Today is the first day of Summer, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and also, a chance to get outside, soak up some rays and know that a Fourth of July BBQ can’t be too far off. But it’s also a reminder that with warmer weather comes the opportunity to sweat more, meaning we need to pay extra attention to hydration.
Why? Because roughly, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and it becomes more common as we age. Dehydration is a frequent cause of hospital admission. The elderly population is also 20% to 30% more prone to developing dehydration due to immobility, impaired thirst mechanism, diabetes, renal disease, and falls.
But drinking water sometimes isn’t enough. We also need to replenish electrolytes, like sodium. Have you ever noticed on hot days, after long workouts, that your skin is a bit gritty? That’s actually salt that you’ve sweated out, in addition to fluids, and it’s necessary to replenish it, especially in the summer. Sodium is a critical electrolyte that, along with potassium and chloride, helps to deliver water to your body's cells, and is also responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses, proper muscle function and in regulating blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. That means a diet that's too low in sodium can actually increase your risk of dehydration.
And that brings us to a bigger principle: Electrolytes control fluid balance in the cells. Our bodies maintain a healthy fluid balance by changing the concentration of water inside and outside of cells. They do this by pumping electrolytes in and out of cells. And water follows the movement of electrolytes.
So essentially, we need to focus on replacing the electrolytes we lose in addition to the water we lose. Fortunately, there are easy fixes for this.
1. You can add a dash of non-iodized salt to your water: Pink Himalayan salt is extracted from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan near the Himalayas, and the natural harvesting process allows pink Himalayan salt to possess many other minerals and trace elements that are not found in regular table salt. It’s estimated that the salt may contain up to 84 different minerals and trace elements. In fact, it’s these very minerals, especially iron, that give it its characteristic pink color. But other non-iodized salts will work too. (Always consult the FDA guidelines for recommended sodium intake.)
2. You can drink coconut water: Coconut water is naturally low in sugar and contains a variety of electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It’s also low in calories and easily available these days.
3. You can drink watermelon juice: One cup (237 ml) of 100% watermelon juice provides almost 6% of the Daily Value (DV) for potassium and magnesium while offering small amounts of other electrolytes like calcium and phosphorus.
4. You can add electrolyte tablets to your water: Most electrolyte tablets contain sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and usually come in a variety of flavors. Emergen-C’s Hydration + line is my personal favorite.
5.. You can book an IV Drip at Restore: The IV Drips infuse a liter of fluids with essential vitamins, nutrients, minerals and amino acids that go far beyond water alone. Whether you’re committed to the prospect of reducing cellular damage with vitamin C, aiding your body's energy production with B12, or relaxing while supporting muscle health with magnesium, our extensive menu of drip ingredients gives you every opportunity to take your wellness further than you thought possible. Book an appointment now!