"...you don’t have to drink water exclusively to stay hydrated..."
Summer is here, and the mercury is rising. It’s likely that you have really started to dial in on your workout routine. You may be trying to make that six pack ‘pop’ for the beach season. If you have been working out for a while, you know one of the most important things you can do for your body is drink more water. Specifically, staying hydrated. People often have difficulty drinking water consistently. Not that it’s in short supply, but that it’s just boring to drink! (If you're fine with boring, then check out the different types of bottled water here.) The average active adult should drink around 1 oz of water per pound of bodyweight if they’re active or work out in the heat. For the average 180lb man, that would be 180 ounces or almost a gallon and a half of water. That’s a lot of H2O! The good news is that you don’t have to drink water exclusively to stay hydrated, water is practically everywhere and in everything.
Grab Some Melons
During the warmer months, you can find plenty of water filled melons that will not only hydrate you, but also replenish much needed electrolytes.
Watermelon is a great example of hydrating food; it is made up of 90% water. Also, it has amino acids, vitamins B and C, as well as flavonoids and antioxidants. It’s a powerhouse food that any hard-working gym goer can appreciate. Other types of melons are cantaloupe and honeydew. You can’t go wrong with selection, all are good options if you’re tired of the bottled variety water.
Sip Some Fruit Juice
As a kid, moms told us that we couldn’t drink juice all day and that we should have some water instead. Her concern is that we wouldn’t get the proper hydration we need. Today, we now know that might not be entirely true.
Fruit juice, like fruit, has a great deal of water in it. Depending on the brand, the juice will be from concentrate or whole food. The ones from concentrate aren't the best option as they will likely have a lot of added sugars. The downside to these drinks is the amount of sugar that can be found in some of them. Sugar will cause you to lose salt, a necessary electrolyte, from your kidneys via urine. To offset this: opt for the low sugar versions or maybe water them down with half water and half fruit juice. The whole food kind has little to no added sugar but can be a little more expensive. In either choice, both will have a great deal of water in them; serving as a great water alternative.
Coffee and Tea is Ok
This may seem to be a grand contradiction. A common myth is that coffee will dehydrate you. This is due to an overestimation of the diuretic effect of coffee. Yes, you may find yourself urinating more when you drink coffee, but the water it contains will offset what you lose. Tea is the same, however, tea often has more antioxidants and flavonoids. Pick up either of this as not only a pick-me-up but a hydrator as well.
Be Like that Guy Mike
Sports drinks are a great resource for not only staying hydrated, but replenishing electrolytes as well. Though they may not be the most natural drink around, these drinks are often formulated to have a great balance of the things you need to replace from the loss of sweat. Much like fruit juice, these drinks can be high in sugar. Either opt for the low calorie/low sugar versions or treat them like fruit juice and water them down.
"Take plenty of breaks to cool down and get water."
Being out in the sun is a fun time. What’s not fun is the dangers associated with being in the heat for too long. Don’t allow yourself to fall a victim to something as avoidable as dehydration. Take plenty of breaks to cool down and get water. Keep plenty fluids around and you will be setting yourself up for a successful and enjoyable time in the sun.
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