Stay Hydrated With Fruits & Vegetables

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When the summer heat soars into the scorching range, it is critical that you keep your body hydrated. Drinking water will keep your body hydrated so that you can reduce your risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Sports drinks can be a good choice to keep you hydrated, too. Many sports drinks contain minerals and salts that replenish the minerals and salts lost when you sweat. Sports drinks can help restore electrolyte balance as well. However, did you know that some fruits and vegetables may actually hydrate your body better than drinking a glass of water? Some fruits and vegetables can be as much as 90 percent or more water. Add some extra fruits and vegetables to your diet during hot weather to help you stay hydrated. You will also benefit from the extra vitamins and minerals. One study by the University of Aberdeen Medical School found that some fruits and vegetables hydrate the body twice as well as water or even sports drinks. 

Cantaloupe, strawberries and peaches are high in water content but also contain potassium that is essential to heart health. Potassium helps to regulate the heartbeat. When you sweat, you lose valuable potassium that can only be replaced by eating potassium-rich foods or taking a supplement. Pineapples and cherries contain melatonin and other micronutrients that help to reduce inflammation in the body. They are high in water content too. Watermelon, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and kiwi are all high in vitamin C. Cucumbers are 96 percent water but also contain minerals and vitamins, including calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. Celery also contains all these minerals plus phosphorus, zinc and iron, which are essential to bone and blood health. 

The next time you exercise outdoors, pack plenty of bottles of water and take along a container of fresh fruits and vegetables to help hydrate your body. 

Diet Damaging Drinks

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You’ve been watching what you eat, cutting down on calories and getting exercise, but for some reason you just aren’t losing weight fast enough. Have you given much thought to the beverages you enjoy every day? When you are trying to limit calories, don’t overlook the calories hiding in your cup or glass. Fancy coffee drinks, alcohol drinks and even fruit smoothies contain hundreds of diet damaging calories that can interfere with achieving your weight loss goals.
Soda is one of the worst drinks for dieters and anyone who is concerned about watching their weight or controlling the sugar in their diet. The average soda contains several hundred calories and is loaded with sugar. The calories in regular soda are empty calories, meaning you consume hundreds of calories but receive little to no nutritional benefit. Switching to diet soda or sugar-free soda can help, but you may not be able to lose weight by switching to diet soda alone. 
Natural fruit juice contains plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs to stay healthy. But, did you know that fruit juice may also contain several hundred calories in just one short glass? Look for fruit juices that are 100 percent juice. Avoid juice drinks or blended fruit-flavored drinks. These types of drinks usually contain 10 percent or less actual fruit juice and contain lots of sugar. Mix  your fruit juice with some cold water to cut down on calories. 
Unless you make your own fruit smoothies, you may be getting little fruit and mostly fruit concentrate, artificial flavors and sugar. Some smoothie shops blend real fruit with sweeteners like ice cream or honey, which can put the calorie count through the roof! Make your own healthy, low-calories, nutrient-rich fruit smoothies at home by blending bananas, strawberries, a splash of 100 percent orange juice or a fresh orange with ice and skim milk. 

Flavored vitamin water is another drink that can sneak in extra calories. Some flavored vitamin water contains sugar. Select flavored water that contains no sugar or make your own flavored water. Refrigerate water until it’s cold. Flavor it naturally with lemon juice or add some sliced strawberries to a glass of cold water for a delicious, refreshing drink. Drink a couple of glasses of water before every meal to help you feel more full to avoid overeating and to stay hydrated. 

Protect Young Athletes from Dehydration

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Many children play sports outdoors during the summer. Dehydration can be a risk when the weather is hot and the kids are playing. Children who engage in vigorous exercise that includes running, baseball, softball and soccer can become dehydrated quickly. Protective clothing and padding can contribute to dehydration and overheating by holding in heat and preventing the evaporation of sweat. Children who may be especially susceptible to heat-related illness include those who are overweight, rarely exercise, have a condition like diabetes and children who have recently had a cold or flu. Dehydration can increase the risk of heatstroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Most team coaches are trained to prevent dehydration by providing water and drinks to restore electrolyte balance in young athletes, but don’t rely completely on your child’s coach. There are steps you can and should take to make sure your child remains hydrated during a game. 
Make sure that your child drinks plenty of water before and during a game or practice session. Take your own bottled water and sports drinks to the game or practice and make sure that your child drinks a cup of water at each break in the game. Learn the warning signs of dehydration and take action immediately if you think a child may be succumbing to a heat-related illness. Dehydration symptoms include a dry mouth, headache, thirst, cramps, dizziness and fatigue. Make sure your child knows how to recognize the symptoms of dehydration and to report symptoms to the coach or to you immediately. Left untreated with water, dehydration can result in confusion and loss of consciousness. A child that appears to be confused should be taken to an emergency room immediately. 
Dehydration is easily prevented by providing children with plenty of water before, during and after practice and games. Talk with your child’s team coach about dehydration prevention and the warning signs of dehydration. Games and practice should be cancelled or moved indoors when the temperature and humidity is high. 

Staying Hydrated With Overactive Bladder

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You know how important it is to stay hydrated during exercise, especially if you do moderate to intense exercise for 30 minutes or longer. You should drink water before, during and after your workout to avoid dehydration and excessive fatigue. But what if you suffer from an overactive bladder? Won’t drinking all that water result in numerous bathroom breaks, which can interfere with your workout? There are many ways to help keep your overactive bladder in check. See your doctor if you are going to the bathroom more frequently than is typical for you to rule out other conditions such as diabetes. Only your doctor can diagnose the cause of frequent urination. If you have been diagnosed with overactive bladder, there are some things you can do to help alleviate your symptoms. Overactive bladder does not have to be a problem during exercise. 

Cut down on the amount of caffeine and alcohol in your diet. Caffeine and alcohol can irritate your bladder and increase the urge to go to the bathroom. Caffeine is a diuretic which can cause you to urinate more frequently. Cut back on coffee by drinking no more than 2 cups of coffee before lunch and do not drink caffeinated coffee after lunch. Avoid caffeinated sodas and energy drinks, which are often loaded with caffeine. Try to limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day. Cut back on salty and spicy foods that will make you feel more thirsty. Avoid carbonated drinks, too. Add more fiber to your diet to help keep you regular to avoid excess pressure on your bladder from a full bowel. 

Drink plain, unflavored water before, during and after your workout. Sip water water in small amounts throughout your workout to avoid dehydration. Small amounts of water will be more quickly absorbed by the body. Go to the bathroom immediately when you feel the need to urinate. Don’t delay urination because holding your urine can cause more bladder problems.