Summer is here in the Northern Hemisphere! Everyone scampers outside for their favorite activities, ready for sun and fun. As a general rule, we’re much more active at this time of year due to longer days and hospitable weather.
In your emphatic enjoyment of the season, don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated–it’s sometimes surprisingly easy to do. Dehydration can sneak up on you and make you feel woozy or sick; chronic dehydration is very dangerous.
There are several things you can do to ensure you stay hydrated. Most of them require only that you pay attention. Drinking water and supplementing with a natural sports drink after exercising are a no-brainer.
Additionally, you should keep an eye on your salt and potassium levels–these are readily depleted through sweat. Dilute juices with water so you moderate carbohydrates but still get the hydrating effect and be mindful of how often you urinate. If urine is dark yellow, it’s a sign you’re not getting enough fluid.
Water is crucial to hydration but lacks zip. Here are some delicious and satisfying ways to keep your water levels up.
Always cool, cucumber has a high water content and silica, a hydrating mineral. The skin of the cucumber contains a good amount of vitamin C which you always need. You can eat them just as they are, mix them in smoothies, in a cold soup or salad, or add to a glass of water for a delicate flavor.
2. Chia Seeds
Much more than the 70s pet, chia seeds act like tiny sponges, soaking up moisture of whatever they are added to. Very nutrient-dense, chia seeds are considered a superfood. Add these to any liquid or yogurt and you get all the benefits of the seeds (without having to grind them first!) in addition to their hydrating power. Try some chia pudding for a refreshing and delicious dessert:
- 3 TBS Ground Chia Seeds
- 3/4 cup fruit juice
Stir together and let mixture sit for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will set into a smooth pudding, about the consistency of tapioca.
3. Rooibos Iced Tea
Rooibos is a nutritious plant indigenous to South Africa. Rich in antioxidants and minerals, it’s also devoid of caffeine so anyone can drink it. Rooibos (“red bush”) has a sweet, nutty flavor so you don’t need to add anything to it and is great hot in the cooler months as well. You can mix with a little fruit juice for a different flavor and added vitamin C.
There’s a reason this fruit grows in the summer (it’s actually a vegetable, but that doesn’t matter)–it’s full of water! Even at room temperature, watermelon is refreshing and rehydrating. It also contains essential nutrients like lycopene and calcium.
With calcium, protein, and electrolytes, yogurt is mostly liquid. Add berries or freeze it for a more nutritious treat than ice cream. Plain organic yogurt is best to avoid added sugars and artificial ingredients. You can add your own healthful stuff to your taste.