July = HOT!!! Like 100 degrees plus in Dallas every day! Even the low temperature is in the 80’s. With an increased temp comes a higher importance on chilling down with fluids to stay hydrated. Hydration provides fluid to the body, but cold fluids can also help cool down the body’s temperature from the inside out. This becomes extremely important if you train in the heat or your children play sports outdoors.
Most of us think of hydration as water and maybe a sports drink during exercise, but the truth is there are other ways to get your total fluid intake in over the course of the day. This 4th of July, get creative with your hydration at the pool or your family picnic/BBQ! Try these four different ways to hydrate with beverages and foods:
- Fruit: Think of a grape; now think of a raisin. There is your answer about how much fluid is in fruit. It is a nutrient-rich way to get in fluid plus tons of vitamins and minerals. Whether you incorporate it into a snack, fill your salad with berries and sliced grapes or even grill fruit on the BBQ, use fruit as a quick, tasty, sweet way to healthfully get in hydration.
- Smoothies: When it is hot, many people don’t feel like eating. This is especially true after workouts, at the pool or at outdoor events. Smoothies are a great way to replace a meal and get some fluid. As a base, use low-fat milk. Then add in some extra protein from low-fat Greek yogurt or protein powder. Then fill up your blender with fresh or frozen fruit. If needing some extra umph, you can also add peanut/almond butter or seeds like chia or flax. Then voila…you have a perfect blend of nutrients and fluid.
- Juicing: Juicing can be great if it is majority vegetables with some fruit. Lots of people get excited and put every fruit under the sun in their juicing experience and maybe a handful of spinach. The challenge here, is that though nutrient-rich, it is also loaded with sugar. Try making 2/3 your juice vegetables and 1/3 fruit for a pop of sweetness. Or puree the whole fruit into more of a slushie! This is a great way to hydrate and get in your fruit and vegetable servings over the course of the day.
- Chilled Soups: Yes, these exist! Chilled soups are a great appetizer to a summer BBQ get together or as part of a lunch. Most are vegetable based which makes them high in nutrients and fiber, making them a win for health and hydration!