The heat is on! As intense heat continues this summer, staying well hydrated becomes top priority,
especially when spending time in the great (and hot!!) outdoors. In this edition, we’ll cover the importance of hydration and tips to keep your fluids up (even for those who don’t particularly like drinking water). Happy summer and stay cool!
In good health,
Sally Stegemann MS, RD, LD
By Sally Stegemann, MS, RD, LD
As temperatures rise, so does the sweat. While sweating is an effective way of helping our bodies cool
down and maintain body temperature homeostasis, it does result in a loss of body fluids. Our bodies, which are roughly 60% water (depending on age, gender and fitness level), require a consistent level of hydration in order to properly function. Without adequate water, the heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body, and the kidneys cannot efficiently remove waste and toxins from the body. Water also lubricates the joints and spine, regulates body temperature, helps prevent infections, is needed in the metabolism of nutrients and improves sleep quality, mood, and cognition (the brain itself is approximately 75% water). To meet hydration requirements, men need to drink about 16 cups of fluid daily, while women need 11 cups daily. This, of course, varies depending on age, size, activity level and medications. Fluids include:
● Fruit juices; also try mixing fruit juice or lemonade with half and half sparkling water or tonic
● Coffee and tea
● Fruits and vegetables with a high water content such as watermelon, lettuce, berries, etc.
For those who don’t get excited about drinking plain water, there are many ways to dress up your water and boost the flavor (and nutrient) content. Try adding fruits (such as lemon or orange slices, berries or cucumber slices) to infuse your water with flavor. You can even use an infusion water bottle that holds fruits of your choice inside a separate mesh compartment. Another tasty option is to whip up a batch of agua fresca. Try the recipe below, and happy sipping!
1 cup roughly chopped fruit (such as strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple or peeled cucumber)
1 cup water
1⁄2 medium lime, juiced
1 teaspoon cane sugar, honey, agave nectar or sweetener of choice)
2 large mint leaves, (optional)
- Combine fruit, water, lime juice, sweetener and optional mint leaves in blender. Blend until smooth.
Adjust lime juice and sweeteners, if needed, to taste.
- Serve immediately, over ice if desired.
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