Hydration Is No Joke: 7 Creative Ways to Drink More Fluids Every Day by Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., CSSD, CSOWM, FAND
Did you just finish a run, workout session or yoga class? Make sure to drink plenty of fluids! After a hard workout, it’s important to rehydrate. This is especially true during these hot summer months as heat and humidity can accelerate fluid loss and make it even harder to stay well-hydrated.
Why are fluids so important? Water is vital for the proper function of virtually every cell, tissue and organ in the body. Not only is it needed for proper digestion, but it also delivers nutrients to all cells. It helps regulate body temperature, lubricates joints, organs and tissues and is a key component of lymphatic fluid which supports your immune system. And adequate water intake can even help you manage your weight.
When You May Need More Than Water
If you are working out longer than 30 minutes, or in a hot or humid environment, you may need more than just plain water both during and after exercise. This is because, while exercising, your body is losing important minerals – particularly sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium and magnesium – which help ensure proper function of your nerves, muscles, heart, and brain.
These minerals are also referred to as electrolytes, and they can be replaced with specially designed sports drinks that provide not only fluid but the right balance of electrolytes. Some even provide carbohydrates, which can be a source of energy during exercise.
Creative Ways to Up Your Fluid Intake
Here are some ideas to encourage daily hydration:
- Start your day with a big glass of water before your coffee or tea – you’ll create a good habit that can last a lifetime.
- Set a pitcher of water on your desk each morning. It will prompt you to drink more during your workday.
- On your feet or on the field? Make sure you bring a water bottle with you.
- Set a timer or use a smart app that reminds you to drink more water throughout your day.
- Get creative! Add in citrus, herbs, fruit or a splash of juice to jazz up water; go for a bubbly, unsweetened option; have some tea with lemon; keep a pitcher in the fridge for a nice icy blast on a hot day.
- Eat more watery fruits like melons, leafy greens and cucumbers.
- Have soups before meals. They can help hydrate you and make your meal more filling.
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