It’s that time of the year….the sun is shining a little brighter and those temperatures are starting to warm up! So many of my clients become more acutely aware of the need to drink…especially as they start to sweat the minute they get out of the shower. However, there is a difference between understanding the need to stay hydrated and following through with drinking adequate fluids. As the summer approaches, here are a few tips to sip well in these warmer seasons.
One common mistake I see is that people will avoid drinking enough during the day only to chug large amounts of fluid in the evening to make up for lost time. When you take in a large amount of fluid at one time, that simply turns on your body’s mechanism to urinate. You want to sip throughout the day to stay well-hydrated and avoid larger urinary losses. Keep a water bottle with you and keep it in plain sight as a visual reminder to drink.
Don’t be afraid to use a variety of beverages, as well! Your body uses all beverages (except alcohol) to contribute to your total body water. If you are someone that easily gets bored with water, never fear, there are so many alternate things to drink: sparkling water, water infused with fruit, 100% fruit juice, milk, smoothies, etc. Even caffeinated beverages only have a mild diuretic effect, especially for those that regularly consume caffeine. This means that your iced coffee can contribute to your hydration status!
Foods also contribute roughly 20% of your water intake. Even the driest of food items have some water content that your body can use while others foods are primarily composed of water. Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, cucumber, and lettuce are examples of produce that have at least 90% water content and there are many more! Picture those juices that leach out from produce as you’re cutting, chopping, and prepping. That’s all fluid your body benefits from. You can maximize this by getting in plenty of fruits and vegetables and choosing other foods high in water content such as yogurt, applesauce, and soups.
And what about sports drinks? When do they become necessary? As a general recommendation, sports drinks can be beneficial when you are engaging in exercise lasting longer than 60 minutes, especially if it considered a moderate to high intensity workout. Another thing to keep in mind is the temperature outside and how much salt you lose in your sweat. For example, a football player participating in summer practices in the afternoon would likely benefit from sipping on a sports drink because of the heavy sweat and electrolyte losses that occur during those practices. Signs that you might be a “salty sweater” include (1) white marks on your hat, clothing or skin, (2) feeling the grit of the salt on your skin or (3) feeling the sting of salt in your eyes. If this is you, you may also benefit from choosing a sports beverage during your workouts.
To make your summer sips interesting, here are a few more ideas to get you started:
- Combine 1 part juice (any kind you like!) with 3 parts seltzer water.
- Place frozen fruit into a glass and add water or seltzer water for a touch of flavor and sweetness.
- Chocolate milk or strawberry milk. These can be great recovery beverages after working, exercising or playing outside.
- Create your own Arnold Palmer with ½ lemonade and ½ iced tea.
- Lower sugar juice boxes (like Honest® Kids juice boxes). No recipe needed but very refreshing and convenient on-the-go option!
Whatever you choose for your summer sips, don’t let boredom create a barrier for you in meeting your hydration needs. There are many recipes and ideas online to make it interesting! Just keep sipping away at it.
Wishing you a refreshing upcoming summer season,