July 4

Water:  From Hydration to Libation

Culinary Nutrition, Healthy Habits


One of the simplest habits to improve and maintain health is to DRINK PLENTY OF WATER! The general recommendation for water intake can be calculated by taking your weight in pounds, divide that by two, and that will equal the number of ounces that you need per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you would divide that by two to get 80. So consuming 80 ounces of water is recommended. Of course, depending on your activity level, age, health condition, and other factors, your needs may vary.

However, nearly half of all Americans are not drinking enough water.  In fact, forty-three percent of adults drink less than four cups a day which includes 36% who drink one to three cups, and 7 percent who drink NO WATER on a daily basis.  These people may think they do not “need” to drink water, but often suffer the consequences of inadequate consumption such as headaches, digestive issues, and overall poor health.  Every process in the body requires water – not enough and you could experience dehydration, kidney stones, loss of cognitive function, constipation, and fatigue.

When asked why they don’t drink enough water, many admit they are “too busy” or “just forget”.  Then there are others that simply dislike the taste of water, which is confusing since water really doesn’t have a “taste”.  

The fact is staying hydrated is a simple, low-cost thing that we ALL can do to support our health and reap the associated benefits.  If you are just too busy or forget, using a tracking system or always having your refillable water bottle handy can help. 

For those that find water boring or dislike the taste, there are ways to make your water consumption a bit more exciting and flavorful! 

A simple formula to transform that plain water into a delicious libation:

Below are some suggestions for each part of the equation:

Soft fruits work best. A drink muddler is meant for this task [the kind they use to muddle fruit in glasses for mojitos] but you can also place fruit in a bowl and break it up with a fork or use a mortar and pestle to gently break apart fruit.

  • Berries
  • Ripe nectarines or peaches coarsely chopped
  • Pitted cherries
  • Watermelon
  • Melon

Here are a few of my favorite combinations – just chop coarsely and muddle with fruit before adding liquids.

  • Mint + Watermelon
  • Basil + Peach
  • Rosemary + Grapefruit
  • Sage + Blackberry
  • Lemon verbena + ANYTHING!
  • Cilantro + Lime + Honeydew

Go for color and flavor.

  • Herbal Tea – I love hibiscus for its gorgeous color and rich flavor. Steep four bags in a cup of boiling water to increase the density of flavor.
  • Green Tea – Everything from matcha to yerbé mate, it’s all good. Be sure to select caffeinated varieties as the health-promoting flavonoids are destroyed during the decaffeination process.
  • Lemon Tea – Add the rind from one lemon to 2 cups of boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes then let sit to infuse.
  • Ginger Tea – Peel and coarsely chop 2” piece of ginger and bring to a boil in two cups of water. Simmer for 5 minutes then let sit to infuse.

Squeeze in to finish and add some slices for visual impact.

  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit


  • Splash of sparkling water – Everyone loves a little fizz!
  • Cucumber – Nothing screams refreshing quite like a cucumber! Just peel and process in a blender to purée. About 1/2 cucumber per drink works.
  • Chia seed – Add chia seed to make a Chia Fresca! This seed holds more than 30x its weight in water and can help maintain hydration long after you have emptied your glass. Try adding 1 teaspoon to your glass and stir well. Let sit for 10 minutes before drinking.
  • Stevia or a touch of agave for added sweetness

Here are some delicious recipes to get you started.

  • Cilantro-Lime Melon Cooler: honeydew + cilantro + matcha green tea + lime juice + cucumber
  • Ultimate Aqua Fresca: strawberry + mint + hibiscus tea + lime + sparkling water
  • Fuzzy Peach-Basil Chia Fresca: peach + basil + peach green tea + lemon + chia seed
  • Blackberry-Sage Cooler: blackberries + sage leaf [just one will do] + berry green tea + sparkling water
  • Citrus Rosemary Refresher – nectarine + rosemary [just a few leaves with stem for garnish] + green tea + grapefruit + cucumber

What are your tips to drink more water?  I would LOVE to know!

Until next time,

Stay cool and hydrated!

Mrs. Dornberg

Mrs. Dornberg

About the author

Cheryl Dornberg, NBC-HWC, is a national board-certified health & wellness coach and culinary nutrition expert who is passionate about using the power of food to achieve optimal health and increase longevity. She specializes in motivating and empowering individuals to create sustainable & consistent dietary and lifestyle habits that support the management and prevention of chronic health conditions, increase longevity, and improve overall quality of life.


Culinary Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Healthy Habits, Open Content

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