Summer’s on its way, and with it some new opportunities for outside activities. Whether it’s swimming, going for a warm jog, or just simply laying on a towel outside–we’ve been cooped up for too long and it’s time to enjoy the sun! (Safely still, of course).
And with that… It’s important to remember to stay hydrated.
Of course, the easiest way to stay hydrated is the obvious: drinking good ol’ fashioned water. For some of us, that’s easy. We have our favorite water bottles we love to use, and drink our 64 ounces on the regular.
But for those of you that don’t really dig water as a beverage… We hear you too.
Which is why we want to remind you that drinking plain H20 isn’t the only way to get your hydration in.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
We all know that eating healthy, whole foods has its benefits for… Well. Pretty much everything, and help in hydration is no exception.
Many (summer!) fruits like watermelon and strawberries have upward of 90% water content–it’s almost like they were made to hydrate you this season.
We could eat our weight in watermelon and peaches–but maybe you’re wanting to cut back on sugar. Or you’re diabetic, and too much sugar can actually dehydrate you.
No worries! You can still eat your greens. Cucumbers and celery are incredibly water based, with upwards of 95%. You can also go for a good old fashioned salad, where lettuce will be above 90% at least.
(Good note: the darker the leafy green, the more nutritional value!)
Electrolytes, Electrolytes, Electrolytes
Okay… So maybe the best partner to make electrolytes really effective is water.
But having a steady intake of electrolytes is crucial to hydration!
Electrolytes are minerals that have an electric charge and help water get properly dispersed to different parts of your body.
In your fitness journey, you might’ve heard that they’re important to post-workout recovery. That’s because you lose a lot of electrolytes and water when you sweat, obviously; but by losing that hydration, your body can suffer some consequences. Since electrolytes help water flow to the different muscles of your body, you might experience cramping, or headaches if you’re too low.
(You know that headache you have during a hangover? The sugars in alcohol have completely dehydrated you… Turns out electrolytes are the best idea for a painless next morning).
In order to get these minerals, you can technically pick up the standard brands like Gatorade or VitaminWater… But those can be loaded with sugar or somewhat questionable ingredients, which may defeat the purpose in a healthier you.
We recommend making your own!
Coconut Water, Aloe Vera, and Teas (Oh My!)
Of course, water in natural fruits and vegetables doesn’t necessarily have to be eaten.
Let’s start with coconut water. Recently trending as an electrolyte booster (! There it is again!), coconut water is so much healthier than your average sports beverage. Not only is it a natural hydrator; it also boasts of supporting healthy digestion due to its amount of fiber. Moreover, it’s got a bunch of Vitamin C that can boost your collagen production–making for some beautiful, refreshed skin.
It’s the healthy, tropical drink that’ll still make you feel like you’re taking that much needed beach vacation!
If you’re a little more adventurous in terms of texture, true aloe vera juice. Renowned for being a natural healing salve for cuts and burns (have you ever put aloe vera gel on a sunburn? It’s heaven), it’s also got a multitude of benefits for your insides as well.
Other than being an awesome hydration drink (obviously), it’s invaluable to a healthy pH. Having a balanced pH is essential to keeping illness at bay, and is exactly why you should be eating healthy greens or root vegetables or–well. Aloe vera juice.
Another amazing benefit is that it’s one of the few plants that boasts of having vitamin B-12. Normally found in meat products, vitamin B-12 is essential for healthy red blood cell production and neurological function. One of the worries for a vegetarian/vegan diet is not getting enough of the vitamin–but not here!
Not a fan of coconut milk or aloe vera? Iced herbal teas will do the same trick, and depending on the leaves can have a multitude of benefits. You can even drink caffeinated teas–despite the myth that caffeine decreases your body’s hydration, studies show you would need to drink five cups of coffee to have any significant effect.
Vamp Up Your Water
We know. We get it. You don’t like water.
But… It really is the most basic way to keep you hydrated. Think about it: every example we’ve given so far has had water content to keep you at your peak performance.
Still: we don’t want you to feel unheard. Plain water can be boring sometimes, we’re not going to deny it.
That’s why we want you to look at water in a new and interesting way: by putting stuff in it.
You can find big name-branded water flavor packets in any supermarket in a ton of tempting flavors–rasberry lemonade, fruit punch–but many of these contain the artificial sweetener aspartame, which can interfere with healthy gut enzymes.
Instead, we recommend the original flavorizers: berries, lemon, cucumber, a bit of mint. Now: imagine what you could do if you have a carbonated water maker.
Really, it’s sublime. And you’ll still get the benefits of those ingredients without the caloric value.
At a loss on how to optimize your flavored waters? You can check out a bunch of recipes by searching Google, or here’s a good guide to pairing flavors!
Be Hydrated. Stay Healthy.
However you get your water intake, it cannot be stressed enough that hydration is key to a healthy lifestyle. It helps regulate your body temperature, deliver important nutrients to cells, and even so little as a 2% decrease in the body’s water level can seriously impact athletic performances.
So whether you guzzle your 64 ounces of plain, eat a lettuce salad, cool down by the pool with some coconut water or stuff your water with lemon sizes–it doesn’t matter. You do you.
Whatever gets you hydrated and healthy: that’s what we care about.
“Water is life”–as cliche as it sounds–is pretty accurate.
What are you favorite tips and tricks to staying hydrated? Comment below!
Has a passion for two things, community and sisterhood. Notorious for calling complete strangers “Babe,” Becky created The Babe Copywriter, where she works with female-owned businesses to share their story and combine her two passions into her work. She graduated from San Francisco State university in 2015.