Do detox waters live up to the hype?

Ok, let’s face it: the word detox is overused. What started off as a way to safely manage the withdrawal symptoms addicts faced, has now been mainstreamed. Water fasting, juice cleanses, oil pulling, colonic irrigation, saunas, elimination diets... they all claim to detox you.

The latest entrant to this list of detoxifying agents is infused or detox water. For the uninitiated, this refers to regular water into which natural ingredients are thrown in; think good old H2O spiked with pomegranate seeds, fruit or vegetable slices, smatterings of herbs or strawberry chunks.

Do detox waters live up to the hype?

From promises of rapid weight loss and a glowing complexion to claims of added nutritional benefits and pH regulation, the benefits seem endless. And the online shopping market seems to have capitalised on it, offering double-layered bottles with infusers, for the folks who like to drink water with citrusy or berry notes.

Just a fad? Or perhaps not? This is what the nutritionists have to say.

Shalini Manglani Alwani


“Infused water looks lovely and is refreshing,” says Alwani, admitting that she both carries it around and serves it, especially in summer. And that means you are more likely to reach out for a sip of it, especially if you are the sort who finds it difficult to drink plain water. “This is a much better option than a sweetened beverage,” she says.

fruit and more
  • To increase energy: 5 star anise
  • To cleanse the system: 1 lemon cut into 4 bits
  • For halitosis: 1 tsp chopped lemon grass + 10 mint leaves
  • For hyperacidity: 1 thinly sliced apple + 1 tsp ginger juice
  • For gas/indigestion: 1 tsp roasted ajwain + 2 peppercorns

The vitamin content usually depends on how much fruit or veggies you put in, she says, offering some suggestions. “For vitamin C, add one chopped amla and eat it in the end. For fibre, I like to add fennel seeds to warm water and eat the seeds,” she says, adding that mint leaves, sliced cucumbers, oranges and pomegranate are also great options. “Just remember not to store it for more than 24 hours and don’t use pulpy fruits.”

Anju Sood


Anju Sood’s all-time favourite infusion? Basil and cucumber. “I simply love it,” says Sood, who believes that infused water is an easy and tasteful way of hydrating the body, especially important in the hot summer months, when you lose a lot of water anyway.

All you need to do is chuck in some natural flavourings into water, which range from fresh citrus and cucumber to berries and herbs: osmosis takes care of the rest and you are left with water that both looks and tastes great, she says.

Do detox waters live up to the hype?

Nutritionally speaking, the process doesn’t really make much of a difference; it is more about getting people to up their water intake. Also, “ensure that you infuse only cold or room-temperature water. If you put things into hot water, there is a chance that it will spoil.”

Charmaine D’Souza


For D’Souza too, it comes down to hydration. “Water is one of the most important things that a human body needs to survive. Even if there is a 2% drop in the body’s water supply, it will cause basic dehydration symptoms,” she says, quoting from her book, Kitchen Clinic.

A strong advocate of water therapy, D’Souza offers a long list of ailments that can be managed with these infusions. Star anise helps increase energy, a lemon cut into four bits cleanses the system, while apple and ginger can cure hyperacidity, for instance. Making this water is easy; all you need to do is add the suggested ingredients to one litre of water for an hour before drinking. “Just remember to use a clean glass bottle, and if you are going to be travelling with it, please put the bottle in a jute or cloth bag,” she suggests.

Our conclusion

Infused water is a great way to see that you stay hydrated and it adds some flavour into your water and life. But it is the water that is the hero of the infusion, not really the things you add into it. “If you find it annoying to chop fruits and vegetables, plain water will work just as well,” says Alwani.

Author Milan Vohra, who admits to regularly opting for a cocktail of cucumber, lemon and mint, admits as much. “I try to eat healthy and drink plenty of water every day,” she says. And, infused water is great on the taste buds without reflecting on your hips, she adds. Besides, it takes very little effort. “It just makes the ordinary more exciting,” she laughs.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 1:31:27 AM |

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