With the heat picking up, summer is well and truly here! So, it’s important we remember to stay cool and hydrated in order to maximise our day and get the most out of summer! Staying hydrated is so important not only from a physical perspective but also mentally. When we are well hydrated our cognitive function is enhanced and we are able to think clearly, make quick decisions and stay focused. Remaining hydrated also helps our brain distinguish between hunger and thirst cues, helping certain people manage their weight and reduce unnecessary snacking. Also I don’t need to tell you that with all the exercise you’ll be doing and the fun in the sun you’re having, it’s inevitable you’ll get dehydrated – we all know that. But did you know we can stay hydrated from a range of foods we include in our diet, not just water?
Here’s my top 10 pick for this summer!
Is about 92% water and totally delicious! It makes a for a great low-energy snack – either on its own, in a juice, in a fruit salad, chocolate topped, in a salad or on an acai bowl. Perfect snack for a beach day!
2. Water with a twist
So I know I said it’s not just about drinking water, but let’s be honest – it is vital for life! BUT you don’t have to drink boring old tap water, get creative and make your own wholesome flavoured waters. It definitely looks great when you’re entertaining this season too (and we’re all about that insta shot!). My favourite additions to flavour water include:
- Lime and lemons
- Making your own Homemade iced teas
- Using a dash of diet-cordials
95% of cucumbers are made up of water so of course they are a great hydrator. Cucumbers are great for summer time too – adding colour and texture to your cheese platters, using in dips (hello tzatziki), salads and even adding to your water with lemon. Using pickled cucumbers can add variety, textures and flavours as well.
4. Milk based smoothies
Cow’s milk is surprisingly a fabulous hydrator due to its complete nutrient profile and healthy sodium content. That’s why we like to recommended milk based drinks or a glass of milk after exercise as it helps rehydrate quickly, plus provide protein for recovery. BUT don’t worry PLANT BASED MILKS are also a great hydrator as they too are made from a large percentage of water, plus provide other nutrients. Try whipping up some of these this summer to get you hydrated and nourished:
- Smoothies: 1⁄2 – 1 cup milk + 1⁄2 cup berries &/or banana + yoghurt (optional) + oats
- Mango smoothie ice-creams: milk + mango + shredded coconut - blend up and pour into ice-block containers.
- Smoothie bowl with milk base instead of water or juice.
Say what?! Yep that’s right coffee can actually aid in hydration and is not only a diuretic. Milk-based coffees act similarly to smoothies and black coffees obviously contain water, helping the body stay hydrated. Also, when we drink coffee we do feel thirsty afterwards, so it’s important we listen to this cue and drink up with water – aim to have a glass before and after your beloved choice of caffeine. Remember though, like everything – drink it in moderation!
6. Leafy green salads
Like most vegetables, leafy greens contain a large amount of water and thus help hydrate us. Therefore by including lots of different salads this summer, you’ll be keeping hydrated all day long. Including more leafy greens will also boost are micronutrient and fibre intake, plus keep our bodies happy. Think: spinach, kale, lettuce, silver beet, cabbage, broccoli, and rocket.
7. Fresh juices
Similar to veggies, fruits are made up of a large percentage of water (remember watermelon). So making fresh juices or ordering one instead of a soft drink or alcoholic beverage when eating out, helps keep us hydrated without having to just stick with water.
8. Sparkling mineral water
Another fantastic alternative drink to plain water. The bubbles can play tricks on our mind making us feel satisfied if we’re after a fizzy drink or wanting to be a little bit fancy. Throw in a lemon or lime wedge and you’re set for an arvo by the pool or night with the girls.
Similarly to watermelon and most fruits, strawberries are made up of around 91% water – plus they’re in season! They are the perfect sweet snack to provide extra vitamins, minerals and fibre you need each day. Plus they are so versatile – think: breakfast toppers, mid meal snacks, desserts, choc topped, smoothies, juices, salads, drink flavourers and even homemade jam.
10. Natural or plain Greek Yoghurt
Lastly in my top 10 is plain yoghurt. It’s made up of more than 75% water due to its skim milk component. Natural or plain Greek yoghurts are a great way to keep hydrated throughout the day especially at snack time as they are more filling from their protein content, plus provide a good dose of calcium and healthy bacteria for our gut (win-win!). Aim to have some daily either at breakfast, as a snack with fruit or muesli, or in meals as dressings or instead of creams.
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR | CHRISTIE JOHNSON
I am an enthusiastic Nutritionist (soon to be Dietitian and Exercise Scientist) who lives and breathes all things food and fitness. I am also an Australian Age-group Triathlete, so I understand first hand the role nutrition and exercise plays in our lives. I believe in a holistic, individualised approach to health, and love helping people build their skills, knowledge and confidence to achieve their potential.
IG - @thefitnutkitchen