We hope for great weather throughout the country on the 4th and hope you get to spend the day enjoying the outdoors with your loved ones. High temperatures and lots of time spent outside can create a real risk of dehydration. In this blog post, we share the best and worst drinks to enjoy this holiday in order to stay hydrated and healthy!
What is dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when your body contains less water than it needs to maintain normal metabolic function. We lose water through sweat, breath, tears, saliva, and urine, with sweat being the primary culprit in the hot summer months.
Symptoms of mild and moderate dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, infrequent urination, dark yellow urine, headache, muscle cramps, and nausea. While mild and moderate dehydration can typically be treated by simply drinking water to replace what was lost, more severe cases of dehydration require IV replacement. Symptoms of severe dehydration include infrequent to no urination, dark yellow or brown urine, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, dizziness, lack of energy, drowsiness, and fainting.
Consuming enough healthy fluids is the easiest way to prevent dehydration. Sip on these hydrating drinks this Independence Day and throughout the summer:
1. Water, of course!
2. Fruit-infused water
If plain water gets a little bland, go for fruit-infused water. On top of hydration, you’ll benefit from all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and electrolytes of the fruit. The natural fruit sugar is a great alternative to the added sugars and artificial sweeteners found in processed fruit drinks.
No fancy water infuser? No problem! Simply add fruit of your choice to a glass or pitcher of water and enjoy! The longer you allow the fruit to infuse, the stronger the flavor will be.
3. Coconut water
Coconut water is packed with electrolytes that your body loses when you sweat – primarily potassium and sodium. Make sure to look for coconut water that does not have additional sugar added.
4. Low- or no-sugar sports drinks
Like the coconut water, sports drinks help replenish your body with fluids and important electrolytes that are lost through sweat.
Many sports drinks contain over 30 grams of sugar per serving so be sure to choose a low-sugar or no-sugar option. Look for drinks flavored with real fruit juice instead of added sugars and artificial sweeteners.
Stay away from or limit your consumption of these dehydrating drinks:
On top of the high and unhealthy sugar content, the caffeine in soda drinks acts as a diuretic, meaning it causes you to use the bathroom more frequently. The caffeine can also increase your heart rate and cause you to sweat, all accelerating the loss of water from your body.
Similarly, the sugar and caffeine content in energy drinks make them a poor choice as well.
Due to the caffeine content, limit your coffee intake to help you stay hydrated.
Alcohol acts as a diuretic as well, causing you to lose more fluids. Note that the higher the alcohol content, the stronger its diuretic properties.
Other tips and tricks for a healthy holiday:
Try pairing your hydrating drinks with these 10 healthy summer foods
If your July 4th picnics, bonfires, and fireworks leave you with some bug bites, check out our 8 natural ways to relieve and heal bug bites