4 tips for staying hydrated!
Ok, summer is here and as some of you know I recently moved from NY to the good ol’ sunshine state. While I love it already, these summers down south are nothing to fork with. The humidity hits you like a ton of bricks and I literally start sweating 45 seconds into walking outside most days.
It was a little shock for me and I knew my hydration practices needed to change! It’s especially important to drink enough water during the hot summer months when we’re sweating more than usual, i.e. losing more water through our skin. Which is why I am really glad Danielle at Mindfull Nutrition Therapy and I are did a talk on hydration last week over on IGTV. Because I need all the reminders I can get too.
So, why is staying hydrated so important? Well, water is one of the most important nutrients we can consume. Water is key to keeping our bodies healthy on a cellular level! Without proper hydration none of our bodily systems would run at best. It keeps your bodily fluids balanced. This may be obvious for functions like saliva or digestion, but water also helps keep blood flowing and keep your body temperature normal. If you’re not drinking enough water you may not be giving your body enough energy to feel it's best, keep your digestion moving, support a healthy metabolism, fight fatigue, or support supple and hydrated skin (who doesn’t want supple skin? This 30 year old is all about keeping her skin as supple as possible as I age, can I get an amen to that?) If you need help with figuring out your needs, especially within Sports Performance, Danielle is your go-to girl!
BUT with all that info on it's importance I do know how difficult it can be to get in “enough” water throughout your day without feeling like you're constantly chugging water. Finding easy ways to up your hydration shouldn’t feel like an unattainable chore. In fact, once a habit, can be easier than you think!
Tips to stay hydrated and feel your best:
Infused water + iced teas - You don’t have to only drink plain water for it to count towards your water intake. I know not everyone’s drink of choice like me is plain ol’ water. So, if water is boring to you and that deters you from drinking up, mix it up and infuse it!
Squeeze in a wedge of citrus for a bright burst of flavor ( lemon, lime, oranges, whatever you fancy.)
Add in some cucumber and mint to that citrus and you got yourself a little spa in a glass.
Try cooling down with some iced tea - just be mindful of bottled teas, as many of them are filled with sugar and artificial preservatives- so brewing your own is always best! Bonus idea –you can even infuse your iced teas too- it’s really good! Check out the iced hibiscus tea we made above which just has hibiscus tea, pomegranate juice and lime juice- infuse in some mint and you got yourself a good one!
Eat your water: There are plenty of hydrating foods and summer is the best time to get them. Nature knows best so eat with the season and you can’t really go wrong. Think watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew…all the juicy ones! Throw these in your infused waters too- they give off delicious, delicate flavors. I also LOVE chia seeds for hydration when consumed after sitting in liquid. They absorb over 10x their weight in water so you are getting in some extra liquid when you eat it. Check out my Cherry Gar-Chia recipe here, it's perfect for summer time and has a nice balance of electrolytes too with a base of coconut water :)
Smoothies are a great way to add extra water into your day. I love a good smoothie in the summer when it's too hot to cook. You can use milk, nut milk, water, coconut water, your freshly brewed iced tea… Also remember, using raw whole foods like greens and fruit not only contain fiber, but they also contain water!
Create new habits surrounding getting hydrated: The best way to consume water is evenly throughout the day, so chugging a huge glass in the morning isn’t going to help you in the afternoon. Your body’s already gotten rid of it by then! There are so many tools you can use to trigger drinking up- remember hydration is a everyday thing- usually an hour by hour thing so we want this to become a solid habit for you DAILY. You can set a timer throughout the day for water breaks, keep a journal, set alarms, put rubber bands around your glass every time you drink a full one and there are plenty of apps out there too to help you remember to drink throughout the day too. The most important takeaway when trying to improve a habit is to start where you are a build from there. You can’t chug your water needs for the day all in one sitting so it's best to find how it fits into YOUR LIFE and what works best for YOU. It’s a work in progress for me too!
With all that being said I know how important it is and still struggle, especially on days I am cooking for clients and need it the most. When I am so focused with cooking for my clients, I can go the full 4-5 hours without barely drinking because I get so focused which is something I am working on – and I know a lot of people can relate to not taking even the smallest break to drink water, but I have started to set triggers for myself ( alarms don’t work for me) so whenever I switch from one recipe to the next I take a big gulp – its not perfect, but it’s real life. Hydration may not seem like the most important topic and something that isn’t focused on that much, but it really is!
What small step can you take today after reading this to up your hydration? Would love to know :)