At long last, SUMMER!! With the heat and humidity, we need to focus on staying hydrated. Water is always a good choice for hydration. MSN has an interesting article on 5 Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated This Summer. Stay away from the sugar sweetened beverages loaded with sugar and calories. Yes, enjoying some lemonade is fun but it is not a juice and it is loaded with added sugar. What are some ways to stay hydrated? How do you know you need hydration? Thirst is the first sign of becoming dehydrated. Your body is telling you to drink more fluids. Eight cups is a good goal but you may need even more when exercising outside or being outside in the heat.
- Unsweetened Coffee – most people think coffee dehydrates you, but coffee is a fluid and can count towards your daily fluid intake. And coffee can help you feel more alert and keep you energized.
- Unsweetened Ice Tea – ice tea is a favorite in the South. Skip the added sugar. Or if you must have some sugar, go for some sweetened tea mixed with unsweetened tea. Then you are at least cutting back on the added sugar. My daughter loves sweetened tea. But to cut back she now fills her cup with half sweetened and half unsweetened.
- Sparkling water – replace the sugared sodas with sparkling water. Many supermarkets now offer seltzer water or fruit-flavored seltzer. Skip those with added sweeteners like aspartame. Some brands suggested in the MSN article are: Polar Spring Black Cherry Seltzer, Polar Ice Grapefruit Seltzer, and Hal's Vanilla Seltzer and try Canada Dry Lemon Lime, Sparkling Seltzer Water.
- Fruits and Vegetables – many fruits and vegetables have a high water content. Think watermelon with the juice dripping down your chin when you eat it. Other melons like cantaloupe have a high water content as do strawberries and peppers. An idea for yourself or kids is to mix 100% juice with sparkling water or seltzer water for a refreshing summer drink.
- Remind Yourself to Drink Water and other Fluids and take some water with you. I always have some water in the car, but in a stainless steel bottle to avoid the hazards of plastic bottles heating up in the sun. Many fitness apps help you keep track of your fluid intake.
Stay hydrated and enjoy the outdoors this summer.