There are a lot of rumors buzzing around the internet about the health benefits of fruit-infused water. You may have read claims that fruit-infused water is highly nutritious, will help you detoxify the body or even promote weight loss.
But like many internet fitness trends, some of these claims have been a little misinformed or exaggerated. Today we’re going to take a look at the facts and break down the actual benefits (and the myths) of fruit-infused water.
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Can Fruit-Infused Water Detoxify The Body?
The working theory in a number of posts about the glory of fruit-infused water is that it can help “detoxify” the body by flooding your system with lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I’ve even read testimonies that it can clear up acne, help you lose weight by increasing the metabolism and boost overall mood, immune system and energy levels.
But can fruit water really detox the body?
The short answer is no. Your body has its own natural (very effective, by the way) system for eliminating toxins. It accomplishes this through organs like the lungs (which help filter and process the air we breathe), skin (which helps us sweat out hormones and toxins), and digestive tract (with special props going to your liver and kidneys for doing a lot of detox heavy lifting).
There’s no substantial research to support claims that fruit-infused water (or “detox diets” in general) helps detoxify the body. There are a handful of clinical studies that examine commercial detox diets, but there’s a lot of skepticism around them (due to small sample sizes and flawed methodologies within the studies themselves).
Practices like eating a wholesome diet, staying well hydrated, getting regular exercise and quality sleep help our body and its natural systems of detoxification and elimination thrive. Minimizing our consumption of things like processed food, sugar, excessive salt (less junk for the body to filter out) also helps support those systems.
Is Fruit-Infused Water a Nutrient-Dense Source of Vitamins?
Is fruit water nutrient-dense? It seems plausible, since fruits and vegetables are an immense source of nutrients, right?
Fruits and veggies are indeed a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But that’s when they’re are incorporated into your diet as whole foods. There’s no substantial research to support claims that fruit-infused water by itself is a truly viable source of nutrients or has any major impact on your immune system.
While you may glean some extra nutrients from fruit-infused water, it’s probably fairly insignificant.
Fruit water is made by letting fruit sit in a container of water for roughly 4-12 hours to allow the flavor to infuse (which is different than juicing or blending). There’s probably some transfer of nutrients into the water but it would be diluted and difficult to measure (particularly the longer it sits).
Can Fruit-Infused Water Boost Energy, Weight Loss or Skin Health?
If you begin drinking large quantities of fruit-infused water, you probably will begin experiencing some benefits like healthier skin, better digestion, increased energy and a little metabolic boost.
But that’s mainly because those are all benefits associated with increasing your overall water intake.
You can glean the same benefits by drinking more water in general, fruity or not (like changes I experienced when I started drinking a gallon of water a day).
Should You Drink Fruit-Infused Water?
By now, you might think I’m some kind of anti-fruit-infused-water hater. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against fruit water. I love drinking it.
But as a personal trainer with over a decade in the fitness industry, I’m not cool with people making unfounded, untrue claims about the latest health or fitness fad.
Because when trendy health fads are paired with misinformation, it can lead to misapplication of fitness and nutrition principles.
That misapplication can then lead to further problems and plateaus down the road that often hold people back in their fitness journeys.
I once had a chat with a client trying to lose weight and improve her overall health. She told me that she didn’t eat many fruits or vegetables, but it was okay because she drank cucumber and lemon water religiously throughout the day.
She genuinely believed that she was reaping full servings of fruits and vegetables through fruit-infused water.
While it was great that she was staying well-hydrated, it was a problem that she was doing it in an attempt to supplement whole foods in her diet. And it was a hindrance because fruit-infused water is absolutely not an adequate substitute for the nutrients provided by fruits and vegetables.
Okay, okay… By now, there’s a chance you’re feeling a bit turned off this whole fruit water business. (Which I certainly hope not, or else I’ll have taken all of these pictures of fruit water in my backyard for nothing.)
Fruit water is great. I love it. I’m literally sipping on a refreshing glass of strawberry-mint water as I type.
All I want to convey is that it’s not magical. And that’s actually very empowering information. Because otherwise, it could be very disappointing to discover what you thought was a magic cure-all solution was in fact just an ordinary glass of water.
(Much like that lady was disappointed to learn her cucumber and lemon water was in no way making up for her nutritional shortcuts.) So what are some more genuine, verifiable benefits to drinking fruit water?
Actual Benefits of Fruit-Infused Water
Benefits of Drinking Fruit-Infused Water
- It’s delicious. (That’s a fact, Jack.)
- It can provide the same hydration benefits as regular water.
- Fruit adds flavor without any the use of dyes, chemicals or artificial sweeteners.
- Adding flavor can help prevent boredom, encouraging you to drink more water and stay well hydrated.
- There may be some nutrients transferred from the fruit into the water (even if it’s not overly substantial).
- It will make you look super cool and sophisticated if you serve it in fancy pitchers at BBQs and dinner parties.
How to Make Fruit Water
I feel like it hardly merits much of a tutorial, since making fruit-infused water is literally as simple as chopping up fruit and dumping it into a container of water. But there are a couple of tips to getting a truly flavorful batch of fruit water.
