IMPROVING & SUSTAINING HYDRATION
There seems to be no respite from the sweltering heat outside. Consuming water and staying hydrated is highly essential. But sometimes just consuming water may seem boring to many of us. Also sweating causes not just loss of water but other essential minerals like Sodium as well. So, here are a few ways we can improve the quality of and sustain hydration levels.
Add Chia Seeds
The Chia seeds that float around inside absorb 9 to 12 times their weight in water, which helps with prolonged hydration. Plus, they’re packed with omega-3s for endurance, your heart, and brain.
Consume Coconut Water
The electrolytes present in coconut water are key. Coconut water contains more electrolytes than conventional beverages. It offers hydrating effects similar to the usual carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drinks. But since coconut water is a natural source of potassium and doesn’t contain added sugars and sweeteners, it might be used as an alternative to sports drinks.
Ingestion of coconut water may also be easier on the stomach as compared to conventional carbohydrate-electrolyte beverages. The electrolytes in coconut water can also treat muscle cramps. However, coconut water is comparatively low in carbs and sodium, two important nutrients for sustaining you through long-duration workouts.
Long-duration workouts cause excess sweat and loss of sodium (and not potassium). If that is what you are up for, you may also supplement with a sports drink. You also need extra carbs to sustain yourself – something coconut water contains in a lesser quantity.
For mild hydration and less-intense workouts, coconut water is the best bet. But if you are doing prolonged physical exercise, you must also go for a sports drink.
Consume Sugarcane Juice
Sugar cane is a popular source of quick energy in many places around the world. It is native to South Asia and is available on the streets at very cheap rates. It is a great way to deal with the summer heat and replenish the lost nutrients in your body. In addition to affecting the blood sugar levels in a positive way, it also ensures a strong immune system so that you are well-protected against numerous viruses and infections. But all these benefits don’t mean that you should consume it excessively. You must be cautious especially if you are diabetic.
Consume Water mixed with Electrolytes
Any time you lose fluids, you also lose electrolytes, especially sodium. Under normal circumstances, healthy adults get plenty of electrolytes from eating a balanced daily diet. But excessive sweating, vomiting and diarrhea result in a larger than normal loss of electrolytes. When that happens, drinking electrolyte water helps restore the minerals.
Drinking electrolyte water prevents dehydration, not only because of the water it provides but also because sodium stimulates your body to hold onto water. If you're not a fan of plain water, flavored electrolyte water may offer the added benefit of being more palatable. When you’re exercising, or if you're outside on a hot day, getting enough water is vital for keeping your body temperature down. If you’re an athlete, drinking water is essential for optimal performance.
Consume Isotonic Drinks
Vigorous exercise helps promote heart health, weight loss and overall fitness, but it can also make you sweat one to three quarts of fluid during intense workouts. Although sweating is your body's way to help keep its core temperature cool, it can lead to the loss of important minerals, dehydration and heat stroke. Isotonic drinks replace those nutrients and fluids quickly, helping to prevent exercise-related injuries and illness.
Isotonic fluids have six to eight percent carbohydrates, including glucose -- your body's preferred energy source for exercise. Isotonic drinks have an osmolality of 280 to 330 mOsm/kg, a measure of the number particles of carbohydrates, electrolytes, sweeteners and preservatives in a fluid. The osmolality rating of isotonic drinks best approximates that of your body's natural fluid balance, which is one reason why these drinks are so popular among runners and other endurance athletes.But do check the ingredients and be wary of artificial sweeteners.
No matter what the method of hydration, the best way to stay hydrated is to drink water or other drinks at regular intervals rather than waiting to feel thirsty. Watch for signs of dehydration such as fatigue, dizziness and dark urine.