In the summer, many of us are spending more time outside, whether it’s going for a walk or run around our neighborhood, hiking the trails near our houses, heading to the beach and lake, or just hanging out in the park. Many of us will be on the go and will need quick and convenient foods and beverages to take with us.
One of the biggest concerns associated the summer heat is dehydration. Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water or other fluids to carry out its normal functions.1 The summer heat and activity can cause us to sweat more and increase the amount of fluids needed to stay hydrated. Most people will tell you to avoid everything except water as they may cause dehydration to worsen. While some people suggest avoiding sodas and diet sodas because they say that caffeine is a diuretic, studies show that caffeine does not worsen dehydration in individuals that routinely consume caffeine.2 Other options are sports drinks, teas, and juices to stay hydrated this summer. As long as they aren’t carbonated, considering freezing a few bottles the night before. Day long outings mean they have time to thaw out and you can enjoy cool beverages later in the day. Try out these two beverages for the perfect blend of flavor this summer – lightened up with aspartame: Low Cal Cranberry Spritzer Punch and Sweet & Spicy Sun Tea.
Another key to keeping an active lifestyle, along with hydration, in the hot summer months is nutrition to help you stay energized. Instead of eating three big meals, try to eat five to six smaller meals throughout the day or bring snacks to work and graze throughout the day. For snacks, try nutritional bars, sugar-free yogurt, protein nutritional drinks, fruit, trail mix with fruits and nuts, or these Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars.
To help keep track of your calories this summer, try out these movement and food calorie calculators.