The first time my sweetheart saw me pour a splash of juice into an almost-full glass of ice water, he looked at me like I was nuts. “Why would you do that to your juice!” he asked. But I think a better question is: Why wouldn’t you do that to your water?
It figures that his name for “juicy water,” my favorite summertime cool-down drink, is “watery juice.” All in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.
In my eye, juicy water is one of the best ways to get your hydration if you’re growing tired of plain H2O. It’s almost entirely pure water with just enough juice to add a little flavor and a little fruit. What’s not to love?
Replacing straight juice (and especially soda) with juicy water is also a great way to cut down on your sugar intake. If you’re a fan of the fizz, try using sparkling instead of still water. The result is a tasty juice spritzer that still offers more excitement than plain water without the chemicals and high doses of sugar you get from other beverages. My sister, a big soda-head, found that juicy water was just the stepping stone she needed to cut back.
It’s easy to breeze through a whole jug of fruit juice in just a day or two if you’re drinking it straight, and especially if you have little ones. Once I got my honey (and his kids) hooked on juicy water, the first thing he noticed was how much longer that jug of juice lasted. His girls love their juice, so we started out using about a 2:1 ratio of water to juice. Then, slowly, we started backing off. The kiddos got used to the taste of juicy water, to the point that they usually prefer it. Now we use about a quarter cup of juice and fill the rest up with water.
There are tons of flavored water beverages out there, especially in convenience store drink coolers. Be wary of these: They almost all use artificial sugars, and many use chemical flavorings. I know plenty of folks who enjoy them, but I personally can never get past that icky fake sweetness that seems to prick the back of your throat.
If you’re using 100% juice, you can make a similarly satisfying flavored water with nothing but natural ingredients. It’s a difficult drink to get tired of. It’s super easy to make, and every time it comes out a little different. Try combining juices, adding coconut water, lemon, or lime. You can also mix up a big pitcher of juicy water and have it ready whenever you need to whet your whistle.
For added nutrition and interesting texture, try adding a few teaspoons of chia seeds to your juicy water. They swell up almost like the tapioca pearls in bubble tea, and offer a nice dose of protein, fiber, and EFAs (essential fatty acids).