Fluids are your Friends

Hot weather can lead to an increase in your body’s core temperature, which often results in a higher sweat rate that may lead to the loss of both fluid and electrolytes. During hot weather, the loss of fluid and electrolytes can cause mild to moderate dehydration. Often there is more to overcoming the effects of fluid loss than just drinking water. When we sweat due to workouts or just being hot, our body loses naturally occurring salts or electrolytes. Electrolytes are important nutrients that help our body maintain its fluid balance. They assist in facilitating the actions of the nervous system, work to help maintain proper fluid and acid-base balance, and allow muscles to contract and relax.

Many important minerals also act as electrolytes. Some of important minerals that help support healthy muscles are sodium, chloride, potassium and calcium. You can find those minerals that act as electrolytes in a wide variety of foods and beverages. Potatoes, raisins, bananas, spinach and sweet potatoes are just a few potassium-rich fruits and veggies. In addition to Greek yogurt and kefir, leafy greens such as kale, swiss chard and arugula contain calcium. Foods that are naturally high in sodium include pickles, olives and celery.

Sports drinks are often promoted as a good choice to help replenish lost fluids after a sweaty workout because they contain carbs along with sodium and potassium, but watch for added sugars and colourings. Coconut water which has been touted as a source of electrolytes contains potassium and a small amount of sodium. You can also make your own version of a sports drink to help replenish those hard working muscles. For some fun DIY sports drink ideas click here - https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/better-than-gatorade-diy-healthy-sports-drink-recipes/slide/3/

Denise Boyd, BSc, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RNH) with a specialization in Cognitive and Immune Support.

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