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When brainstorming topics for this week's blog I kept coming back to hydration. Last week I discussed its importances and different ways to tell if you're hydrated. This week, let's talk about ways to stay hydrated, besides water. We all know water is important and we should drink it throughout the day, I also discussed this last week. Besides water, did you know you can get fluids through the foods you eat?!

When consuming RAW fruits and veggies you are putting more into your body than vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You are also consuming water! When consuming these foods most people will meet around 20% of their daily fluid needs. I emphasised on the "RAW" because when we cook vegetable a lot of the fluid is lost, in addition to their vitamins and minerals. So, the next time you're pulling out your bell pepper eat it raw! Here is a list of hydrating foods you might want to keep around this summer:

- Cucumbers

- Watermelon

- Zucchini

- Bell Peppers

- Cantaloupe

- Grapefruit

- Oranges

- Grapes

- Apples

- Lettuce

- Celery

- Yogurt

- Berries

- Tomatoes

Honestly, any fruit or vegetable will be packed with water! Often, we don't go for these options when we need a snack because they are not as convenient as a box of crackers or a cookie. To help increase your fruit and veggie intake make sure they are always edible. Once you are home from the grocery store wash and cut up your produce! Also, keep these at eye level in your fridge. The next time you open your refrigerator, for a snack, this will be the first thing you will see and will not require any preparation, making them your next snack! This will help you to meet your fluid need, in addition to your fruit & veggie daily goals.

What's with all of the sports drinks?

You can go into any convenient store and the beverage options are endless. It is hard to know what is the best option for you. When grabbing a sports drink, and not exercising, it is equivalent to grabbing a soda.

Try to follow these rules when deciding what you should drink:

1. How long are you about to be active for and at what intensity?

-If you are about to exercise for over 90 minutes you will want to grab a sports drink.

- If you will be exercising less than 90 minutes, water will be perfect.

2. What is the temperature?

- If it is hot and humid and you will be exercising over 60 minutes you will want to be sure to have a sports drink with you. This is because you will be sweating more than a cooler day.

3. Choose a drink that has fewer than 7 g of carbohydrates. You don't want to be filling your body with sugar!

Why are sports drinks so important?

Sports drinks provide you with fluids, electrolytes, and sugar. When you sweat your body releases water and sodium (primarily) and they need to be replenished. If you do not provide this to your body you can become hyponatremic (low sodium levels). I know, we always hear that sodium is not good and we should decrease our intake. However, sodium is important for your cells to maintain the optimal fluid balance. If your sodium dips too low then your cells absorb too much water. In extreme cases, this can lead to your brain and heart swelling.

If you have a cotton, dry mouth, are light headed, or have been exercising for longer than 90 minutes you should be sure to drink a sports drink. However, if you are going for a 3 mile run or are a 6 year old playing soccer, water will do the trick! ;)

Remember: you don't want to be drinking all of the calories you just burned.

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