Hydrate with Foods

Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD

Summer = HOT!!! And in Texas, it stays hot well into October! With an increased temp comes a higher importance on chilling down with fluids to stay hydrated. Hydration provides fluid to the body, but cold fluids can also help cool down the body’s temperature from the inside out. This becomes extremely important if you train in the heat or your children play sports outdoors.

Most of us think of hydration as water and maybe a sports drink during exercise, but the truth is, there are other ways to get your total fluid intake in over the course of the day. Our bodies are made of 60-80 percent water, depending on age, so staying hydrated in essential. Though fluid intake can vary from person to person, a rule of thumb is to take your weight in pounds and divide in half. hen add 8-10 ounces of fluid for every 20 minutes of exercise and, ideally, consume the latter during the workout. However, water and other fluids are not the only way to hydrate. Because we sweat so much more in the summer, here are five ways to consume hydration other than with a beverage.

Fruit:
Think of a grape; now think of a raisin. There is your answer about how much fluid is in fruit. It is a nutrient-rich way to get in fluid, plus tons of vitamins and minerals. Whether you incorporate it into a snack, fill your salad with berries and sliced grapes or even grill fruit on the BBQ, use fruit as a quick, tasty, sweet way to healthfully take in hydration.

Smoothies:
When it is hot, many people don’t feel like eating. This is especially true after workouts, at the pool or at outdoor events. Smoothies are a great way to replace a meal and get some fluid. As a base, use low-fat milk. Then add in some extra protein from low-fat Greek yogurt or protein powder. Then fill up your blender with fresh or frozen fruit. If needing some extra umph, you can also add peanut/almond butter, or seeds, like chia or flax. Then voila … you have a perfect blend of nutrients and fluid.

Juicing:
Juicing can be great if it is a majority of vegetables with some fruit. Lots of people get excited and put every fruit under the sun in their juicing experience, with maybe a handful of spinach. The challenge here, is that though nutrient-rich, it is also loaded with sugar. Try making two-thirds of your juice vegetables and one-third fruit, for a pop of sweetness. This is a great way to hydrate and take in your fruit and vegetable servings over the course of the day.

Vegetables:
They may not be your favorite food, but veggies are a great way to get meals robust in nutrients and fluid. Pairing a salad with meals, sauteeing veggies into your morning omelet, or snacking on them with hummus or avocado dip can be a great way to fill up on fiber and take in fluids, but consume very little calories. Get creative and fit them in your eating experiences as much as you can!

Chilled Soups:
Yes these exist! Chilled soups are a great appetizer at a summer BBQ or as part of a lunch. Most are vegetable-based, which makes them high in nutrients and fiber. This week’s Game Day Goodie features a chilled tomato -and-avocado soup. Packed with fiber, healthy fat, protein and more nutrients than you can count, this is a great way to chill down this summer!