Summers seem to be getting warmer all the time – and in the southern United States, parts of Europe and of course parts of Asia that lie near the Equator have pretty hot summers to begin with. And one problem with hot summers is how to prevent the body from getting dehydrated, which can happen quickly and lead to serious consequences, particularly for children or the elderly. That is why it is so important to be aware of what foods and beverages truly hydrate the body even on a hot day and prevent fluid and electrolyte levels from becoming too low. The most hydrating foods and drinks are listed below – as well as a few dehydrating products that it is best to avoid.
As its name suggests, watermelon is actually around 92% water so it can add in a big way to hydration levels. Apart from hydration, it can also help the body stay healthy over the summer by providing Vitamins A, B and C and important electrolytes like potassium and sodium, which can become unbalanced if someone is dehydrated. (1)
Cantaloupe is another melon that is great for those long summer days. It is around 90% water (nearly as good as the watermelon) and is also a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and electrolytes like potassium.(2)
Cucumbers also have a high fluid content, which contributes to hydration. Aside from that, they are a rich source of four of the most important electrolytes: calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium. Thus they are a great way to keep the body balanced even in the heat. (3)
Of all the fruits and vegetables listed here, celery clocks in as having the highest water content: around 96%! It is also a great source of electrolytes like potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium which the body can lose through sweat and which need to be restored when the weather is warm. (4)
This is perhaps one of the sweetest summer treats and has a high water content, too! And apart from contributing to hydration, grapes (especially red grapes) are packed with antioxidants and compounds like resveratrol, which have proven to be great for heart health. (5)
What to Avoid?
There are, of course, foods and beverages that it is best to avoid during those long hot summers, as they tend to dehydrate the body, something which can lead to serious consequences if left unchecked. Products to avoid include those that contain:
Caffeine, Sugar, Alcohol.
All three of these ingredients can actually cause the body to lose fluids and electrolytes, even when they are in drinks. It is best to just give them a miss, especially on hot summer days.
Using these foods and beverages in the diet will not only ensure a delicious summer – it will also ensure that the body receives the hydration that it needs to stay healthy on even the hottest summer days.