Water is essential for proper hydration, let us never for get that, and it's important to drink plain water each day. However, it can get a bit boring. Lucky for you, there are more ways than one -- and delicious ways at that -- to keep the body properly hydrated so you can stay safe in higher temperatures.
Why food for hydration?
Food makes a great option for hydration. According to a study published in 2009 and conducted by the University of Aberdeen Medical School and one conducted at the University of Naples, certain fruits and vegetables provide twice the hydration of a glass of water, along with vital nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Minerals act as electrolytes, helping the body hold onto moisture. While you shouldn't cut out water completely, these foods are a way to make sure your entire summer diet supports proper hydration.
Fruits are a tasty way to get the water you need and they also provide vitamins, antioxidants to fight free radicals, natural sugars to give you energy and fiber to keep you feeling full. When you imagine a juicy piece of fruit, a melon probably comes to mind. One of the best to eat for hydration is cantaloupe, which contains 90 percent water and is packed with vitamin A, for healthy skin and eyes. A melon with an even higher water content is, not surprisingly, watermelon, which also contains minerals like calcium. Other fruits to try include oranges, pears, pineapple and grapes.
Eat these fruits as they are, chop them for fruit salad, juice them or blend them into a smoothie. After blending, you could even freeze them into popsicles. No matter which tasty fruit you choose, buy the the freshest possible and choose organic for any fruit you eat entirely. For example, you don't eat a banana peel, but you eat an entire apple or blueberry, which can be sprayed with insecticides. When buying juices, look for pure and organic juices without added sugar or preservatives, to avoid excess calories or chemicals.
Salads are everyone's trick for losing weight, and the reason they fill you up so well is because most types of lettuce contain more than 90 percent water. Cucumbers are also a smart pick, which are also a great source of vitamin C. Other great choices include tomatoes, celery, bell peppers, zucchini and carrots.
Raw vegetables are good for you, no doubt, so try pairing them with a healthy dip like guacamole or hummus. You can also blend vegetables with herbs to make a cold soup, gazpacho, which can be very refreshing on a summer day. Lastly, pick a whole bunch of them and make a colorful chopped salad. Follow the same rules as fruit when shopping for vegetables and vegetable juices. Try a vegetable wash or peel them if you're unable to find organic.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, thirst (may become extreme in more serious cases), dry skin, headache, constipation, dry, sticky mouth and decreased urination. If someone with these symptoms also develops a fever, rapid heartbeat or rapid breathing, seek medical help immediately. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when focusing on hydration this summer:
Alcohol and caffeine will zap your hydration pretty quickly. Make sure to drink a full glass of water between every alcoholic drink to prevent dehydration and the inevitable hangover.
Be sure to up your water intake when being physically active, especially outdoors. Carry plenty of water and snacks with you, especially those that provide electrolytes.
Jazz up your water with natural fruit juices, fruit slices and herbs. Try sparkling water if you miss the fizz of soda.
Have a glass of water with every meal.
Staying hydrated is essential to healthy summer fun, so make the effort and you'll enjoy your summer all the more. Shop eVitamins' selection of hydration boosters today!