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Why flavoured water is one of the coolest ways to beat Mumbai's heat

It is summer and everyone from your local doctor to the neighbourhood aunty cannot stop preaching the perks of sipping on water all day. But whatever your take on liquid might be, there is no denying that drinking plain water can be terribly boring. And if you happen to seek respite in a can of cola, the matter gets worse. What with the high sugar and carbon content.

In comes flavoured water -- infused with the goodness of fruits and herbs, this water has no sugar or aeration. It is moderately zesty, easy to make at home and can be easily swapped with a glass of plain water. According to Chef Mitesh Rangras, who serves his guests pressed orange, citrus segment and mint zested waters at his Bandra-based Japanese eatery Aoi, “Flavoured water is water seasoned with various elements in order to remove the monotony and tastelessness of natural water.”

Often misunderstood as a fancier name for ‘sherbet’ which is a type of artificially flavoured emulsion, naturally flavoured water is drastically different. “That is mainly because the only flavours it contains are that of the herb or fruit infusions. Apart from that, there are no traces of added sugars or sourness,” says Spa and Room Division Manager Sameer Singh from Trident, Bandra Kurla. The guests visiting his hotel’s spa are served with chilled glasses of blackberry, sage, ginger, raspberry and strawberry waters to help them combat dehydration post rigorous therapies.

Since flavoured water is completely natural, sipping on it all day does not disturb the system in any way. “In fact, it is healthier. Because apart from hydration, flavoured water also provides several fruit or herb-based vitamins and anti-oxidants to the body,” says Manuj Ralhan, assistant food and beverage director from Shangri-La Hotel, Mumbai. Here, water spiked with green apple, pear, sweet lime, pineapple, rose and lemongrass is a common feature around the poolside area and works to help guests beat the summer heat.

Similarly, goblets of mint and lime water are served at Khar-based pub Loca Loca to help calm parched throats during lunch hours.

“Apart from beating the heat, sipping on flavoured water also has digestive, mouth freshening and immunity building benefits,” says clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan from Bio-logics Nutrition, Kemps Corner. To attain these, one can reach out for potions of holy basil (tulsi), orange slices and cucumber-flavoured water available at Silver Beach Café (Juhu), The Pantry (Kala Ghoda) and Smoke House Deli (Lower Parel), respectively. “The only condition is that it should be consumed as freshly brewed as possible. Since fruits begin to lose nutrients once they are chopped, ensure that you gulp down your jug as early as possible.” says Krishnan.

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