‘Detox’ is a hot word in today’s health market. So much so, that there are entire websites and books dedicated to detox diets and supplements. If you really want to get fancy, there are even in-patient care programs and spa resorts designed to provide your body and mind with an intensive detoxification experience.
But, is ‘detox’ really all it’s cracked up to be? After all, we already have entire organ systems devoted to flushing out toxins in the body, including the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract. However, given the increasing amount of toxins we are exposed to in modern life, could they need a helping hand? It’s not all that farfetched to think that our natural detox mechanisms could be overloaded or backed up.
Proponents of detox water (and other detox fads) claim that it can reset your body’s immune system, cleanse your organs, burn abdominal fat, help you sleep better, boost your energy, and more.
If you’re a detox believer, we’ve got good news for you.
Unlike some detox supplements or diet plans that can be expensive or inconvenient, detox water is affordable by most and does have legitimate benefits. In fact, detox water done right is basically a healthy low-calorie drink loaded with vitamins!
Detox water helps increase your intake of nutrients that are used to expel excess toxins. For those who do lose weight and report feeling better with detox water, this is exactly why they experience benefits. Most people are chronically dehydrated and lacking in important vitamins and minerals. It should come as no surprise that increasing your water and nutrient intake produces positive results, but don’t expect yourself to be cured of any health problems overnight.
Water is by far the most natural, effective and underutilized detoxifier available to us. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight by naturally boosting your metabolism. Those organ systems that expel toxins from your body? They need water, too. When you are dehydrated, your body prioritizes other essential bodily functions. This means that toxins can accumulate – but they’ll be flushed out as soon as you rehydrate (barring autoimmune diseases and illness, of course).
More good news about detox water: it tastes good! So, if you find you have trouble drinking your recommended daily intake, detox water recipes are a great way to liven things up without artificial ingredients. We’ve compiled some of the best detox water recipes we could find, for both taste and legitimate health benefits.
1. Lemon Water
Let’s start off simple: squeeze half a lemon into your water (and keep the rind for lemon zest). Enjoy.
The acid in lemon juice helps your stomach digest food, and is full of vitamin C and potassium. Lemon water is also highly recommended for those susceptible to kidney stones.
2. Strawberry Lime Mint
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 lime, sliced
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
4 cups purified water
Combine all ingredients, let steep in refrigerator overnight, and enjoy chilled.
Strawberries add a nice, fruity essence as well as a nice amount of polyphenols. Lime, like any citrus fruit, is rich in vitamin C and can help reduce bloat. Cucumber is surprisingly rich in antioxidants (and gives the water a spa vibe). Mint, in addition to refreshing your breath, can help sooth an upset tummy and suppress appetite.
3. Apple Cinnamon Water
1 apple, thinly sliced and seeds removed
1 cinnamon stick
Place apple and cinnamon in water and chill for at least 1 hour.
A fall favorite, this can replace sugary apple cider and be enjoyed hot or chilled. Apples are full of phytonutrients, and cinnamon is well-known for helping control blood sugar levels. Bonus: you can refill the jar/pitcher of apples and cinnamon 3-4 times before they lose flavor.
4. Watermelon Strawberry Mint
4 cups watermelon, cubed
½ pint strawberries, sliced
6 sprigs mint, lightly crushed
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher of water, and chill for a few hours before enjoying.
As mentioned above, the mint helps ease tummies and freshen breath, while the strawberries lend some polyphenols and great flavor. As far as watermelon, besides it being one of the best flavors on the planet, it is full of electrolytes and may help lower blood pressure.
5. Mango Ginger Water
1 inch ginger root, peeled and sliced
1 cup frozen mango
Combine with 4 liters of water and chill for 1-3 hours before serving.
Both mango and ginger can help boost your metabolism. Ginger is particularly effective at reducing nausea and pain – making this combination a favorite for women experiencing menstrual cramps. Mango is full of vitamins, and a popular digestive aid.
6. Blackberry Mint Water
1 cup blackberries
Handful mint leaves, lightly crushed
Combine in 4 cups of water, and drink immediately or after a few hours in the fridge.
The blackberries are surprisingly sweet and full of antioxidants and vitamins, while the mint is refreshing and can help sooth a troubled tummy. This one is a summer favorite.
7. Lemon Berry Mint
Handful of mint leaves, lightly crushed
1 lemon, sliced and gently squeezed
1 cup of mixed frozen berries
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher of water, and chill for at least 1 hour.
This recipe is has all of the good stuff: citrus, berry, and mint. You’ll get loads of antioxidants, vitamin C, and freshen your breath too!
How To Make Your Own Detox Water Recipe
Choose any combination of the following ingredients based on your taste preferences and health goals (just remember that the most important part of these recipes is water!). Play around with steep times and the amounts of each ingredients, keeping in mind that herbs (like mint and basil) should be used sparingly at first due to their potency.
- Mint leaves