor into plain water. These no- or low-calorie drinks are a great alternative to diet sodas, caffeinated beverages, and powdered drink mixes.
In the body, water helps to flush out waste products, prevents constipation,1 helps with mineral and nutrient absorption, lubricates joints, moistens tissues, and has many other vital roles. Even mild dehydration can lead to tiredness2 (by the time you feel thirsty, you may already be slightly dehydrated).
Cucumber, Lemon, and Basil Water
Although no precise measurements are usually necessary when making infused water, a good balance of flavors can be achieved with the following ingredients:
- 10 cucumber slices
- 1 lemon slice, cut in half
- 3 basil leaves
Add the ingredients to a glass or mason jar (approximately 16 ounces/500mL), fill it with filtered water, and allow it to sit covered in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours.
The key is to get a hint of lemon because it can easily overpower the taste of the other ingredients. If the lemon that you are using has a thick pith (the bitter white part underneath the colorful outer skin), you can remove it before adding it to the water.
Pear, Ginger, and Lime Water
To make pear, ginger, and lime water, add the following ingredients to a glass:
- 2 slices of pear, cut into smaller pieces
- 1 slice of lime, cut in half
- 1/4 inch thin slice of ginger
If you would like to bring out more of the gingery taste, try scoring the ginger piece to release the juice.
Add the ingredients to a glass and fill it with water. Let it sit for 12 to 24 hours before drinking it.
Use a firm pear, as a ripe pear will get mushy when soaked in water.
Orange and Mint Water
To make orange mint water, place the following ingredients in a glass or cup:
- 2 slices of peeled orange
- 2 mint leaves
The pith (the white part under the orange peel) tastes bitter, so be sure to remove it. Fill it with water and put it in the fridge, covered, for 12 to 24 hours.
Grapefruit and Thyme Water
To make grapefruit and thyme water, add the following to an 8- to 16-ounce glass.
- 2 grapefruit slices
- 1 small pinch of fresh thyme (keep it on the stem)
Be sure to peel the grapefruit (removing the white pith). Cut the grapefruit slice into pieces or segments.
Add a small piece of thyme. Fill the glass with water.
Apple, Fennel, and Lemon Water
With the subtle flavor of sweet anise, fennel and apple go well together in this infused water. To make it, add the following to an 8- to 16-ounce glass.
- Apple slices
- Fennel slices
- Lemon wedges
Fill the rest of the glass with filtered water, and allow it to sit in the fridge, covered, for 12 to 24 hours. Squeeze the juice from a small lemon wedge into the glass.
Orange, Fennel, and Rosemary Water
To make orange, fennel, and rosemary water, add the following ingredients to an 8- to 16-ounce glass:
- 1 slice of orange
- 1 slice of fennel
- A small piece of rosemary (about 9 leaves, attached to the stem)
The pith (the white part under the orange peel) tastes bitter, so be sure to remove it. Fill the rest of the glass with filtered water and allow it to sit, covered, for 12 to 24 hours.
Cucumber, Lemon, and Mint Water
To make this cucumber-lemon water with a hint of mint, add the following ingredients to an 8- to 16-ounce glass:
- 6 slices of cucumber
- 1 lemon slice, cut in half
- mint leaves
Fill the rest of the glass with filtered water. Place it in the fridge, covered, for 12 to 24 hours.
Notes: Removing the pith of the lemon (the white part below the outer bright yellow skin) before infusing the lemon will prevent the water from becoming bitter.
Strawberry, Raspberry, and Mint Water
Make this delicious flavored water by placing these ingredients in an 8 to 16-ounce glass:
- 3 strawberries, cut in half
- 5 raspberries
- 3 small or 2 regular sized mint leaves
Add filtered water to fill the rest of the glass. Cover it and allow it to sit in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.
Blackberry and Mint Water
Although the blackberries look dramatic in a glass, the taste is subtle. To make blackberry and mint water, add the following to an 8- to 16-ounce glass:
- 8 to 10 blackberries
- 3 or more mint leaves
Fill the rest of the glass with filtered water and place it in the fridge, covered, for 12 to 24 hours.
Make lemon water by adding a 1/4 of lemon, sliced, to an 8 to 16-ounce glass and then filling the rest with filtered water. You can allow it to sit for 12 to 24 hours or just squeeze the lemon juice right into the glass.
If you choose to infuse it, remove the pith (the whitish part underneath the colored outer portion) before placing the lemon in the glass to prevent it from becoming bitter. Add a small slice of peeled ginger for a spicy kick.
Tips for Making Spa Water
A few tips to keep in mind:
- Citrus fruit (like lemon, orange, and grapefruit) has a bitter white part, called the pith, underneath the outer colorful portion. It can make the water taste bitter, so it’s a good idea to remove it before adding any citrus fruit.
- Precise measurements of fruit and vegetable slices aren’t really necessary. If you prefer cucumber over lemon, for example, you can alter the ratio to suit your taste.
- You can strain the fruit and vegetables out of the water, if you’d like, and eat them separately.
- Make no more than a day’s worth at a time as the fruit tends to get soggy.
Also, avoid excessive or regular consumption of lemon or other acidic drinks as they can soften tooth enamel.3
Certain ingredients should not be consumed in excess by people with certain health conditions. For example, citrus fruit, ginger, and mint may trigger heartburn;4 excessive ginger intake may increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders and those taking medication that increases the risk of bleeding.5
For some people, drinking too much water can be a problem. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before making changes to your diet, particularly if you have a health condition (such as diabetes insipidus) or are taking diuretics or other medications.