Hydration Alternatives to Water

This summer we at the Cristian Rivera Foundation are trying to focus as much on health as we can. Staying hydrated with water or alternative hydration techniques will keep your body functioning normally and keep you in good physical fitness. There are a multitude of health related benefits associated with being hydrated such as promoting cardiovascular health, increasing energy and brain function, helping joints and muscles function correctly, and cleansing your body.

Milk is a great way to stay hydrated as an alternative to water. While milk might not be super popular, with only 25 percent of Americans drinking it regularly, it also contains a myriad of health benefits that can be overlooked. For example, milk contains calcium and Vitamin D, as well as protein to keep you fueled on even the hottest of days.

Fruit juice is another fantastic alternative to traditional water for staying hydrated. Fruit juice contains about 85 percent water however if you choose to drink it to stay hydrated make sure you go with 100 percent juice. It also contains many vitamins such as Vitamin C which helps to boost your immune system. If you are supplementing water with juice be sure not to drink exclusively fruit juice because of the sugar content.

Watermelon is a super healthy and different way to stay hydrated in the heat. Watermelon is actually one of the most hydrating foods you can eat. One cup of watermelon contains over half a cup of water which is around four ounces of water. In addition to keeping you hydrated, watermelon has some fiber and several important nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium.

One obvious solution to staying hydrated in the heat is by drinking traditional sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade. These drinks are specifically designed with salt and magnesium to cause water retention and rehydrate your muscles post workout. It is recommended to actually dilute these drinks because of the high sugar content. So mix one part water with one part sports drink for the optimal hydration beverage.

Tea is another unlikely candidate that could keep you hydrated this summer. Despite the diuretic effect of caffeine, both herbal and caffeine-containing teas will keep you hydrated. Researchers have also reported  that when consumed in moderate amounts, caffeinated drinks such as tea are as hydrating as water. This makes both sweet and unsweetened tea great alternatives to water for staying hydrated.

One common misconception of coconut water is that it is more hydrating than water. Evidence is lacking for this claim, however coconut water is a great alternative because it is low in calories, rich in potassium, as well as fat and cholesterol free. Coconut water can in some instances be a healthier alternative to sports drinks because of the aforementioned attributes.

There are plenty of substitutes to water to choose from for staying hydrated this summer. While not all of them are equal in their efficiency, each is a great way to beat the heat and change up the way you hydrate. It doesn’t matter which option you choose, just make sure to stay hydrated and stay healthy during these hot months.

By Trevor Dominy

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