Well folks, we’ve waited all winter and it’s finally here. Summer, that is! June 21st marks our first day of summer, and with the long sunny days and warm nights approaching, now is a good time to review the basics of staying hydrated!
The most obvious way to stay hydrated is to drink water. This likely isn’t a surprise to most of you knowing that more than 60% of our bodies are made up of water. And luckily for us, water is usually pretty easy and cheap to get! Often times people will comment that they’re tired of drinking plain water. Well, my answer to that is, then don’t! There are so many ways to enhance water leaving very few reasons to settle for plain water, especially if you don’t enjoy it. Try any or all of the strategies below to give your water a boost!
Add herbs (basil, mint, and sage)
Add fruits and vegetables (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and cucumber)
Combine both fruit and herbs for a dynamite flavor!
Strawberries + Lemon
Watermelon + Basil
Cucumber + Mint
Citrus (orange, lemon or lime rind) + Blueberries
Sprinkle in some crystal light (there are so many flavors available!)
Crack open a bottle of flavored or unflavored sparkling water
Being summer time, it is also important to recognize times when your body may need more than what water provides. For example, during long bouts of sweaty exercise—say, in general, 60 minutes of running, cycling, high intensity intervals or circuits—your body looses essential salts, or electrolytes. (Have you ever tasted your sweat? …salty, right?) Sodium is one electrolyte lost through sweat. Other electrolytes lost include potassium and chloride.
After long, rigorous workouts, or simply workouts done on a very hot and humid day, it is a good idea to rehydrate with something that will replenish electrolyte losses. Below is a list of drink options that can help you do so. However keep in mind that all sports drinks are not created equal: some will offer more calories than others, and each provides varying amounts of electrolytes. Test out a few of these options to see what works best for you. We don’t all sweat the same anyways!
- Gatorade G2 Series
- Powerade Zero
- Propel Water
- Coconut Water
Note: Some people may benefit from re-hydrating with regular Powerade and Gatorade products; however this is best determined on an individual basis. Now that you have a bunch of hydrating drinks to try out, let’s finish up with discussing a few realistic strategies to encourage drinking throughout the day. Again, try some of the strategies provided to see if they may work for you!
Carry a refillable water bottle with you throughout the day. If that seems unrealistic, make it even easier by leaving a bottle on your work desk, and in your car (or bring one on the train).
Purchase a water bottle with an infuser built in. This makes it so easy to add (or switch out) fruits, herbs, or vegetables to your drink.
Buy drinks in bulk. If you’re someone who appreciates ultra-convenience, then this may be a good solution for you. Throw two to three bottles in your bag on the way to work, and be sure to recycle the containers once you’re done!
Set timers or reminders to drink. These can be on your phone or on post-its at your desk. I know it sounds funny, but it really works for some people. We are all so busy these days, so this can serve as a constant reminder to take a sip (…and also as an easy check-off on the To-Do list!).
Remember, if you feel thirsty you are already on your way to dehydration. Stay ahead of those cravings by sipping throughout the day, ensuring a hydrated, healthy and happy you all summer long!