You've heard it a hundred times - water has so many benefits. Still, for some reason, most people find it hard to drink the recommended amount of water in a given day. To make water intake more appealing, trends such as flavored waters, zero calorie vitamin waters and more have been heavily marketed. In reality though, none of these are as good as the real thing. Flavored water comes with more sugars and chemicals that you bargained for, making it more malnourishing than healthy.
If you struggle to drink plain water and prefer something with some taste, then try agua frescas as healthy alternatives to flavored water. Translated directly, this means “fresh water” in Spanish. Agua frescas are blended beverages that often contain a combination of fruits, cereals, seeds mixed with water.
Here are a few of my favorite fruit agua fresca recipes (adapted and modified into their healthy versions), that are refreshing and delicious and, most importantly, a great way to get in more water in your system.
1. Don't add any sugar. Even though traditional agua frescas have sugar in them, remember that you are using these as a way to drink more water. Your drink will already be sweet from the sucrose in the fruit you use, so don't feel like you need more sugar.
2. Reiterating on the water intake point, make sure your Agua Frescas are diluted and watered down. The fruit additions are just for taste.
3. For all the recipes below, blend the “tastegivers” and water in a blender. The approximate ratio for one 8 oz. glass should be around 1 oz. of the fruit pulp, to 7 oz. of water. Even though this isn't traditional, I promise the finished drink will still taste great, and be much healthier too!
4. The reason the proportions are per glass is because I believe in making and consuming something in the freshest possible way, so that you are benefited most by the nutrients. However, if you have time constraints, feel free to double/triple the recipe for the fruit pulp and refrigerate. Mix the water as and when you are drinking it. I wouldn't suggest refrigerating the pulp for more than a night.
Photo via Healthy Bits and Nibbles
This recipe is adapted from Healthy Bits and Nibbles. Watermelon is a cooling fruit, so this recipe is perfect for hot summer days. Mint is great for the stomach, and also helps cool down the system.
• Two cubes of watermelon
• Two strawberries
Garnish with mint
Photo via The Wanderlust Kitchen
Honeydew and Lime
I first saw this recipe on The Wanderlust Kitchen, and instantly fell in love. The sweetness of honeydew and the slight tartness of lime not only compliment each other in flavor, but also in terms of benefits to your body! Honeydew has high levels of potassium, helping maintain stable blood sugar levels. Lime has a plethora of benefits, ranging from skincare to weight loss.
• Two-three cubes honeydew
• a lime, juiced
Garnish with a few berries of your choice (I like raspberries or blueberries)
Photo via The View from Great Island
Papaya and Lime
A slight variation of the recipe above is featured on The View from Great Island, subbing in papaya for honeydew. Papaya does wonders for the digestive tract, and also, the final drink comes out in this beautiful pinky orange that is sure to please.
• Two cubes papaya
• a lime, juiced
Photo via The Little Spice Jar
Peach, honey and jalapeño
For those looking for a unique taste, this recipe, modified from Little Spice Jar is the perfect mixture of sweet and spicy, with jalapenos adding just the right kick. Peaches are packed with nutrients and fiber, and raw honey is a great finisher to smooth out the taste.
• Two peach slices
• 1 tsp. raw honey
• 1 jalapeño slice (blended in for more spice, or used as a garnish for less)
So there you have it - four wonderful alternatives to flavored water! These are better in every way, from being more nutritious to tasting a whole lot yummier. Do you have any favorite agua fresca recipes? Let me know in the comments below!