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10 Ways to Stay Hydrated (That Aren’t Water)
When it comes to a sweaty workout, we love a water break reward as much as the next fitness fiend. But as the mercury rises, it’s more important than ever to focus on our fluids all day long. After all, water is the most essential nutrient our system needs.
Our bodies are made up of more than half water and we use it for pretty much every bodily function — from regulating body temperature to removing waste to lubricating joints to carrying oxygen to the cells. That’s why you feel fatigued, dizzy and moody when you’re dehydrated.
While a glass of water is the best known way to stay hydrated, there are plenty of alternative options. You can also reach for some of these water-rich foods and fluids that keep the H2O balance just right!
Eat It Up
Who says you can’t have your water — and eat it, too? According to the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations we should eat 20 percent of our daily water intake. Soup, yogurt and oatmeal are all great fluid-filled foods, but these summer-friendly fruits and veggies can also help with hydration. Next time you’re feeling thirsty, pile these on your plate.
In the world of thirst quenchers, watermelon weighs in as a major contender. Based on its name, it’s no surprise this fruit is made up of 92 percent water! But its salt, calcium and magnesium is what makes it ideal for rehydration. The summertime staple is also a good source of potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
This often-overlooked veggie is way more than chicken wing garnish! Celery stalks are about 95 percent water, high in fiber and rich in minerals including potassium and vitamin K. Keep in mind, they’re not packed with nutrients, but that’s also because they’re not calorie-dense.
No matter how you slice ‘em and dice ‘em, cucumbers keep cool at the number one spot on the list of water-logged fruits and vegetables. Composed of 96 percent water, cukes have no saturated fat or cholesterol, and are very high in vitamin K, vitamin B6 and iron. Cucumber and melon bites, anyone?
Strawberries are a sweet treat perfect for staying hydrated. They are 92 percent water (the most of any berry) and are loaded with fiber and vitamin C.
Iceberg lettuce may be 96 percent water, but it’s not known for much else in the nutrition department. Richer salad greens and sandwich toppers including butterhead, romaine and spinach are more well-rounded choices and still up your hydration.
Drink It Down
Most beverages (non-alcoholic, of course) will help contribute to your daily water intake. But here are five drinks that will give you some extra benefits, too. Yes, even coffee!
6. Fat-free or skim milk
Everyone knows milk is an excellent source of calcium that will keep your bones in tip-top shape. But research also shows milk is better than water and sports drinks for rehydration and recovery after exercise (yup, especially chocolate milk). Just be sure to choose a slimmed-down carton since the fat in whole milk can delay fluid replacement.
Can’t choose just one hydrating option? Slurping down a smoothie is a great way to combine your favorite flavors into one nutritionally-packed glass. Try drinking your fruits and veggies with our healthy (and tasty) smoothie recipes found on our website www.individualfitnessllc.com
8. Sports drinks
Sugar and sodium are good things when it comes to sports drinks! In addition to the electrolytes and protein included in most on the market, the sugar and sodium can bring your body back to balance faster than water after a grueling workout lasting over 90 minutes. For shorter workouts, sports drinks may just mean a lot of extra carbs you don’t need.
9. Coconut water
Coconut water is low in carbohydrates, while still rich in potassium. And its unsweetened varieties can be very hydrating. According to a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the all-natural beverage is effective in rehydrating after light exercise. But for more rigorous sweat sessions, the low-sodium drink does come up short in replenishing the salt your body loses.
Isn’t coffee a diuretic? Well, yes, but a recent study in PLOS ONE debunks the myth that it also causes dehydration. Not only will your daily cup contribute to your water needs, coffee can also give you a sharper memory, boost athletic endurance and performance, and reduce the risk of many serious ailments including diabetes and heart disease.