I don’t know about you guys but in the heart of this summer heat I feel like I am always thirsty! I’m definitely not complaining, I live for these golden rays but dehydration can leave you feeling irritable and ready for a siesta when you’ve still got hours of sunlight to enjoy!
Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, so it’s no wonder we don’t quite feel like ourselves when we’re feeling a little parched. Water is essential to regulating blood flow, aiding digestion, maintaining a comfortable body temperature, and so much more, so we’ve got to give it the attention it deserves.
Unlike meal times, where it’s super obvious if you’ve skipped one, there’s no specific time of day or certain cue to remind you to drink, and as much as I do love my water, sometimes downing glass after glass can get a bit boring. So what’s a girl to do?
Schedule it in. I’m alll about the scheduling. Add reminders in your calendar a few times per day. I know it sounds silly, but creating new habits can be really hard! So give yourself a little help. After you swipe away that nagging reminder enough times, eventually, it will become habit 😉
Create visual reminders- Keep a water bottle or reusable glass on your desk. Seeing it right in front of you will cue you to take a sip.
Keep it interesting! Those 8 glasses a day? They don’t all have to be water.
Before we get into that, is 8 glasses a day really necessary? As usual, the response you’ll often get from me when it comes to our bodies is…it depends.
The amount of fluids our bodies need differs tremendously from one person to the next depending on activity level, age, height, living conditions…the list goes on.
For the average healthy person, the best way to gauge is the color of your pee, so get comfortable taking a glance. You’re looking for a very pale, hay-like yellow. You’re not aiming for totally clear. At this point you’ve likely got more than you need and the frequent bathroom stops are probably more of a nuisance than anything.
Here are 5 of my fave water alternative to keep things interesting and maybe even gain some extra health benefits while you’re at it!
Kombucha is everywhere these days. This interesting drink is made by adding bacteria and yeast to a tea and sugar mixture and allowing it to ferment into a refreshingly tangy-sweet and fizzy drink. You may be wondering why I’m promoting a drink with added sugar. In the case of Kombucha, the added sugar is necessary for the fermentation process. During this process, the bacteria and yeast eat the sugars, so the end product in traditional kombucha drinks is actually quite low.
Kombucha is a probiotic, meaning that it’s beneficial to our gut health, and is attributed to benefits such as regulating digestion and possibly decreasing risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Though there is currently limited scientific evidence to support these claims, we can still enjoy it as a refreshing treat!
I recently discovered this Vancouver Company, Hoochy Booch and was in love at first sip. I can’t get enough of their creative flavors. My personal favorite is Bellini but I’ve been making my way through the menu and it’s a tough choice each time because they’re all so good!
Whether you make it at home or grab one on the go, Iced coffee is one of my go-tos in the summer months.
Cold-brew is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for 12-20 hours and then straining out the grinds. It’s so refreshing on a hot day, and has a deeper and less-acidic taste compared to more traditional brewed coffee variations. Adding milk (or your favourite fortified non-dairy milk) will also give you a boost of calcium and vitamin D, both important nutrients for healthy bones and teeth but I find the flavor is so smooth that you really don’t need to add anything to it.
This summer I’ve been loving Kicking Horse Coffee‘s new cold brew. I’ve always loved their coffee so was pretty excited when they came out with this chilled version. I love that it’s unsweetened and has great flavor all on it’s own.
Chilled soups are another great summer hydration option.
Not only do they help quench that thirst, they’re also a great way to pack in those nutrients. With endless options of veggies, and maybe even some fruit, these antioxidant, anti-inflammatory rich concoctions will leave your skin hydrated and glowing all summer long. Similar to smoothies, the combinations are endless.
Photo Credit: theorganicdietitian.com
Looking for a cool recipe for a chilled soup? Try this Chilled Summer Gazpacho from The Organic Dietitian packed with spinach, green beans and even an avocado!
Fruits and Vegetables
With the abundance of delicious summer fruit to choose from, one of my favorite ways to sneak in some extra hydration is snacking on fresh fruits and veggies. This is also one of the best ways to naturally regulate our appetites. Did you know that our bodies can easily mistake thirst for hunger? Because of this, staying hydrated helps us recognize our hunger and fullness cues more accurately. Add this to the bonus of the fiber found in fruits and veggies, they’re the perfect snack to keep you energized and hydrated throughout the day!
Fruits and vegetables can range drastically in the amount of water they hold by weight. Watermelon, for example, is a classic summer treat and is generally found to be about 91.5% water. More surprising, however, is the fact that spinach is actually around 91.4% water content! Try out this Watermelon Mint and Feta Salad (maybe with a handful of spinach thrown in there?) for a hydrating summer dish.
Spice things up a bit with a couple of extra ingredients. Here are a few of my faves.
- Frozen berries
- Herbs (mint, basil)
- Citrus fruit
- Shaved cantaloupe
I like to make a big pitcher to keep in the fridge for a few days or infuse ice cubes that I can pop in my water bottle when I head out for the day. Lately grapefruit and mint or strawberry basil are my go-tos.
Although it can be especially important in the summer months, staying hydrated is important year round. Beyond its vital role in helping us detox and supporting immune function, its crucial role in day-to-day energy, concentration, appetite regulation and keeping that skin glowing are hard to ignore.
Hopefully this gave you some new ideas to keep you hydrated and energized this summer! How do you stay hydrated? Leave me a comment below!
Thank you to Martha Staus and Carla Centola, UBC Students and soon to be dietitians (yay!), for helping me put together this post!
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