The Water Substitutes Thousands of Fitness Trainers Are Using To Hydrate
As summer approaches, your body will try to maintain a temperature balance to stay cool, and staying hydrated is an integral part of that balance. In fact, the importance of being hydrated cannot be overstated as our bodies are made up of almost 50%-75% of water. The body utilises water for almost every function it carries out, from keeping skin health in check, to nutrient delivery, hormone transportation, lubrication of joints, and various digestive and respiratory functions.
Those who are conscious about their health and engage in regular exercise are aware of the toll a water deficiency takes on their body and overall athletic performance.
The right amount of water you need can be determined by a simple calculation- take your weight in pounds and divide it by two. The resulting number is the amount of water (in ounces) that you need to consume everyday. For instance, if my weight is 145 pounds, I need to drink about 73 ounces of water everyday. That comes out to be about 10-15 glasses of water. Drinking that much water everyday is no joke. Moreover, doctors say, we need to consume about 20% of our water by eating water-rich fruits and vegetables. Let us look at a few ways you can fulfill your daily water content needs with other substitutes to water:
If you are engaging in intense exercise for over an hour, a good sports drink is advisable to maintain athletic performance during the course of the workout. Sports drinks contain additional electrolytes, carbohydrates, salts, and sugars that supplement the loss of hydration and salts during a workout. Electrolytes are necessary to regulate nerves and muscles, while carbohydrates help kick start the muscle recovery process.
Keep in mind to avoid sports drinks with high sugar or fructose content as these might just be adding unnecessary calories to your diet. Also remember, if your workout lasts less than 60 minutes, water is more than sufficient for your hydration needs and consuming sports drinks will just add carbohydrates to your diet that you do not need.
Coconut water is a great natural source of hydration that comes with only positive qualities. It is rich in potassium and electrolytes, and is completely free of synthetic sugars and carbohydrates. In fact, studies have shown that coconut water is the perfect drink after a light workout. Once again, it is important to only choose from brands that offer unsweetened varieties, free of any preservatives.
Fat Free or Skim Milk
Hydration is not just about maintaining water levels, but about providing the body with enough water, and other necessary salts, proteins and nutrients that recharge and replenish the bodily functions. Research has proven than fat free milk is a great source of hydration, even better than sports drinks or water itself.
Skim milk contains high amounts of calcium, proteins, carbohydrates, and electrolytes and one glass only contains 90 calories. That means, not only does milk offer necessary hydration to the body, it also contains other nutrients that are crucial for the recovery process after the workout.
Juices and Smoothies
Most fruits and vegetables are rich in water content. If you cannot eat a lot of them, try making a glass of orange juice or carrot juice with a hint of ginger. To save some money, invest in a cheap, but good quality juicer and make your own freshly squeezed juices at home! You can even try a number of combinations of fruits to add variety to your diet.
Similarly, you can make a smoothie with berries, watermelon, peaches, pineapples, plums, and many other water rich fruits. The best part is that these fruits are usually so tasty, it is easy to consume them in large quantities, which essentially converts to a better water concentration inside the body.
Green tea, or any herbal tea for that matter, is great for hydration. Additionally, green tea is rich in phytochemicals that are proven to improve immunity. Green tea has also been associated with reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels and improving blood circulation inside the body. If that is not reason enough, studies have shown that green tea is very effective in lowering the overall fat percentage inside the body.
Initially, it was believed that coffee was a cause of dehydration, but recent studies have shown otherwise. That means, your daily cup of joe would not only fulfill your need of hydration, it will improve your memory, and boost physical performance.
However, it is important to remember that while coffee itself has no fattening effects, the milk or cream added to coffee have unnecessary fats and calories that may disrupt your diet. If you absolutely must add milk or cream to your coffee, make sure you inhibit the quantities to one tablespoon per cup.
There you have it, list of things that you can consume as a substitute to water. However, keep in mind that this does not, in any way, undermine the importance of consumption of water. These are just substitutes and not replacements.
If you know of any more things that can be used as a water substitute for daily hydration needs, please share them with us in the comment section below!