Summertime and Hydration
Summer is upon us! I don't know about where you live, but in Charlotte it went straight from winter to a scorching summer. With the heat, it is paramount to stay adequately hydrated to avoid dehydration and heat stroke. I am all about prevention, so if a problem can be avoided, I am for that.
First, consistent water intake is a great way to stay adequately hydrated. Get a water bottle and always have it on your person. Get one for your kids to have with them. They even have the cool water bottles these days with all the stickers and buttons on them, so they're cool as all get out and kids want to carry them around. I personally prefer stainless steel or the glass water bottles and avoid plastics. Again, if I can choose items without chemicals, that means I am taking in less chemicals. It is about being mindful, not perfect. Also consider a water pack if you're going on a hike or going to be walking around all day. It is great to have that constant access and you can refill them as needed throughout the day. I found mine on Amazon. You can also find water packs at REI or another outdoor retailer.
Second, be mindful of your caffeine intake!!! Caffeine is a diuretic, which is a substance that will pull water from your cells and into your urinary tract to be excreted. Caffeinated drinks include coffee, certain teas like black and green, certain energy drinks and sodas, etc. I never recommend soda's as there are no nutritional benefits to them. Coffee and tea have plenty, just don't overdo it. In the summertime heat, drink your coffee and tea as you do; however, try having an equal cup of water with it to hydrate as you're drinking the other. That way you can enjoy your drink AND stay hydrated!
Third, replace your electrolytes! When we sweat, not only are we losing water, but we are also losing important electrolytes like salt. So not only is it important to replace your water, but your electrolytes too. Here is what I recommend you be mindful of when replacing electrolytes...
AVOID THE "ADE" COMMERCIAL SPORTS DRINKS! You guys, I cannot emphasize this enough. There are several reasons I invite you to avoid this ingredient in your food.
1. HFCS is an added sugar to any food or drink it is put in (which means the sugar content of these foods or drinks is typically quite high). Having added sugars acts as a diuretic (oh the irony). So, you can end up losing more water. Sugar in high amounts (as the name suggests!) can also pack on the pounds, which does not usually serve us well. Some sports drinks have more sugar per serving than a can of soda (sometimes over twice as much), so read your labels and be a mindful shopper.
2. HFCS is unnaturally high in fructose, and high doses of fructose are harmful to gut bacteria and gut health. Multiple studies have found these consistent results. So, with that being said, take care of your gut and do not give it high levels of fructose like in HFCS that disrupt it.
3. HFCS products contain toxins from the chemical process used to create it. Dr. Mark Hyman writes:
"What we know, for example, is that chloralkali is used in making high fructose corn syrup, and chloralkai contains mercury. Lab tests have found trace amounts of mercury found in high fructose corn syrup-containing beverages. It may not be problematic if we eat this occasionally, but the average person in the country consumes more than 20 teaspoons a day of high fructose corn syrup and the average teenager has 34 teaspoons a day. Over time, these heavy metals can accumulate in the body, causing health problems."
I personally am going through heavy metal detox and am very mindful of what I am putting in my body because I am currently purging these things out of mine. It's truly unbelievable how many toxins our bodies can hold onto over days, weeks, months, and years. In the future I am going to write more on different sweeteners, and today I wanted to highlight HFCS and some reasons NOT to consume it because it is so prevalent in many of our "hydration" drinks.
SO WHAT OTHER PRODUCTS CAN I USE FOR ELECTROLYTE REPLACEMENT? Glad you asked! I personally use Ultima. You get your electrolytes replaced with tasty natural flavors and no fake colorants than your body has to work to filter out. Kids love it too. You can find it at Whole Foods, Amazon. Coconut water is also a natural electrolyte replacement drink. Just check to label because some do add sugar and it already has natural sugar in it (not much), so added is not necessary. Also, add a pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt to your water! Himalayan Sea Salt is different from table salt in that it contains over 80 trace minerals and elements that support healthy bodily function and is great to replenishment for hydration (table salt does not because it is highly processed), and it contains less sodium that table salt, so it does not have the same negative affects on blood pressure like table salt does. Making a water drink with some squeezed lemon and a pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt is a great thirst quencher and replenisher!
I like to keep things simple, and hopefully these simple recommendations and explanations serve you. Always carry water on you, mind your caffeine intake, replace your electrolytes naturally and not with commercial popular sports drinks.
Take care of yourselves my friends and shine on,