Right now, it feels great to be able to get outside and have some fun. Maybe you do a workout outdoors or enjoy a day hanging out in the sun.
With the summer months filled with long days and plenty of heat and sunshine, it’s important to keep tabs on your hydration and electrolyte levels. Our bodies need to stay well-hydrated to carry out essential functions like maintaining blood circulation and normal body temperature.
When you start to get dehydrated, these and other body processes begin to decline. Your body is no longer able to adequately cool itself off. But you can keep things running smoothly by making proper hydration a priority – especially in hotter temperatures.
So what’s the best way to stay hydrated throughout the day?
The option that’s going to be almost always readily available is obviously water. As you drink water throughout the day, you want to drink enough so that you’re not thirsty. But not so much that you end up with an uncomfortable sloshy feeling in your stomach.
For some, supplementing your water intake with electrolytes is necessary to maintain a healthy fluid balance. Exercising in hot weather or doing longer, high-intensity workouts where you sweat more than usual might call for you to supplement your water with electrolytes.
Here are a few sources of those necessary electrolytes:
Coconut water naturally contains electrolytes. But be aware that not all coconut water contains the same ingredients. Look for options that don’t have added sugar. And like most foods, the simpler the ingredient list, the better.
Like coconut water, not all sports drinks are the same. Some brands contain as much (if not more) sugar than soda. With high levels of sugar, a sports drink may not seem like the best electrolyte source. But their original purpose was to provide both electrolytes and fuel (carbohydrates) during long workouts or events. When used for this purpose (to keep you fueled and hydrated), it’s not a bad choice. Still, try to find drinks that don’t contain additives or heavy amounts of sugar. And try to only consume these drinks during or immediately after a workout.
Electrolyte tabs make it easy to carry electrolytes with you. These portable tablets come in a small packet or cylinder. All you have to do is drop one or two into your water. Tablets tend to have little to no sugar and replenish essential electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, and potassium.
Have fun, stay safe, and stay hydrated!
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