After a billion studies, articles and lectures from family and friends, we get it: Soda is bad for us. That’s why fruit-infused water is such a welcome trend. Finally, there’s a flavorful alternative to water without chemical flavorings or sweeteners.

Whether you steep simple ingredients like lemon and lime, or break out the cocktail shaker for unique blends (vanilla plum water, anyone?), what you get is a light-tasting, refreshing way to get more H20 in your body. And while it turns out that there’s no scientific basis for the “drink eight glasses per day” theory, staying well hydrated is a good idea. Perhaps the best reason: It helps the heart pump blood, according to the American Heart Association.

When it comes to fruit-infused water, you almost can’t go wrong – almost. You’ll tip the balance from calorie-light to calorie-dense, however, if you mess with the fruit-to-water ratio. Remember, you’re infusing water with a hint of pure fruit juice, not vice versa. This pineapple mint water recipe is perfect example of fruit-infused water done right.

Don’t have a cocktail shaker – or spare time – before you head out the door in the morning? You may want a portable, BPA-free plastic infuser bottle or carafe.

Whether you’re new to fruit-infused water or have been at it for years, keep these keys to smart prep and storage in mind:

  • If your infused water is refrigerated, drink it within a couple days. Unlike what you buy at the store, your blend isn’t pasteurized and will grow bacteria after a while.
  • If your infused water is not refrigerated, drink it the day you make it. (Of course, if you’re making something as delicious as this berry lime water, it’ll probably be gone in minutes.)
  • Using citrus fruits, like in this herb-infused spa water? The rind can make your brew bitter. Either infuse your water for just a few hours, or cut the rinds off to avoid bitterness.