In the heat of summer, it is easy to work up a sweat with a vigorous yoga practice, working out at the gym or engaging in outdoor activities.
On extremely hot days such as when the temperature reaches about 95 degrees, it is important to pay attention to your hydration status.
The slightest decrease in how hydrated your body is can result in changes within the body that can cause you problems if you don't pay attention to them.
If you lose more liquid than you take in, you risk the possibility of becoming dehydrated. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include dry lips, a dry and sticky mouth, urine that is amber to dark amber in color, dizziness, muscle cramps, nausea or heart palpitations, which left untreated can become dangerous and may lead to cardiac arrhythmia.
Plain water is usually all you need however there are times when it is wise to spike your drink with a pinch of sodium, especially in the heat.
Sports drinks serve the dual purpose of recharging you with electrolytes ( minerals, sodium and potassium) you sweat out during prolonged strenuous exercise.
You probably don't need to worry about missing electrolytes after a light workout, but is you are planning an all day hike in the sun or hot yoga, you might want to consider an electrolyte enriched drink.
I recommend making a sports drink instead of buying one of the packaged sports drinks. They are easy to make and you will known exactly what is in your hydration drink.
The following is a recipe that I think you will find easy to make and great tasting.
Homemade Sports Drink
1/2 teaspoon of honey, 1 cup of hot water, Juice from a quarter of a lemon and a pinch of salt. Combine all the ingredients, stir, and chill the drink in the refrigerator to enjoy later.
You may drink this during and after exercise.
The sodium (salt) is made up of the electrolytes sodium and chloride, which will allow the water to stay in your tissues and the honey is an energy boosting carbohydrate that adds sweetness and delight to your drink.
I recommend that you use bottled water or filtered water when making this sports drink.
Homemade Hydrating & Energizing Drink
16 ounces of filtered or bottled water ( I recommend using IWater by G.I.A. for its single file alignment technology)
1-2 drops of lemon essential oil or 1/2 juice from a fresh lemon
Combine in a container, shake and enjoy.
This drink is also great to take to the gym as well to keep you hydrated and naturally energized.
Remember the most important thing is to make sure you take in some liquid and fruits such as watermelon, grapes, plums, lemons, oranges, honeydew and cantaloupe all have high water contents and add to the amount of water that you take in.
One last reminder stay away from all caffeinated drinks as they will cause the body to dehydrate due to their diuretic effect on the body.
Now go forth and enjoy your summer knowing that you can personalize your hydration.
Wishing you much health and wellness!
Rochele Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS