Can You Drink Avocado-Infused Water?

Infused water can be a key component of meeting your hydration goals, and depending on what you use in it, you may be able to boost your intake of various vitamins or antioxidants. From citrus fruits and berries to cucumbers and herbs, there's a seemingly endless number of ingredients and combinations you can mix with water to add flavor. However, the fruit you should never try to infuse into water is avocado.

It would make sense to want to add the mellow, green fruit to water — it's chock-full of fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients, and its healthy fat can help ward off hunger. It's good for both your brain and digestive system, too. But you would want to add it without the skin, because it can harbor bacteria like listeria and salmonella, which can cause food poisoning. Consuming foods contaminated with salmonella can cause vomiting, diarrhea, chills, and fever (via Mayo Clinic). Meanwhile, according to the CDC, listeria can cause similar symptoms as well as meningitis.

Why avocado is particularly dangerous to infuse in water

Bacteria on other fruits and vegetables can cause food poisoning, too. That's why it's important to thoroughly rinse them before placing them into water. For most fruits, washing the rind will remove the risk of consuming the bacteria in your infused water. However, avocados are a little different.

In 2022, after a Facebook post (and several posts on TikTok) became famous for demonstrating how to store avocados in water in the refrigerator to prevent them from over-ripening, Today gave the hack a shot. However, after reaching out to the FDA for safety guidance, an FDA spokesperson told Today, "Research performed by FDA scientists has shown that Listeria monocytogenes has the potential to infiltrate and internalize into the pulp of avocados when submerged in refrigerated dump tanks within 15 days during refrigerated storage. In this case, even surface disinfecting the avocado skin prior to slicing would not be able to remove the contamination."

Granted, if you're trying to infuse your water with avocado, it's unlikely that you'd drop the whole uncut fruit into a pitcher. However, if you consider fruits and vegetables that work best to infuse water, they're often those that retain their shape when their skin is left on — like lemons, limes, cucumbers, and kiwi. For avocados, that's not a safe option.

Other ways to use avocado

While you shouldn't infuse water with it, there are plenty of other ways to get your daily dose of avocado besides the obvious guacamole or ubiquitous avocado toast. In terms of drinks, you can blend it with lime juice, honeydew, fresh mint, and matcha powder for an avocado agua fresca or brew the pit to make tea. You can also cold brew the pit with apple cider vinegar and herbs or other flavorings to extract some of the seed's nutrients while making a drink similar to kombucha — though you should make sure to weigh the pros and cons of consuming avocado seeds first. Research on the health benefits of avocado pits is very limited. Or, toss your diced avocado into the blender with some lime, tequila, and triple sec (and your own flavorful additions) for a creamy take on a traditional margarita.

Finally, you can make an avocado-based treat that will still help you reach your hydration goals but is far safer than infusing the fruit into water. Just grab your blender and whip together avocado, water, sugar, salt, and lime, then freeze the mixture to make avocado popsicles.