Summer weather can bring a distinct set of challenges to the table for us outdoors enthusiasts. It’s extra hard to maintain the fluid level in balance and because of this we may experience extra fatigue and feel more sweaty at all times too. Unfortunately, summer comes along with hot and humid conditions that can have a terrible effect on your body if you have not properly hydrated. But in this blog I’ll prove that hot and humid conditions don't have to be our enemy!
It is important to consider the effects that the sun and warmer temperatures can have on your body and your performance, and to be sure to get appropriate hydration. The heat index chart, which shows where the combination of heat and humidity becomes dangerous, is a great resource in determining whether it is a good idea to go outside to exercise.
Activities such as running, cycling, MMA, boxing, swimming, hot yoga, etc, are some of the examples of activities that can result in dehydration if not looked at closely, especially during Summer. It’s simple: if you’re not hydrated, your body can’t perform and function at its highest level. You may feel tired, have muscle cramps, dizziness, or other serious symptoms.
Larry Kenney, PhD, a professor of physiology and kinesiology at Penn State, says that "Hydration is important because the body is comprised mostly of water, and the proper balance between water and electrolytes in our bodies really determines how most of our systems function, including nerves and muscles." The human body is composed of roughly 60% water and every major system is influenced by fluid balance. We depend on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in our body needs water to work properly. Also, when we notice temperature rise, getting enough to drink is crucially important whether you’re playing sports, traveling or just sitting in the sun. Keeping the body hydrated at all times helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles work efficiently.
For most people, water is all that is needed to stay hydrated. However, if you will be exercising at a high intensity for longer than an hour under the Summer sun and heat, a sports drink may be the answer. The calories, potassium, and other nutrients in sports drinks can provide energy and electrolytes to help you perform for a longer period of time.
Throughout my journey, I have learned how to stay properly hydrated over the summer with my snacks and drinks I consume during the day. I prepared a list for you with some tips on how to make sure you eat and and drink properly so you don’t slack on your hydration!
1. Eat your Way to Hydration!
The good news is that only 70-80% of your daily hydration needs to come from water; 20-30% should actually come from food! All whole fruits and vegetables contain some amount of water, but munch on these top picks for maximum benefit:
97% water: Cucumbers
96% water: Celery
95% water: Tomatoes, radishes
93% water: Red, yellow, green bell peppers
92% water: Cauliflower, watermelon
91% water: Spinach, strawberries, broccoli
90% water: Grapefruit
I can not emphasize this enough, but ANY fruit or berry is always a great choice of healthy snack! I personally prefer Apples, Pears, Bananas and Peaches because they are quick and easy to consume. Berries are not only highly nutritious but also a low-carb fruit choice. For example, blueberries provide just 11 grams of carbs in 1/2 cup (74 grams). For a delicious, low-carb snack, combine 1/2 cup (74 grams) of blueberries with 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.
I’d go one step further and urge you to pair those fruits with something like Peanut butter. I usually do Apple slices with sugar free peanut butter. Sometimes Banana with peanut butter and honey. Simple yet effective to keep me satisfied and on task while being productive as an on-the-go snack. Peanut butter contributes protein and healthy fats, while apples are high in fiber and water, making them particularly filling. In fact, 1 medium apple (182 grams) is over 85% water and has more than 4 grams of fiber.
*FRUIT JUICES: Any way you pour it, it's just not good for you. If you crave fruit juiciness, go for the whole fruit, which gives you all the benefits of fiber and fullness without the concentrated sugar and high calorie count. Lower-calorie "lite" versions aren't any better; they're loaded with artificial sweeteners and they train your body to crave more sugar.
2. Recognize If You Are Dehydrated
There are many symptoms that determine if you are becoming dehydrated, including feeling thirsty, tired, or dizzy; having a headache; and having dark-colored urine, to name a few. If you start to experience these side effects, you must rehydrate yourself before the situation becomes a medical emergency. Do not try to continue exercise if you feel you are becoming dehydrated!
3. Start Your Day With a Glass
Make it a goal to start each day by drinking a full glass of water to get a head start on your fluids. Try putting a glass of water by your bed to drink right after you wake up.
4. Drink Before You Eat
We all can relate to that late-afternoon “must have a snack” hungry feeling. Before reaching for the nearest source of calories, drink some water! Sometimes our brains confuse thirst with hunger, so next time the feeling strikes, hydrate before eating and your hunger “pains” just might disappear.
5. Sports Drinks
Our body also needs fluids and electrolytes to function at its best. Training in the heat means that you’ll sweat more and lose more water which means that you’ll need to drink more fluids to replace the liquid and electrolytes lost. Experts agree on one thing when it comes to how much water adults should drink: that Americans don’t drink enough. Here is one basic rule of thumb: Drink half your weight in ounces daily (ex: a 150lb person would drink 75oz).
For intense workouts or long-distance runs, drink fluids with added electrolytes. Bring a bottle with you to the gym, and make sure you drink before, during, and after your workout! Walking around with a water bottle or sports drink bottle has become part of who I am. Staying hydrated not only helps me to stay on top of my physical performance, but also I make sure I am always at my best mentally. Products like Hydra-Guard Sports Drink also help me to make sure I have my proper amount of Vitamins and essential electrolytes. One bottle has 20% the equivalent Daily Value of Calcium we need alongside with only 5g of REAL Sugar and no artificial anything.
Try to enjoy all the beauty summer has to offer and don't stress. Health is a journey and it is all about finding a balance that is right for you. No one is asking you to be perfect and what fun is perfect anyway? Just do what you can, with what you've got, wherever you are and be happy doing it. If you are feeling down or overwhelmed, shift your mindset. So many times we look at eating healthy as a chore and this can be so harmful to our mental health. Celebrate your healthy habits instead of looking at them as an obligation. Take it one day at a time and take time to remind yourself that you are making decisions that will move you closer to where you want to be. Summer is short and life is good. Soak it up! We should always remember that vitamin and minerals — particularly A, C and E, as well as zinc — play an important role in keeping the immune system strong and staying healthy during summertime. Filling each plate with produce, lean meats, dairy and healthy fats, will help us to get what we need to help keep our immune system strong.
One of my favorite parts of the whole process is to search and get to know more about products that fit into my fit lifestyle and are on the same page as me in terms of longevity in what I do. I might be a professional swimmer now and somehow be ‘forced’ into watching my diet and what goes into my body, but I know for a fact that one day when I don’t swim anymore I will still be very worried and concerned about my health. Luckily the availability for low-sugar natural products has been on the rise and I have been able to refuel and replenish my body with the right amount of calories, vitamins and electrolytes while staying on track of my lifestyle goals. Products such as Hydra Guard Sports Drink are available on the market and online and they help me on a daily basis with my training routine.
Paul Millsap, 4x NBA All-Star and Hydra-Guard Partner has always made his nutrition and health a priority, which reflects his elite performance and extremely successful career in the NBA. Paul’s ability to maintain playing at the highest level has been nothing short of amazing. It's a professional career that every athlete strives for.
The key for longevity in any athlete’s career is to take care of their bodies first and that's something that Paul has obviously done very well. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink caught Paul’s attention in early 2019, when he officially partnered with them in efforts to bring the brands healthy benefits more readily available to more households across the country."Being a professional athlete naturally encourages me and my family to live a healthy lifestyle. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink raises the bar to unprecedented heights with its beverage innovation. It’s packed with electrolytes, and being an all natural sports drink with low sugars is a game changer, this product is changing the industry," says Paul.
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