If you are an energetic individual who likes nothing more than to spend all the hot humid days outside running around and doing sports, going cycling with your friends or taking a dip in the pool, or just someone who has to be outside all day for work or running errands, than you know as well as anyone how easily dehydrated our bodies can get. Once the heat officially sets in, simply drinking water does not suffice any more. It might be able to give some of the lost water back, but all the electrolytes that you are losing by the second will still be lost.
Electrolytes, as scientific of a term it might sound, are nothing but the minerals and ions our bodies require on a daily basis to function properly by controlling the body fluids, blood flow, body temperature and so much more, all of which makes them an important part of our dehydrated days and something to be monitored carefully. And just like water, it is easy replenishing all that mineral goodness into our bodies in tasty and creative ways.
Coconut water is one of the best ways to replenish the electrolyte goodness back into our bodies. Coconut water naturally contains lots of potassium which helps prevent muscle cramps, contains low amounts of sugar and tastes well too. This provides the perfect post-workout drink to get one back on their feet and the best part has to be the fact that it is highly available in every corner of every street and that too at reasonable prices.
Nothing beats fresh fruits and vegetables in getting some nutrients back into the body. Freshly squeezed lemon juice has more electrolytes than most other citrus fruits, while apple contains plenty of potassium. Celery on the other hand is packed with sodium, chloride, potassium and magnesium which are most of the electrolytes we require. These juices, along with many others such as oranges with some added salt, sugar or honey in ample amounts of water, create a healthy energy drink that you can carry around all day in your bottle. The fruits provide lots of vitamins, the salt makes up for what you lose when you sweat and the sugar provides energy which is lost quite a lot in the summer. For the ones who tend to avoid sugar for medical reasons or diets, honey is the best alternative.
On the few occasions when we crave something heavy on a hot summer's day but are unable to eat due to the humidity, let's make ourselves something to fill our stomachs, get hydrated, and may be even gain electrolytes while we are at it. Smoothies are a common drink in the hot weather, so adding some ion rich fruits in it will make it even better. Banana and crushed almond smoothie does not only taste great but they both contain loads of magnesium and potassium. Dark leafy greens such as spinach smoothies are also packed with vitamins and nutrients such as magnesium. Whatever fruit or vegetable smoothie you opt for, make sure to add a pinch of salt to increase the sodium chloride content of it; it will not differ in taste by much, but there will be a vast difference in ions intake.
Add a pinch of salt to your drinks, because the sodium and chloride will help maintain your blood pH levels; try to have food and drink with lots of magnesium as it will help in producing energy for our long tiring days and lastly potassium, as this nutrient will keep your muscles working even after long jogs. Alongside all the juices and smoothies, lots and lots of water still needs to be consumed to be able to stay upright even after a day full of sweat. A dehydrated body does not function as properly as a hydrated one, for reasons such as slower blood flow and less effective use of the minerals and ions that we seek so much.
Summer is when people usually feel more amped up to work out, and that is when we lose loads of important ions like sodium and potassium alongside water. Loss of water will only make you feel dehydrated which is pretty easy to regain, but a loss of minerals and ions can result in muscle fatigue and cramps, sometimes dizziness and nausea, and sometimes even rapid heartbeat. Children are more prone to electrolyte or ion imbalance since they usually tend to have higher metabolic rates, and spend an adequate amount of time out in the sun, which makes it all the more important for kids to drink up more of these fluids. All it takes is a little time to juice out an apple or blend our some bananas, and of course with lots and lots of water, to keep our body replenished with electrolytes and hydrated till the brim.
By Anisha Hassan
Effects of water on health
Cardiologists at the Mayo Clinic have recently found correlation between heart attacks and strokes, and that drinking a glass of water before going to bed at night reduces the risk of both—a surprising information for most of us!
Additionally, drinking water at certain times maximises its effectiveness in the body. Two glasses of water after waking up help to activate the internal organs; one glass of water 30 minutes before a meal and before taking a bath respectively help digestion and lower blood pressure.
Another insightful thing about drinking water before going to bed is that it helps to avoid leg cramps at night, which are caused when our leg muscles are dehydrated.
By Mormee Mahtab