Stay hydrated

By: Cara Rosenbloom, R.D.

Drink up the summer sun, but don’t forget a water bottle. Your body functions best when you’re drinking enough fluid, so it’s important to sip all day long to stay well-hydrated.

Water should be your go-to drink throughout the day. Since the body is about 60% water, it goes directly to use once it’s swallowed. Adequate fluid intake allows oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to all cells and tissues, and also helps regulate blood pressure levels, cushion joints and protect the brain.

Not sure if you are drinking enough? Your urine colour is a good indicator of hydration status. Well-hydrated people have clear or light yellow urine, while dark yellow or light brown urine indicates dehydration.

Wonderful water

All fluids will contribute to hydration, but water is a calorie-free, sugar-free and low sodium beverage, which is why it’s a better choice than sugary pop and juice, or salty vegetable juice and soup.

Coffee and tea can also be smart choices, as long as they are not doused with cream, sugar, sweetener or flavoured syrups. These caffeinated beverages are 99 percent water. They do not cause dehydration when consumed in moderate amounts, which is a maximum of three cups a day (“cup” as the literal measure of 250 mL – not an extra-large coffee shop cup). In excess, caffeine can have a diuretic effect, so stick with the three cup limit or switch to decaf or herbal equivalents.

Food is hydrating too.

We usually associate fluids with beverages, but foods can add to our hydration equation too. About 20 percent of our daily fluid intake comes from food, not liquid! Watermelon, cucumber and lettuce are especially hydrating, and make perfect snacks between sips on a hot day. Try this refreshing recipe for summer sipping.

Watermelon gazpacho

Serves 4

5 (1.25 L) cups chopped seedless watermelonGazpacho

½ cup (125 mL) chopped yellow onion

½ cup (125 mL) chopped green peppers

½ tsp (2 mL) salt

¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper

1 tsp (5 mL) cumin

½ cup (125 mL) chopped cilantro

2 tsp (10 mL) chopped jalapeno

1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice

¼ tsp (1 mL) chili powder

1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped seedless Watermelon, reserved for garnish

½ cup (125 mL) finely diced avocado, reserved (optional)

 

Puree the first 10 ingredients in a blender until smooth. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Stir in the finely chopped watermelon and avocado at serving time.

 

Recipe source: www.watermelon.org

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