Guest Blog Post By Mary Purdy, MS, RDN
As the summer months heat up (finally!) your workouts may become a bit more rigorous with additional outdoor opportunities, longer days and hopefully a bit more time with which to ramp up your physical activity. This means it’s more important than ever to stay hydrated. The more you sweat, the more fluid loss there is which can leave your brain feeling sluggish and your joints achy. Drinking plain water doesn’t always have the alluring draw for many, so finding creative strategies for getting fluids in can help ensure that you maintain the hydration status which ultimately fuels your whole body.
- First off – If you don’t already have one, buy a water bottle/tea tumbler or “fluid receptacle” that you can toss in your bag (ahem, you might want to avoid the glass ones) and have ready at a moment’s notice to consume and then fill again with water or other beverages wherever you are. If water solo doesn’t float your boat, bring along an herbal tea bag to toss in, in order to provide a little extra kick of flavor.
- Make a large batch of iced tea to keep in your fridge. You probably have long heard about the benefits of green and black teas which boast health properties from cancer protection to metabolism and brain boosting potential. Many find that hot tea just feels funny in the summer months, so brew up a tea pot and throw that brewed concoction into your fridge, (perhaps with a refreshing sprig of mint!) and you’ll have an extra incentive to open the fridge and rehydrate.
- Spruce up water with a slice of cucumber, a squirt of lemon or orange, a splash of juice, a mini branch of rosemary, a cinnamon stick and witness your beverage go from “meh” to “wowsa!” When things taste good, you usually want more of them. Or swap in a carbonated beverage which very often come with a hint of flavor and a burst of bubble which can make water consumption a bit more interesting.
- Branch out with your bevs! Have you been to the beverage aisle in the grocery store lately? Get adventurous. Try out a fermented beverage, or a tea with floating chia seeds, or a veggie juice. Don’t want to spend the extra $3.50? Make your own! See my recipe for what I call “Fauxbucha” which you can make for less than 35 cents. Additionally, nutrient dense herbal teas such as chamomile, hibiscus, nettle and peppermint, can offer antimicrobial or antioxidant activity. Other varieties of tea, like yerba mate, rooibos, can also be healthy and flavorful options, making them perfect alternatives to those calorie-rich and costly Frappuccino’s.
- Don’t forget that you can drink your fruits and vegetables! I’m not referring to vegetable or fruit juices, but rather to the inclusion of additional water rich produce. You may notice that many of the fruits and veggies from this fall into this category. Cucumbers, watermelon, peaches are all exceptionally juicy. Snack on these mid-day, or be sure to include a couple servings at each meal.
So, drink up this summer! (And be mindful of excessive alcohol consumption which can wind up dehydrating you.) Being consistently hydrated comes with countless health benefits and usually helps to make your body just feel good.