It is a fact: we are dependent on water. The human body consists of about 55% to 75% water—that’s about 10 to 12 gallons inside your body! Without it, the body quickly shuts down.
Water: Nature’s Wonder Drink
Every cell, tissue and organ in your body contains water. Water serves to remove waste, control body temperature, manage blood pressure, keep skin moisturized, lubricate joints and maintain a healthy metabolism.
Although sports drinks have become a popular “substitute”, water is still the optimal drink for proper rehydration. And it doesn’t contain additional calories. There are varying opinions regarding the amount of water a person should drink in a day, but as we spend more time in the sun, on the water and outside, the amount of fluids we need significantly increases. In fact, in hot, humid conditions, you can become dehydrated in as quickly as 30 minutes. So, don’t forget your water bottle on the shore and remember to frequently hydrate during long periods of activity.
Food: The Juicy Truth
Moisture in food accounts for about 20% of your daily water intake. And you’d be surprised by how much water is in the foods you eat every day: a plain bagel (33% water), ground beef (56%), cheese (39%).
But, there are healthier, more luscious foods out there for your hydrating pleasure. Here are my top picks:
- Cucumbers (96.7% water)
- Tomatoes (94.5% water)
- Salad Greens (90%-95% water and fewer than 15 calories/2 cups)
- Watermelon (91.5% water)
- Strawberries (91% water and high in Vitamin C)
- Cantaloupe (90.5% water)
Electrolytes: Keep It Simple
Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. They are vital to optimal health, affecting the amount of water in your body, the acidity of your blood (pH), your muscle function and other important processes. Common electrolytes are calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium.
When you sweat, you lose electrolytes, and it is important to replace them, especially if you are vigorously active in the summer heat. However, most conventional sports hydration drinks, in addition to containing electrolytes, contain artificial colors and flavors, as well as large amounts of sugar or artificial sweetener. While these “flavorful” ingredients may cause us to consume more of these drinks, simple electrolytes and even coconut water are better and more efficient at hydrating our bodies.
Here are a few of my favorite hydrating drinks:
- Senseable Supplement’s Lyte Balance Electrolyte Concentrate
- Ultima Replinisher’s Grape Flavored Drink Powder
- Harmless Harvest’s 100% Raw Coconut Water
Learn more about electrolytes and staying hydrated this summer with these resources:
MedlinePlus, “Electrolytes”, www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/
WebMD, “The Quest for Hydration” & “Water Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Hydration?”, www.webmd.com
Senseable Supplements, www.senseablesupplements.com