Just how good are your survival skills? Good enough to know how to extract water from a cactus when lost in the blazing hot desert? Okay, while most of us may not find ourself in this scenario, there are often times when we can benefit from consuming foods that prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration.
When temperatures soar, the likelihood of dehydration and heat stroke increase. Forgetting to stay hydrated when you’re splashing in the ocean waves or hitting the trails on a National Park tour can become problematic, and even fatal. Taking the proper precautions to prevent this will not only keep you hydrated, but keep you having fun all summer long.
Along with drinking plenty of water, eating foods with a high water content can help. Juicy watermelons, crunchy celery, and crisp cucumbers can give you the water and electrolyte boost you need – not mention tasting great. If you’re planning on spending the day in the summer sun, pack the picnic basket with these seven hydrating foods that will keep you going all day long.
Cucumbers are 95 percent water, and packed with electrolytes. When temperatures soar, add cucumbers to your list of foods to consume. Chop them into a salad, turn them into gazpacho, or simply add them to your water for an extra electrolyte boost.
Oh, and keep those skins on. The skin contains a significant amount of vitamin C, which is a powerful skin nourishment. So when the sun is doing its best to damage your skin with UV rays, extra vitamin C can be a good thing.
We all know celery is great for weight loss thanks to it’s low-cal fiber filled content. But did you know it can help prevent dehydration? Celery has a high water content – about 95 percent – that can sneak some extra liquid into your diet without even realizing it.
It also contains electrolytes like potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. Add a few sticks to your picnic basket and dip in some hummus for a little vitamin packed protein boost.
Along with drinking water, electrolytes are key to preventing dehydration. Electrolytes help maintain fluid balance in the body, along with a host of other bodily functions.
When we sweat, one of the main electrolytes we lose is potassium. The answer to restoring this vital nutrient is eating kiwi. Kiwis contain 251 mg of potassium per fruit. When dehydration is threatening proper electrolyte balance, bite into a kiwi. And yes, you can eat the skin!
There’s a reason nothing sounds better than a giant salad when heat strikes. Lettuce is full of water. Although it my get a bad rap, iceberg lettuce has the highest water content of any lettuce.
It has about a 96 percent water content – next followed by butterleaf and romaine lettuce varieties. If temperatures are soaring, maybe opt for a bed of crunchy iceberg over a bed of kale.
Citrus fruits like oranges give you a boost of electrolytes. This is great news for those “dog days” of summer days when your sweating out all your nutrients. Replenish your electrolytes with a refreshing orange.
You can even make your own fresh squeezed OJ to up your electrolyte intake. Believe it or not, orange juice has more electrolytes than your fancy sports drinks. It’s healthier, too!
Working out in the heat can be dangerous if you don’t hydrate properly. Depending upon the activity, you’ll need varying levels of hydration before, during, and after your workout.
Pineapple is an excellent natural post-workout hydrator. It has a high water content along with a recovery enzyme called bromelain that aids in muscle repair and anti-inflammation. That along with the juicy water content can help you recover faster and avoid the onset of dehydration. Prep some pineapple slices pre-workout s0 when you’re done, you won’t need to exude extra energy during your cool down.
Of all the foods with a high water concentration, usually watermelon is the first one that comes to mind. Ripe in the summer, watermelon is nature’s way of keeping us hydrated. The water content of its juicy red flesh isn’t the only benefit. It’s packed with vitamins and electrolytes. If you’re going to be spending time outside this summer – which we all will – pack a few slices to beat the heat and stay hydrated.
It’s not only important to stay properly hydrated, but it’s important to know the signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion. When dehydration sets in, your body is not getting enough water. Whether you haven’t been drinking enough, or lost too much, you’ll begin to notices symptoms of dry mouth, lack of urination, headaches, and muscle cramps. If the dehydration persists, worse symptoms will develop like rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion can appear suddenly due to dehydration or playing outside in the heat. When you experience heat exhaustion, you will notice symptoms such as weakness, nausea or vomiting, weak or rapid pulse, flush face, fainting, fever, and even seizures. If left untreated, heat stroke can occur which is fatal. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately.
By upping your water intake, eating foods with a high water content, and avoiding drinks that cause dehydration like caffeine, you’ll be able to stay properly hydrated and make the most of your summertime activities.