I practically had a heatstroke on my walk home from work today, and I was only walking. I scrapped my run and took my workout to my yoga mat inside. Who needs to pay for hot yoga when your apartment is 90 degrees?
Now, as I write this post, I have my trusty fan set up right next to me and a glass of iced tea.
It’s easy to quickly get dehydrated in the summertime with the heat, exercise, and poolside cocktails. Hours seem to fly by when you’re at the beach in the sun. Soon enough, you end up exhausted with a headache and a sunburn (if you’re as fair-skinned as I am).
Staying hydrated not only prevents dehydration, but it also fills our energy tanks, improves physical and mental performance for athletes, and keeps our metabolism running smoothly. I always try to carry a water bottle with me to remind myself to drink throughout the day.
Plain water is a fantastic choice, but if you find water boring or want to change it up, try any of these tips as well.
1.) Lemon Water
Squeezing a little lemon in a glass of water is such a simple way to jazz up your fluids. It adds flavor and Vitamin C, which plays a role in protecting the health of your skin. Try squeezing half a lemon in a water bottle to carry with you during the day.
Obviously, this is is on the list – it has water in its name. Watermelon is mostly water, but it also has some vitamin C and potassium. The red color of watermelon comes from lycopene – a phytonutrient that has shown to be beneficial for heart disease. The classic red watermelon isn’t the only kind you can find – there’s tons of others in this list. Look for different varieties at your farmer’s market. You can also blend up watermelon and freeze it into popsicles.
This weekend, all I was craving was fruit and cold liquids. I put on my thinking hat and combined those into a delicious, nutrient-packed smoothie. I rely on smoothies so much for summer breakfasts and after long runs. The best part is the endless amount of combinations – check out this post for more ideas.
Vegetables are fantastic because they have such a high water-content, but they definitely don’t skimp on nutrients. Leafy green especially have a high water content. Just watch what happens when you cook a few cups of spinach – it cooks down to a minuscule amount. Summer is a time to load up on fresh salads topped with seasonal, delectable produce. I crave salads in the summer, especially since I don’t want a hot meal that requires the oven when it’s already steaming outside. Top your salads with hydrating vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and carrots, and mix up your greens.
5.) Iced Tea
All teas have numerous health benefits because their leaves are packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants, and some vitamins and minerals. Instead of a hot cup of tea, make up a batch of iced tea. Try cold-brewed black, green, or herbal teas. Drink it plain, or if you need a little sweetness, try just a touch of honey. This berry-cucumber iced tea looks fabulous.
6.) Coconut Water
Coconut water is the liquid found within a coconut, and it’s nature’s sports drink. It’s basically a natural form of Gatorade without the added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or other weird ingredients. It contains electrolytes like potassium and sodium, which are essential when you are sweating. Coconut water is a great drink to have after endurance exercise, such as running, biking, or hiking, when you end up sweating a ton. You can even try making a smoothie with coconut water as the liquid.
Alcohol tends to show up a lot during the summer months, and there’s no reason not to indulge. However, alcohol is dehydrating, so drinking a hydrating “mocktail” can be a good choice during those long afternoons. You could try seltzer water with a spritz of juice, kombucha, a mint watermelon slush, or whipping up pina coladas sans the alcohol. If you want something truly delicious, try this coconut water based, probiotic drink – Kevita – lime mint coconut mojito flavor. I grabbed it on sale at Whole Foods this week!
What’s your favorite way to stay hydrated in the summer heat?