Temperatures are soaring, sandals are the new sneakers, and we're responsibly reapplying our sunscreen every few hours. Yep, summer is officially here. But, vigilant sunscreen application isn't the only thing we need to prioritize right now. Hydration is especially important, too.
Staying hydrated should always be a goal since up to 60% of the human body is made up of water, but water consumption is especially crucial in the summer months when we lose more fluid through sweat. While some of us naturally chug water like it's our job, others don't love the taste or, simply, forget to drink it. That's why we consulted a handful of experts to get their best non-boring hydration tips. Here are five ways to stay hydrated beyond refilling your Brita pitcher this summer.
Meet the Expert
- Katie Cavuto, RD is a registered dietitian and executive corporate chef for Saladworks.
- Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist and owned of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition.
- Dr. Nancy Lin, Ph.D. is a holistic nutritionist, health researcher, wellness coach, and international health educator.
Drink Low-Alcohol or Non-Alcoholic Beer
Alcohol is a known diuretic, meaning it dehydrates you. And while you'll be hard-pressed to find a medical expert who would recommend choosing low-alcohol or non-alcoholic beer over a glass of water, there is some evidence that it can help with hydration.
"There is some evidence that low-alcohol or non-alcoholic beer can positively affect hydration as it lacks the diuretic effects caused by beverages with higher alcohol contents," says Katie Cavuto RD and executive corporate chef for Saladworks. "Plus, the sodium content of low-alcohol or non-alcoholic beer can support repletion of electrolytes. But, of course, water is always best, so having your bottle full and handy is the best way to ensure hydration."
Electrolytes are essential to helping the body absorb water. By adding electrolytes to your water, you can promote hydration in the body. So while you shouldn't necessarily drink less water, you can rest assured that if you're drinking water with electrolytes in it, your body will be hydrated thoroughly. "I like Now Foods' Effer-Hydrate Tablets," says Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN of the Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition. "They are a good source of electrolytes like potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium that may help our bodies absorb water."
Make Your Water Taste Better
If you don't like the taste of water, dressing it up can make you look forward to drinking it. "Make herby ice cubes by adding dried or fresh herbs to your ice cubes," suggests Feller. "The herbs add additional nutrients to the water and are major flavor boosters. Basil, parsley, dill are all refreshing."
If you're willing to invest in a quality filter, you may find it's all you need to look forward to drinking water. "I currently love the smooth and delicious taste of water from my Berkey filter," says Feller. "It delivers filtered, purified water that tastes crisp. In addition, these countertop filters remove over 200 contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, and more, ensuring that the water you're drinking is safe and tastes good."
Drink Room Temperature Water in the Morning
As refreshing as it is, it takes longer for the body to absorb ice-cold water. So make it a habit to chug a glass of room temperature water as soon as you wake up in the morning. "Start with a warm cup of water," says Cavuto. "Warm or room temperature water is more hydrating than its ice-cold counterpart."
Prioritize Hydrating Foods
Water isn't the only way to hydrate. There are various hydrating food options out there, many of which are in season in the summer. "Zucchini, squashes, and cucumbers are super high in water content, along with folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium," says Dr. Nancy Lin, Ph.D. and XPRO for YogaSix GO. "These veggies make summer eating easy, especially as a go-to cool, spiralized noodle salad dish. Try adding pesto or olive oil and aged balsamic to your chilled spiralized salads."
Summer soups are another great option. "Gazpachos are cold soups made by blending raw or lightly cooked veggies," says Dr. Lin. "These refreshing and filling soups allow the body to hydrate in a healthy and savory way."
Cavuto also suggests munching on fresh veggies for extra hydration. "Snack on bell-peppers, celery, and sliced cucumber with your favorite dip alongside some chips," she says. "For a refreshing summer dip, try tzatziki which is made with cucumbers, lemon, and yogurt (another water-dense food). Or flavor your hummus with seasonal ingredients like roasted tomatoes or peppers."
The bottom line is—hydration doesn't have to be boring, and you'll enjoy your summer a lot more if you're not in a constant state of dehydration. So when you're stocking up for your next barbecue or beach day, pick up some electrolyte tablets, and maybe even a low-alcohol beer or two in the name of hydration.
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