Here are some tips for how to stay hydrated during the warm weather months.
You’ve heard this numerous times: our body is made roughly of 60%-70% of water. The blood is mostly water, the muscles, brain and lungs contain huge amounts of water.
The body craves for water in order to regulate its temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all organs. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects joints and organs.
The body loses water through respiration, by sweating and urination. Needless to say it, if you are very active, you lose more water than if you are sedentary.
Then there are those substances called diuretics such as caffeine and alcohol (we love those, don’t we?) that tend to pull water from the body and promote dehydration.
In other words, chances of being dehydrated are pretty high, especially with warmer temperatures on the way.
Drink mostly water
It goes without saying that for correct hydration you should drink water, water, and more water.
Make “water” your summer keyword or password or both...
If drinking plain water just doesn’t do it for you, try squeezing in some fresh lemon juice (which will also help you detoxify) or add a soluble beverage powder. Personally, I love those sugar-free powders that have a full complement of electrolytes, such as Ultima Replenisher, Clif Shot, Nuun or Emergen-C.
I’m not a big fan of sport drinks as they usually contain unneeded amounts of sugar.
Sodas should be avoided for hydration except as a last resort. If you’re in the desert and about to die from thirst and the only thing you have is a can of soda, go for it. In all other instances you should pass. Why? Because sodas contain way too much sugar (or unhealthy sugar substitutes) and often food additives such as artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives that are no-good.
Fruit juice and fruit drinks may have too many carbs and may upset the stomach, but it really depends on many factors such as brand, fruits, etc. If you really feel like have fruit juices, you may try diluting them with 50% fruit juice and 50% water first.
When I want something "fizzy" I love having a glass of pomegranate juice mixed with seltzer. Unsweetened Iced Green or White tea (even Bigelow Sweet Dreams Tea makes a nice iced drink, due to the mint) is refreshing, especially with a bit of lemon juice.
I also love coconut water (Vita Coco is my fave brand). It’s an all natural isotonic that replenishes the body. It’s very rich in potassium (good for preventing cramps) and has the same level of electrolytic balance of the human blood. According to some literature, during the Pacific War of 1941-45, both sides in the conflict regularly used coconut water (siphoned directly from the nut) to give emergency plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers.
Other things you can do to stay hydrated
Eating your water is a great thing you can do to help you stay hydrated. Chowing down on water-filled foods such as watermelon or cantaloupe, is a refreshing and easy way to keep hydrated.
Think about drinking fluids not only when you’re outdoors or engaging in a physical activity; even when working indoors it’s important to keep the fluids handy.
Drink plenty of water before meals; by doing so not only will you stay hydrated but it will cut your hunger and you’re less likely to overeat.
When you’re traveling this summer don’t forget to drink up the H2O. I always have a Klean Kanteen bottle with cold water with me wherever I travel (even to go grocery shopping). It keeps the water cold for quite awhile which is a nice way to fend off the sluggishness brought on by the warmer weather. Furthermore, having a water bottle with you at all times is the easiest way to stay hydrated without even thinking about it.
To wrap things up: don’t forget to hydrate. Drinking (at least) the recommended amount of water everyday provides incredible benefits, even if that means more trips to the restroom!