Water. An essential for life. Yet, since the first bottled water to the release of Gatorade in 1965, businesses, marketers, and scientists have been trying to find a way to make water better than itself.

Since changes in global recycling in 2018, the U.S. market has seen a downtrend in single use plastics. This means bottled water is not as popular as it once was. Recent studies and recalls have also revealed several brands with unacceptable levels of arsenic. Using a stainless steel bottle, like Greens Steel, Hydro Flask, or Kleen Kanteen, helps reduce plastic waste and gives you better control over what’s in your water.

Tap water is tested for safety and health, but it’s a great idea to fit your kitchen faucet with an inline filter as well as invest in a couple water bottle filter inserts. Look for filters that use activated charcoal, filter out more than just taste, and add minerals back into your water.

Electrolyte additives have also experienced a boost in popularity, with more targeted nutrients and reduced sugars in easy-to-use packets perfect for on the road, trail, or water. Liquid electrolytes, like Trace Minerals and Lyte Balance (based in the Spokane area), provide dense hydration without sugar and fillers. Add healthy flavors with muddled fruit, an ounce of drinking vinegar, or a packet of Rishi Matcha powder.

While research is divided, plant-sourced and infused waters can also be an acceptable source of hydrating nutrients. Coconut water is the most common, with maple water (pre-boil maple sap) making a comeback in 2019. Aloe water, the strained juice of the plant, could also protect your skin in the sweltering summer sun. And new to the U.S., wine essence water, infused with upcycled wine grape skins and seeds, is full of antioxidants. Whatever you choose, keep tabs on the sugar content, and mix it up. Because, who wants to just drink boring water?