As the temperature rises, it takes a lot more effort to stay hydrated and it is just as important whether you’re on the move or soaking up some sunshine outdoors! To help you kick off the summer in a healthy way, nutritional advisor Amy Liddell at Scope Ophthalmics has put together some top tips to help you keep hydrated.
Why Hydration Matters
Water makes up about two thirds of our body, which means every cell, tissue and organ requires water to function efficiently. Each day our body loses water in normal processes – such as when we go to the bathroom, sweat and even breathe. If we don’t replace the water, dehydration can develop, which can give rise to a range of symptoms from fatigue to flaky skin and dry eyes. During the warmer months, we also tend to lose water at a faster rate through sweating in order to keep our bodies cool. The good news is there are several things you can do to maintain your hydration levels and stay healthy,” shares Amy Liddell.
5 Expert Tips For Hydration
1. Eat it Up – Who says you can’t have your water and eat it too?
Summer time greets us with an abundant crop of seasonal fruits and vegetables that are brimming with water and contain minerals that help our bodies absorb and use it properly. Next time you’re feeling thirsty, up your water intake with these hydrating foods:
- Watermelon: This summer staple is made up of 92% water and is a great snack to have during hot days to prevent dehydration. Get creative at your next BBQ and serve watermelon slices on a stick for a refreshing dessert!
- Grapes: For summer, pop a bunch of grapes in the freezer and enjoy whenever you need to beat the heat and replenish those fluids!
- Peppers: Stuffed peppers can turn a water-rich vegetable into a substantial meal. Fill them up with couscous, or quinoa for extra protein.
- Cucumbers: Made up of mostly water, cucumbers have no saturated fat and are high in vitamin B6 making them the perfect addition to any summer salad.
- Strawberries: No summer picnic is complete without these sweet treats; and with each strawberry containing 92% of water they are great sharing snack to maintain hydration.
2. Slather it for Supple Summer Skin
Our skin contains mostly water so keeping it hydrated is essential for a healthy summer glow! During the summer, high temperatures, humidity and intensive UV radiation can contribute towards less volume of water in the skin. This can cause the skin to lose its elasticity making it appear dry and flaky. As well as keeping your skin hydrated through dietary intake, applying a daily moisturiser can help your skin to retain water so that it stays soft and supple. Look out for moisturisers with built in SPF for extra protection.
3. Swap Table Salt for Sea Salt
Did you know that unrefined sea salt is rich in trace minerals and nutrients which are both important to cell health and hydration? Adding a pinch of sea salt to drinking water or meals can help to satisfy your thirst for longer because the mineral content holds more of the water in your body. On the other hand, table salt which is very heavily processed (and has lost most of its goodness) has the opposite effect when consumed – giving rise to even more salt cravings and feelings of thirst!
4. Try hydrating eye drops
Changes in environmental conditions during the summer (such as from stronger UV rays or constant flow from air conditioning) can trigger dry eye symptoms – which can leave eyes feeling irritated and “gritty”. Refreshing eye drops like Hycosan Fresh (RRP £8.99, available in all good pharmacies and opticians) use natural ingredients in a preservative-free formulation to boost eye moisture, provide natural relief for mild eye irritation and reduce redness. Try a new online Eye Health Test to see if you could be experiencing dry eyes and find out what to do if you are!
5. Upgrade your H20
While it’s true that a glass of water is the best known way to stay replenished, there are plenty of alternative options if you don’t like the taste of plain water. Listed below are some examples of beverages that can contribute to your daily water intake:
- DIY Thirst Quenchers: Flavoured waters that are available to buy in stores are a sneaky source of excess sugar, something that so many of us are trying to avoid. Making your own fruit infusions at home can provide a great refresher if plain water doesn’t quite cut it. Our favourites are raspberry and ginger, cucumber and mint, and blackberry and sage. Layer the ingredients in the bottom of the bottle, fill with ice and water, and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
- Coconut Water: There’s a good reason why people have been going nuts for this tropical drink recently! Coconut water is a nutritious and relatively low-calorie way to add potassium to your diet and keep you well-hydrated. However, it’s important to remember that not all coconut water is created equal and to avoid versions with added sugar. To reap the full benefits, make sure you read the label and opt for 100% natural coconut water.
- DIY Green Smoothie: Slurping down a smoothie is a great way to combine your favourite flavours in one nutritionally-packed glass and rehydrate your body at the same time. If you’re looking for a healthy smoothie, it’s best to go for green smoothies as opposed to fruit juices which tend to have a high sugar concentration. Green smoothies usually contain a mix of leafy greens (such as spinach or kale), a small amount of low glycemic fruits which have relatively lower sugar content (such as berries or bananas) and protein (such as seeds or nuts).