No one wants to give up their favorite activities just because the temps start to creep higher and higher. Just walking outside in the summer to catch the T or going to the local grocers can cause one to sweat. Drinking caffeine (who doesn’t love their Dunkin’ Iced Coffee) or alcohol can also contribute significantly to dehydration especially in the summer. Add in an active yoga class or any other exercise and your body sweats more and loses very critical electrolytes.
So what is one to do? Stop the yoga? Of course not! It’s time to learn the simple ways you can stay hydrated this summer! Drinking water during the activity is not the only time to remember to hydrate. For proper hydration one should be properly hydrating pre, during and post activity. Some signals of dehydration include: tiredness, headaches, nausea, lack of sweat, disorientation, and hunger. Interesting to note the brain doesn’t provide a strong signal for thirst. The signal for hunger is much stronger. This means by the time you may actually feel thirsty you are already on your way to being dehydrated.
So let’s start with the base amount of water one should be drinking to maintain proper hydration without increased activity or heat. A great rule is to take your body weight and divide it by half and then drink that many ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds you should be striving for 75 oz. of water, a little more than 9 cups or a little more than ½ a gallon per day. Now if you are active and perspiring you need to increase the amount of liquids and more importantly replenish lost electrolytes.
It’s important to remember water alone may not do it. When you are losing lots of water through perspiration and urination, you lose electrolytes faster than you may realize.
Here are some great ways to replenish lost electrolytes:
- Drink liquids with electrolytes. At our Boston yoga studio, we sell Ultima powder and Nuun tablets both excellent ways to naturally replenish lost electrolytes. Simply add to your water, dissolve and drink.
- Coconut water (no sugar or artificial sweeteners added) is also a terrific way to support proper hydration.
- Eat foods with high water contents, most fruits and vegetables. Here are some great ones that provide key minerals (electrolytes): watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, lettuces, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, avocados, grapes, celery, and bananas.
- Adding extra sea salt to your food.
- A 100% juice frozen popsicles can be a fun treat and a cool way to replenish.
- Decrease caffeine and alcohol intake.
- Consider adding natural, freshly made vegetable juices that offer high levels of nutrients.
Here’s to your health all summer long!