We have had some wonderfully warm weather this summer so far, with record temperatures being recorded up and down the country. As great as the summer weather is, it can leave many of us feeling dehydrated and, sometimes as a result, unwell. There are so many easy ways to stay hydrated at work, when you’re exercising or if you’re just at home. So in today’s blog, I’d like to give you all a few suggestions for how to stay hydrated easily when the sun is out!
It’s important to remember that being hydrated isn’t just about drinking plenty of water. In fact, 20% of our body’s hydration comes from food! With that in mind, here are some of the most hydrating foods on offer:
Watermelon: The clue is in the name! Not only is watermelon 92% water, it also contains mineral salts which are essential for hydration. Furthermore, a study at the University of Aberdeen revealed that watermelons’ low fiber content means it may hydrate the body twice as much as the alternative amount of water. For ultimate refreshment, slice your watermelon into triangles, insert a popsicle stick and freeze; this will leave you with an incredibly refreshing summer snack.
Cucumber: This fruit is made up of a staggering 96% H2O, even more than watermelon! Cucumbers also have the same low fiber content which can help our bodies hydrate more efficiently. If you’re having a salad on a warm day, then I would definitely recommend adding a few slices of cucumber, or of course, just eat a few cucumber sticks as a snack.
Soups and Broths: This one may seem relatively obvious, but is still worth mentioning. Soups and broths have a very high water content and make for a great lunch on a warm day. They are even more hydrating if made with plenty of vegetables and only a small amount of salt. When you blend vegetables to make a soup, you break down the fibers which can limit the level of hydration your body receives. Check out this Bone Broth for a refreshing lunch idea!
Hydrating drinks may seem like a slightly redundant topic as surely all drinks are hydrating? Well, that’s not necessarily the case, all drinks will give us some hydration, but certain ones are far more hydrating than others, whilst also containing some other key benefits:
Water: You can’t go wrong with water and it really is essential, especially in the warmer months, that you drink the recommended 8 glasses a day! I would also recommend adding a variety of sliced fruits such as lemons, limes, cucumber or berries to your water. This will make it extra refreshing and tastier.
Green & Herbal Teas: When you drink a green or herbal tea you will receive 100% of the hydration on offer from the water used. Furthermore, green and herbal teas are packed full of antioxidants, bioactive compounds and antibacterial agents. This means you can enjoy the hydration amongst other benefits!
Coconut Water: Coconut water is a great naturally-occurring drink with a water content of 95%. In addition to this, coconut water is full of electrolytes including potassium and sodium, which are essential for hydration.
Foods and Drinks which are Dehydrating
Protein-Heavy Meals: Eating large amounts of protein in one meal can lead to abnormal kidney function; coupled with warm weather, it’s a recipe for dehydration!
Fizzy Drinks: Drinks high in sugar have a hypernatrenic effect on the body, meaning the water stores in your body tissue can be depleted. Fizzy drinks are also a diuretic, meaning they make people urinate more; which has a further dehydrating effect.
Alcoholic drinks: Like fizzy drinks, most types of alcohol are high in sugar, so the same negative effect is felt. Furthermore, alcohol is also a diuretic, which is why people often feel so dehydrated the morning after a few drinks! If you are enjoying a glass of wine or a beer in the sun then it is essential that you are also drinking water!
It is imperative in the warmer months that we stay on top of our hydration levels and if you follow some of the advice in this blog, it really isn’t too difficult! If you would like to chat further about which foods and drinks are the healthiest to consume throughout the different months and seasons of the year (as well as nutritional therapy in general), then book yourself in for a free 30 minute discovery call today!