Are you aware that water is valued as an essential nutrient? While not a provider of calories like the macronutrients or rich in antioxidants like many micronutrients, the body’s actual need for water far outweighs that of any food. In fact, you can survive for over a month without eating food but only 3-5 days without drinking water.

Related Article: Why Water is More Important Than Food

Still, there are tons of people who just don’t drink water, oftentimes, because they don’t like the taste. If you’re reading this, I’ll bet you’re one of these people. But, given the importance of adequate water intake for overall good health, it’s important that you somehow learn to love it.

And, lucky for you, infusing your water with fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs can make a whole lot of difference in the flavor department.

Ever squeezed juice from a lemon or lime wedge into a glass of water?

While this is ‘low-grade’ infusing, I’m sure you can appreciate the change in flavor.

Doing so can also enhance the overall nutritional value of your water.

Whether lemon, lime, orange or even grapefruit, citrus fruits are all rich in health-promoting micronutrients like vitamin C and potassium which collectively aid in enhancing immune function and maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.

Now, if you’re not a fan of citrus fruits, other options that are equally as nutritious include berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries), apple, pineapple, melons (watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew), cucumber, mint, and cilantro.

Maybe even combine some of them to perfectly suit your taste buds.

Some of my personal favorite combinations include: 1) lemons, limes and oranges; 2) mixed berries; 3) strawberries and oranges; 4) cucumber and mint; and 5) cantaloupe and honeydew melons.

Your options are virtually endless!

And, believe it or not, infused water contains way more flavor than most processed fruit juices and drinks but without all the sugar! Plus, all the ingredients I’ve highlighted here are just all around energy boosters, which makes infused water excellent for consumption throughout the day, especially before, during, and after exercise.

Related Article: Dietary Sugar: The Good, The Bad and The Unnecessary

So, how do you make infused water?

It’s super simple!

First, choose your ingredients.

Ingredients like pineapple and melons will need to be peeled and sliced. Others like strawberries, apples, citrus fruits and cucumber will also need to be to be sliced but you can keep the skins of the latter intact.

If you choose organic varieties, simply wash them with warm water. Otherwise, you should soak or spray non-organic varieties with a biodegradable fruit and vegetable wash then rinse them well.

Once you’ve chosen your ingredients and they are properly rinsed, simply add them to a pitcher filled with filtered warm water, mixed them well, and then let your water infuse for at least 4-6 hours before drinking it.

That’s it!

On the average, the body requires about 8-12 eight-ounce cups of water each day in order to function properly. If you generally don’t like the taste of plain ole water, try these tips and enhance both the flavor and nutritional value of your water for good.