Healthy Hydration during the Summer MonthsThe Truth about Sports DrinksA few things to think about...
What is an electrolyte?
Electrolytes are ions that break apart when put into fluid. Our body uses them in many different ways. The main ones include sodium, potassium, and chloride. They play a major role in hydration and muscle function.
How much are you really exercising?
While it is important to make sure your electrolytes, fluids, and blood sugar don’t drop below and unsafe level, most of us don’t exercise enough to where foods that we normally eat aren’t enough to replace them. Electrolytes are not necessary to replace unless you exercise for a long period of time like you would in a sport such as endurance running.A lot of “sports drinks” have added sugars and calories that hurt us more than help us. A good alternative would be to drink a bottle of water and eat a banana.DehydrationMost adults need eight 8oz glasses of water, or 64oz total. This is equal to 2 liters of water or four 16oz bottles of water. When sweating more during the summer months or when exercising it is important to drink more.
Side Effects of Dehydration
You might wonder how you can tell if you’re dehydrated. The following are common side effects of dehydration according to Mayoclinic.org:
Infant and Children Symptoms
· Dry mouth and tongue
· No tears when crying
· No wet diapers for three hours
· Sunken eyes, cheeks
· Sunken soft spot on top of skull
· Listlessness or irritability
· Extreme thirst
· Less frequent urination
· Dark-colored urine
Why soda isn’t the healthiest choice
Soda is made from sugar, water, carbon dioxide gas, edible chemicals and it often contains caffeine.
According to kidshealth.org the effects of caffeine on both children and adults includes: jitteriness and nervousness, upset stomach, headaches, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure. In children it takes a very small amount to cause these. A lot of the side effects happen because caffeine causes water to be leave the body leading to dehydration.Both the sugar and acid in soda whether it is diet or not can lead to an increased risk for cavities. Sugar and caffeine are both addictive and cause symptoms of withdrawal so they should be limited.
What are some smart beverages?
-Unsweetened iced tea
-Water with different fruits like lemon, lime, strawberries. For extra flavor you can include herbs like basil, lavender, or mint.
-Hot Tea or Coffee
-Skim milk or unsweetened soymilk
How to Choose the Right Juice
Drinking juice can be helpful because juices contain the vitamins and minerals found in the fruit that they are made from, but it is still important to know the facts.
· When reading the label on the juice look for something that says “100% juice”. This means that there is no added sugar. It is important to remember though that fruit naturally has a lot of sugar so you should still limit the amount of juice you drink.
· Look for juices that also contain vegetables. Vegetables have less sugar than fruit so it will reduce the amount of sugar in each glass and increase the nutrients.
· Combining half a glass of water with half a glass of juice helps reduce the calories and sugar while still maintaining flavor.It is essential to remember that when drinking juice we don’t get all of the same benefits that we get from eating whole fruit.