Insider’s Viewpoint: 5 Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated All Summer Long
Looking for something that will boost your energy, curb your hunger and make you feel instantly refreshed all summer long? The solution is a simple one. Best of all, you most likely have an unlimited supply of it, running hot or cold, right in your own kitchen.
That’s right, it’s water! You probably know that water is an essential element of life, but did you know that our brains are composed of nearly 80% water! This is just one reason why staying hydrated is “smart” – and crucial to helping us feel our best.
This time of year, when we are likely be engaged in outdoor activities in hot and humid conditions, it’s even more important to stay hydrated. Here are some great ways to ensure you and your family enjoy all the H2O you need to feel great all summer long!
- Eat Your Water. It’s often recommended that we drink 8 glasses of water a day, but you can easily “eat your water” by enjoying fruits of the season that contain water. As a bonus, many fruits offer added benefits such as antioxidants, fiber and vital nutrients. Watermelon, cantaloupes, strawberries, peaches and many other fruits are high in water content, and whether you enjoy them fresh, frozen or canned, you’ll stay hydrated all summer long.
- Drink Your Veggies. Cucumbers, zucchinis, celery, green peppers, radishes, cauliflower and tomatoes are just a few of the plentiful veggies that have a high water content. If you’re a fan of smoothies, try blending your veggies into ice-cold smoothies to hit the spot on a sweltering hot day. For something fun at dinner time, try making blended soups out of chilled cucumbers, yogurt and ice cubes. And if you’re looking to cut calories while consuming more H2O, consider using iceberg lettuce (which is 95% water), as the base for wraps or tacos.
- Carry a Water Bottle with You. Whether you prefer to keep refilling your own bottle or enjoy the convenience of using recyclable plastic bottles, one of the simplest ways you can remember to refresh your body is by having a steady supply of water on hand. If you know in advance you won’t have a cooler or fridge handy during the day, freeze some water before you leave. For an extra treat, infuse your water (or sparkling water) with fresh fruits, veggies, or herbs.
- Don’t Wait to Feel Thirsty Before You Drink. By the time we start to feel dehydrated, our bodies may already be suffering from signs of dehydration such as fatigue, rapid heartbeat, headache and/or dizziness. Drinking (or consuming) a steady supply of liquids (with the exception of caffeinated beverages, which can be dehydrating and act as a diuretic) or consuming fruits and vegetables is the best and easiest way to make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.
- Snack Up Your Water. A staple of crudité and pre-party fare, baby carrots actually have a 90% water content – and as long as you opt for healthy dips – carrots are a water-rich option and a great snacking choice. For another low-fat treat that’s easy to make and refreshing, try cutting up your favorite summer fruits such as blueberries or strawberries into small, bite-sized chunks, and freezing them. For an extra indulgence, try dipping them in antioxidant-rich dark chocolate before you pop these delectable treats into the ice-box.
Natalie Menza-Crowe, RD, MS
Director of Health and Wellness, ShopRite