Summer’s almost over, but even with the cooler temps, it’s still important to stay hydrated. But how’s a busy girl like you supposed to find the time to keep hydrated and happy? I can help. I’ve scoured the internet and gotten some great advice from my doctor and my personal trainer. Here are the 8 best ways to hydrate, all of them geared for a girl on the go.
Simply put, drinking plain water is the best way to hydrate. Most of us aren’t pro athletes, so we don’t need fitness drinks (like Gatorade) and we’re not undernourished, so we don’t need vitamin-fortified drinks (like Vitamin Water). Plain water has zero calories, too, unlike those other hydration drinks. Sweet!
I know, I know… water may be the last word in keeping hydrated, but it’s so bland! Feel free to jazz it up a little with a dash of lime or lemon juice. The calories the few drops of juice will add are negligible, and if it gets to you drink more water, the good far outweighs the tiny amount of calories.
I’ve found I tend to drink more water when I carry a bottle around with me everywhere I go — in the car, in my backpack, in my handbag, in my gym bag, in my work bag, everywhere! I sip from it all day long, and before I know it, I’ve had my 64 ounces, and I’ve stayed hydrated and happy… and energized!
Coffee, tea, soda, chocolate — all of these marvelous things contain caffeine, an energizer, but also a diuretic. While the boost of energy is great (and let’s face it, often NECESSARY), the effect of the diuretic can sabotage your attempts to stay hydrated. While a little caffeine won’t hurt, getting your hydration solely from caffeinated beverages isn’t a good idea.
This comes straight from my doctor and my trainer — if you exercise (and you should!), you need to replace what you use! Keep hydrated at the gym, on the track, or at home by sipping from a water bottle, or, if you feel you need it, some Gatorade or Powerade. Drink a little before you exercise, sip throughout your workout, then drink more when you’re done. This is the best way to hydrate while working out, helping you avoid dehydration on one end and awful cramps from too much water on the opposite end.
There has never been a study that suggests soda is good for you; in fact, every study ever done on the topic proves it’s terribly unhealthy! It affects your body’s ability to absorb calcium (some studies suggest is actually leaches the calcium from your bones), it’s been shown to promote obesity, and most recently, a study from the University of Texas Health Science Center showed that people who drink diet soda are more than 40% more likely to GAIN weight than people who don’t. Wow! Plus, of course, most sodas contain caffeine, which harms hydration. So it’s best, obviously, to skip the soda and seek hydration elsewhere.
Okay, so if you don’t like plain water, even with a dash of lime or lemon, and soda and coffee are out of the question, what other options do you have? You can stay hydrated by drinking decaf or herbal iced tea, or by choosing a mixed fruit juice. Be sure, though, that the juice you’ve chosen actually contains real juice, without added sugars. Check the label, then sip away to keep hydrated… and maybe even squeeze in a serving of fruit! Hooray!
Did you know there’s something you can eat, rather than drink, that’s a great way to hydrate? In summer, especially, watermelon is a wonderful hydration helper! It’s a tasty treat, so you’ll feel like you’re rewarding yourself, even though you’re all business, working on staying hydrated while you munch on your favorite pool-side treat. Clever girl!
So whether you’re a workout-wonder or a beach bum this summer, there’s at least an idea or two on this list just for you! Like I said, keeping a bottle of water with me at all times is my secret hydration helper… but which of these ideas do you think is best for you? Or do you have another way to hydrate you can share?
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