Detox Water

These DIY infused waters are refreshing and taste great

detox water
Detox water with cucumber, lime, and lemon.. Diane Macdonald/Moment Open/Getty Images

Despite the trendy name, detox water (also called spa water or infused water) is simply water with a combination of sliced fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices added to it. Whether the ingredients provide any health benefit is unknown, but what detox water can do is help people drink more fluids by infusing a hint of flavor into plain water. These no- or low-calorie drinks are a great alternative to diet sodas, caffeinated beverages, and powdered drink mixes.

Related: 6 Caffeine-Free Drink and Beverage Ideas

In the body, water helps to flush out waste products, prevents constipation, helps with mineral and nutrient absorption, lubricates joints, moistens tissues, and has many other vital roles. Even mild dehydration can lead to tiredness (by the time you feel thirsty, you may already be slightly dehydrated).

Studies have also found that drinking a glass or two of water 30 minutes before meals may help with weight loss by making people feel full. (Although detox water is sometimes promoted as a method of losing belly fat, there is no evidence that ingredients in the water can help target abdominal fat).

Click through to find out how to make it with tips, recipes, and more!

Cucumber, Lemon, and Basil Water

Lemon detox water
Cathy Wong

Although no precise measurements are usually necessary when making infused water, a good balance of flavors can be achieved with the following ingredients:

  • 10 cucumber slices
  • 1 lemon slice, cut in half
  • 3 basil leaves

Add the ingredients to a glass or mason jar (approximately 16 ounces/500mL), fill it with filtered water, and allow it to sit covered in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours.

Related: 20 Yummy Detox Foods

The key is to get a hint of lemon because it can easily overpower the taste of the other ingredients. If the lemon that you are using has a thick pith (the bitter white part underneath the colorful outer skin), you can remove before adding it to the water.

Pear, Ginger, and Lime Water

Pear ginger lime water
Cathy Wong

To make pear, ginger, and lime water, add the following ingredients to a glass:

  • 2 slices of pear, cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 slice of lime, cut in half
  • 1/4 inch thin slice of ginger

If you would like to bring out the gingery taste, try scoring the ginger piece to release the juice.

Add the ingredients to a glass and fill it with water. Let it sit for 12-24 hours before drinking it.

Related: The Health Benefits of Ginger

Use a firm pear, as a ripe pear will get mushy when soaked in water. 

Orange and Mint Water

Orange mint water
Cathy Wong

To make orange mint water, place the following ingredients to a glass or cup:

  • 2 slices of peeled orange
  • 2 mint leaves

The pith (the white part under the orange peel) tastes bitter, so be sure to remove it. Fill it with water and put it in the fridge, covered, for 12-24 hours. 

Grapefruit and Thyme Water

Grapefruit Thyme Water
Cathy Wong

To make grapefruit and thyme water, add the following to a 8 to 16 ounce glass.

  •  2 grapefruit slices
  • 1 small pinch of fresh thyme (keep it on the stem)

Be sure to peel the grapefruit (removing the white pith). Cut the grapefruit slice into pieces or segments.

Related: The Benefits of Thyme

Add a small piece of thyme. Fill the glass with water.

Apple, Fennel, and Lemon Water

Apple lemon fennel water
Cathy Wong

With the subtle flavor of sweet anise, fennel and apple go well together in this infused water. To make it, add the following to a 8 to 16 ounce glass.

  • apple slices
  • fennel slices

​Fill the rest of the glass with filtered water, and allow it to sit in the fridge, covered, for 12 to 24 hours. Squeeze the juice from a small lemon wedge into the glass.

Orange, Fennel, and Rosemary Water

Orange fennel water
Cathy Wong

To make orange, fennel, and rosemary water, add the following ingredients to an 8 to 16 ounce glass: 

  • 1 slice of orange
  • 1 slice of fennel
  • small piece of rosemary (about 9 leaves, attached to the stem)

Fill the rest of the glass with filtered water and allow it to sit, covered, for 12 to 24 hours. 

