A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Drink up: Summer calls for light, flavored water to quench your thirst

Strawberry,-Basil,-Infused-WaterIt’s summer.

You’re thirsty.

What’s there to drink?

You’ve got oh so many choices to answer this question, but a Marshfield Clinic Health System dietitian has some advice that can help you make healthier choices.

“Lemonade, iced tea … nothing is better on a hot summer day than the perfect cold drink and if you’re concerned about healthy choices, it’s important to think before you drink,” said Dietitian Chrisanne Urban. “You have to be careful with your beverage choices because of calories and carbs. Your body needs carbs to function but it’s important to know when you’re having too much of a good thing. That’s the warning … the more calories the more fat or carbs.”

What’s trending?

The big thing for summer is infused water, Urban said. “Fruits and veggies are not just for eating anymore but can be great to flavor water. Those flavors could complement what you’re serving or just be really refreshing. You can buy different kinds of infusers or make your own infused water at home, which is really economical.”

When placed in a clear dispenser, the fruits and veggies add flavor but also a beautiful spark of color to a party or event.

Urban’s suggestion:

Put tap water into a container and place it in the refrigerator with anything you’d want to flavor it with. Your options are many. Standards are lemon, lime and orange slices, strawberries and raspberries. Not to be forgotten is the clean flavor of cucumber or the sweetness of carrot. Then there are spices like basil and mint leaves.

“Get creative and try your own things,” she suggests. “If you like it a little sweeter add a calorie-free sweetener.”

Urban has considered different types of summer drink recipes and found some calling for honey. “They can be as high calorie as fruit juice or soda. Be careful with some recipes,” she advises. “Look at added ingredients and check out their nutritional information.”

Wine spritzers are popular, but Urban advises to keep in mind the calories and carbs. If you use ingredients like seltzer water or a clear diet soda to spritz, you’ll avoid higher calories in your drinks.

If you like the taste of coffee, iced coffee is another popular option. And, if you’re on a budget, brew coffee at home and throw it on ice. Brew your own tea, too, to cut calories and cost. Urban herself enjoys iced green, apricot and strawberry teas and drinks them calorie free.

Brew tea and coffee ahead of time. Have them in pitchers chilling in the refrigerator, making them economical and immediately accessible.

Prep early

“Having it ready to go is key,” she said.

Oh, and one more tip. Don’t forget to use plenty of ice.


Strawberry, Basil & Lime Infused Water

Prep time: 15 minutes; ready in 4 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 5 2-cup servings


  • 8 cups filtered water
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 pound organic strawberries
  • 2 small limes, peel removed, sliced
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn


Stir water, strawberries, limes and basil together in a large pitcher. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to blend flavors. Strain out solids, if desired.

To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 4 days. (If you don’t finish your infused water by the end of the first day, strain out the solids and discard them.)

Nutrition information

Each serving contains 0 calories; 0 fat (0 sat); 0 fiber; 0 carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0 folate; 0 cholesterol; 0 sugars; 0 g added sugars; 0 vitamin A; 0 vitamin C; 11 mg calcium; 0 iron; 15 mg sodium; 0 potassium

Source: EatingWell

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