Nutritious Summer Hydration
I love summer, like most people, but boy do I dislike the heat. I can easily feel withered and depleted when the temperature reaches above 90 degrees. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially in Colorado where there is little humidity. When you are properly hydrated, your body’s internal cooling system works more efficiently to release heat and control your body temperature.
Luckily the top 10 hydrating foods are also delicious and plentiful in the summer. No surprise to see fruits and vegetables on the list since they’re vessels for water.
- Cucumbers: 96% water; high in potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure
- Watermelon: 96% water; contains the antioxidant lycopene
- Lettuce: 95% water; greens help increase circulation and release body heat
- Celery: 95% water; high in insoluble fiber for digestion and gut health
- Pineapple: 95% water; high quantities of vitamin C for immune health and to build collagen
- Blueberries: 95% water; high in antioxidants, phytonutrients and are low in sugar
- Tomatoes: 94% water; high in lycopene and vitamin C
- Pear: 92% water; another low-sugar fruit
- Grapefruit: 90% water; high in vitamin C which is also an antioxidant
- Melon: 89% water; high in vitamin C which is used up during the stress response so replenishing is important, especially if you’ve been stressed physically or emotionally (With many functions Vitamin C is a pretty powerful nutrient!)
Foods that are dehydrating include coffee, tannins in tea and red wine, beer and alcohol in general. These are astringents that cause your cells to dry out and are also diuretics.
The general rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces every day. For example if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75-ounces. However there are additional factors, such as heat, exercise, humidity, and consumption of dehydrating and hydrating foods. Since Colorado is so dry, I recommend adding at least another 8 ounces on top of the half-body weight calculation. Then your needed amount will differ from day to day. Monitor to see how you feel. A sign of dehydration is often fatigue. Urine should be straw-colored, not clear or yellow. (Unless you’re taking B vitamins, the riboflavin will turn your urine bright yellow but usually only for a few hours after taking it.)
If you’ve been out in 90+ temperatures in the sun, its best to add electrolytes to your water; either a few pinches of sea salt or a reputable low-sugar electrolyte blend. We like LMNT because it contains the proper ratio of sodium, potassium and magnesium that your body needs. It comes in lots of flavors and is sweetened with Stevia, or they have an unflavored version if you prefer. Stay away from sports beverages that contain sugars or artificial ingredients and colors.
Follow these tips for a safe, energetic and cool summer.
Eat, Digest and Be Happy!
This article was updated June, 2022.
Disclaimer: Nutrition therapy is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, prescription, or cure for any disease, or as a substitute for medical care. Jen Marshall and Stacy St Germain are not licensed medical providers. Nutrition plans are not intended as a substitution for traditional medical care, nor should be interpreted as medical advice, but instead is an adjunctive and supportive therapy.