Cucumber, Lemon, and Dill Water

Cucumber lemon water
Cathy Wong

To make this cucumber lemon water with a hint of dill, add the following ingredients to a 8-16 ounce glass:

  • 6 slices of cucumber
  • 1 lemon slice, cut in half. 
  • very small piece of dill weed.

Fill the rest of the glass with filtered water. Place it in the fridge, covered, for 12 to 24 hours. 

Notes: Removing the pith of the lemon (the white part below the outer bright yellow skin) before infusing the lemon will prevent the water from becoming bitter.

Strawberry, Raspberry, and Mint Water

Strawberry mint water
Cathy Wong

Make this delicious flavored water by placing these ingredients in a 8 to 16 ounce glass:

  • 3 strawberries, cut in half
  • 5 raspberries
  • 3 small or 2 regular sized mint leaves

Add filtered water to fill the rest of the glass. Cover it and allow it to sit in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.

Blackberry and Mint Water

Blackberry mint water
Cathy Wong

Although the blackberries look dramatic in a glass, the taste is subtle. To make blackberry and mint water, add the following to an 8 to 16 ounce glass:

  • 8 to 10 blackberries
  • 3 mint leaves

Fill the rest of the glass with filtered water and place it in the fridge, covered, for 12 to 24 hours.

Lemon Water

lemon water
MAIKA 777/Moment Open/Getty Images

Make lemon water by adding a 1/4 of lemon, sliced, to an 8 to 16 ounce glass and then filling the rest with filtered water. You can allow it to sit for 12-24 hours or just squeeze the lemon juice right into the glass. If you choose to infuse it, remove the pith (the whitish part underneath the colored outer portion) before placing the lemon in the glass to prevent it from becoming bitter. Add a small slice of peeled ginger for a spicy kick.

Related: The Benefits of Lemon Water

Tips on Making Detox Water

Cucumber, lemon and thyme infused water
Cucumber, lemon and thyme infused water.. MAIKA 777/Moment Open/Getty Images

A few tips to keep in mind:

  • Citrus fruit (lemon, orange, grapefruit) has a bitter white part, called the pith, underneath the outer colorful portion. It can make the water taste bitter, so it's a good idea to remove it before adding any citrus fruit.
  • Precise measurements of fruit and vegetable slices aren't really necessary. If you prefer cucumber over lemon, for example, you can alter the ratio to suit you taste. 
  • You can strain the fruit and vegetables out of the water, if you'd like, and eat them separately. 
  • Make no more than a day's worth at a time as the fruit tends to get soggy.

Avoid drinking fluids too quickly.

Also, avoid excessive or regular consumption of lemon or other acidic drinks as they can soften tooth enamel (read more about the possible benefits and side effects of lemon water).

Certain ingredients should not be consumed in excess by people with certain health conditions. For example, citrus fruit, ginger, and mint may trigger heartburn and excessive ginger intake may increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders and those taking medication that increase the risk of bleeding.

For some people, drinking too much water can be a problem. Be sure to check with your health care provider before making changes to your diet, particularly if you have a health condition (such as diabetes insipidus) or are taking diuretics or other medications.


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Madjd A, Taylor MA, Delavari A, Malekzadeh R, Macdonald IA, Farshchi HR. Effects on weight loss in adults of replacing diet beverages with water during a hypoenergetic diet: a randomized, 24-wk clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec;102(6):1305-12. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.109397. Epub 2015 Nov 4.

Parretti HM, Aveyard P, Blannin A, Clifford SJ, Coleman SJ, Roalfe A, Daley AJ. Efficacy of water preloading before main meals as a strategy for weight loss in primary care patients with obesity: RCT. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Sep;23(9):1785-91. doi: 10.1002/oby.21167. Epub 2015 Aug 3.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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