Proper hydration and nutrition are key to making it through the summer heat. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to start drinking, thirst is actually a sign of already being dehydrated. How much fluid is enough? To determine your body’s specific needs, take your weight in pounds and divide by two. The resulting number is the amount of fluid ounces you should have each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds:
150 pounds / 2 = 75 ounces
This works for a normal day but when the temperatures are really high or exercise is added then make sure to get about 20% more. Water is the best choice but fruits and veggies are also very water rich and can help you stay hydrated and provide vitamins and minerals. Check out this chart to find out which have the most water.
Electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride) are also lost in sweat so you need to replace those if you are spending a lot of time outdoors. Fruits and veggies are a great choice for potassium, magnesium, and even a little calcium. Try freezing yogurt tubes or drinking an ice cold glass of skim milk to provide calcium and fluid. Magnesium is found in spinach, nuts, whole grains, and beans. For once I’m going to recommend a little salt in your diet but only if you are sweating a lot! Adding a little pinch of salt to a sliced tomato would be considered a super electrolyte food – potassium, sodium, and chloride – all in one source!
Try these other ideas to cool off and meet your goals for fluid and electrolytes:
• Slice a kiwi into 2-3 thick slices and place a popsicle stick into each slice, then freeze.
• Freeze grapes plain or roll in sugar free jello powder for extra flavor.
• Blend frozen fruit and yogurt for an easy smoothie.
• Cold, raw veggies make a great snack.