1. Use LOTS of fruit
I’m not talking throw a few little pieces of cucumber into a pitcher of water and call it a day. If you want the flavor in that water pitcher to pack a punch, chop up and use one or two entire cucumbers. For 2-3 quarts of strawberry water, I use at least one full carton of strawberries.
And don’t worry, you will get plenty of use out of that fruit. I just refill the pitcher at night to replenish what I drank that day and will usually get a week’s worth of water from that batch of fruit.
2. Give it plenty of time to infuse
When I make it, I prepare it at the end of the day and let the water sit overnight in the fridge. The next day, boom. Deeply delicious and flavorful fruit water.
3. Keep it refrigerated
It might seem like a no-brainer, but make sure that you keep your fruit water stored in a container in your fridge. Otherwise, it will sour if you leave it out overnight.
How to Store Fruit-Infused Water
For Bigger Batches
For big batches of fruit-infused water, I like using a big ol’ pitcher. Since the fruit itself takes up space in the container, I like a container large enough that I’m still able to include a sizeable amount of liquid with my fruit.
For Personal Sized Batches
No room in your fridge for a big batch of fruit water? No problem. You can use a smaller container, like a fruit infuser water bottle!
It’s perfect to make and take fruit-infused water on the go if you are pressed for time or just enjoy a milder flavor infusion in your fruit water.
20 Fruit Water Recipe Ideas
The sky is the limit on fruit water combinations for you to test out. Feel free to get creative with your fruity combinations!
But first, here are a few fruits I would not recommend infusing.
Fruits I Wouldn’t Recommend Infusing
- Bananas (it doesn’t end well, trust me)
- Watermelon (I don’t feel like it gives off strong enough flavor)
- Apples (once again, weak flavor)
Now let’s get to some fruits that are fun to infuse!
Cucumber Water Combinations
I feel like cucumber water is one of the cornerstones of water-infused coolness. Probably because (thanks to TV and movies) it’s still what I always envision high-class day spas offering to their fancy clients. (“Hello there, Madame Tons’aMoney, can I offer you a glass of our finest cucumber water?”)
Easy Cucumber Water Combos:
- Plain ol’ Cucumber
If you haven’t tried cucumber water, the best way I could describe it would be to tell you to go take a big bite out of a cucumber. Then imagine consuming that same bite in liquid form. That’s cucumber water.
If you’re not overly fond of cucumbers, then coolness factor aside, it might not be the place to start your water-infusing journey. But if you love cucumbers, there’s no better place to begin than with a big glass of cuc-water!
Citrus Fruit Water Combinations
If I’m going to use something like citrus fruit in my fruit-infused water, I like pairing it with a sweeter fruit to help balance out the tart. Also if you overload the citrus, prepare to discover every tiny nick or cut in your mouth/tongue.
But that’s just me. Some people absolutely love a big gulp of refreshing lemon/lime/pineapple/grapefruit infused water.
Citrus Fruit Infused Water Combos:
- Plain ol’ Lemon
My personal favorite citrus-infused fruit water combo is lemon-strawberry water with a dash of Stevia. It’s like a lighter, less bitter version of strawberry lemonade but not an overpowering dose of all things citrus.
Berry Fruit Water Combinations
It’s like you just can’t go wrong mixing and matching them will all kinds of different flavors!
Berry-Licious Fruit Water Combos:
- Plain ol’ Strawberry
- Dark Cherry-Blackberry
If there’s a pitcher of fruit water in my fridge (which there is), you can bet it’s full of berries (which it is).
Final Thoughts on Fruit Infused Water
Fruit-infused water, although probably a little over-hyped in terms of actual health benefits, is a great way to help you stay on top of your hydration game.
If you want to learn more about hydration, like how much water you should be drinking in a day (spoiler alert, it’s not the old “8×8” myth you’ve probably heard) or even how much water is too much for your system, be sure to check out my article 6 Signs That You’re Dehydrated.
And if you want to learn what can happen for your body when you go above and beyond meeting the minimum standards for adequate hydration, check out my article I Tried Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day.
Related Articles on Hydration
- How to drink collagen every day for big benefits
- 6 signs that you’re dehydrated
- Celery Juice: Worth It or Overhyped?
- How to make almond milk from scratch
- How to make homemade oat milk
1. mindbodygreen, and Millie Lytle. “A New Way To Detox: Eat To Support 6 Organs Of Elimination.” Mindbodygreen, 25 Aug. 2020, www.mindbodygreen.com/0-27004/a-new-way-to-detox-eat-to-support-6-organs-of-elimination.html.
2. Van De Walle, Gavin. “Full Body Detox: 9 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body.” Healthline, Healthline, 10 Mar. 2019, www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-detox-your-body.
3. Klein, A. V., and H. Kiat. “Detox Diets for Toxin Elimination and Weight Management: A Critical Review of the Evidence.” Wiley Online Library, Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 18 Dec. 2014, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jhn.12286.
All writing and images copyright © 2020 Rachel Elise Weems Woods
Published 06-22-18. Updated 03-27-2021