Summer = HOT!!! And in Texas, it stays hot well into October! With an increased temp comes a higher importance on chilling down with fluids to stay hydrated. Hydration provides fluid to the body, but cold fluids can also help cool down the body’s temperature from the inside out. This becomes extremely important if you train in the heat or your children play sports outdoors.
Most of us think of hydration as water and maybe a sports drink during exercise, but the truth is there are other ways to get your total fluid intake in over the course of the day. Our bodies are made of 60-80% water, depending on age, so staying hydrated in essential. Though fluid intake can vary from person to person, but a rule of thumb is to take your weight in pounds and divide in half. Then add 8-10 ounces of fluid for every 20 minutes of exercise and ideally consume the latter during the workout. However, water and other fluids are not the only way to hydrate. Because we sweat so much more in the summer, here are five ways to consume hydration other than a beverage.
1. Fruit: Think of a grape; now think of a raisin. There is your answer about how much fluid is in fruit. It is a nutrient-rich way to get in fluid plus tons of vitamins and minerals. Whether you incorporate it into a snack, fill your salad with berries and sliced grapes or even grill fruit on the BBQ, use fruit as a quick, tasty, sweet way to healthfully get in hydration.
2. Smoothies: When it is hot, many people don’t feel like eating. This is especially true after workouts, at the pool or at outdoor events. Smoothies are a great way to replace a meal and get some fluid. As a base, use low-fat milk. Then add in some extra protein from low-fat Greek yogurt or protein powder. Then fill up your blender with fresh or frozen fruit. If needing some extra umph, you can also add peanut/almond butter or seeds like chia or flax. Then wala…you have a perfect blend of nutrients and fluid.
3. Juicing: Juicing can be great if it is majority vegetables with some fruit. Lots of people get excited and put every fruit under the sun in their juicing experience and maybe a handful of spinach. The challenge here, is that though nutrient-rich, it is also loaded with sugar. Try making 2/3 your juice vegetables and 1/3 fruit for a pop of sweetness. This is a great way to hydrate and get in your fruit and vegetable servings over the course of the day.
4. Vegetables: May not be your favorite food, but veggies are a great way to get meals robust in nutrients and fluid. Pairing a salad with meals, sauteing veggies into your morning omelet and snacking on them with hummus or avocado dip can be a great way to fill up on fiber, get your fluid in, but consume very little calories. Get creative and fit them in your eating experiences as much as you can!
5. Chilled Soups: Yes these exist! Chilled soups are a great appetizer to a summer BBQ get together or as part of a lunch. Most are vegetable based which makes them high in nutrients and fiber. This week’s Game Day Goodie features a chilled tomato and avocado soup. Packed with fiber, healthy fat, protein and more nutrients than you can count, this is a great way to chill down this summer!
Read More Articles by Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD about Athlete's Nutrition:
Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSDD, LD is a sports dietitian in the DFW area. She has worked with Texas Christian University Athletics, the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Dallas Soccer, Jim McLean Golf School and many PGA Tour players as well as with many middle school, high school and endurance athletes. Amy speaks at a variety of nutrition, athletic training and coaching conferences. She is an ambassador/spokesperson for the National Dairy Council, a Dairy Max Health and Wellness Advisory Council member and on the Speakers Bureau for Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Amy is also the co-author of “Swim, Bike, Run – Eat,” a sports nutrition book for triathletes.
Amy received her Bachelor of Science in speech communications from Texas Christian University and Master of Science in exercise and sports nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. She is also a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.