Keep hydrated in the sun
It's getting hotter and hotter and the high temperatures are taking a toll on everyone.
If you're lucky enough to have an air-conditioned home and/or office, you may be able to escape the heat but for many, that's not possible. One of the most important things you can do, besides wearing lots of sun screen when you are outside and not over-exerting yourself in the heat, is to make sure you are well hydrated. It's easy to become dehydrated in this heat without even knowing it, and the effects can be really unpleasant. I've written recently about trying not to consume lots of sugary liquid calories, and I still stand by that advice, but keeping hydrated is important and there are ways to do it and still keep your waistline intact. Here are some tips:
Water is one of the best hydrating fluids for most people who are not very active because it's calorie-free and you can keep costs down by drinking from the tap at home or work. If you are concerned about water quality, many people have installed water filters on their taps and others have Britta filter pitchers in their fridge.
If you don't like the taste of plain water or find it "boring," you can create "spa water" and great taste by adding some cut up fruit such as watermelon, honey dew or cantaloupe, berries, lemons or oranges or vegetables like cucumber or greens or even mint or other fresh herbs to your pitcher of water. If you want even more flavor, add a dash of pomegranate, blueberry, cranberry or orange juice to your water.
When your kids go to day camp, to a sports event or out to play, make sure they carry a bottle of water with them. Encourage them to drink water at home so they will get used to doing it.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are another source of fluids and come with nutrition. Make sure you have lots of melons, berries, ripe peaches, oranges. tomatoes and greens at home and include some in your kids backpack when they are outdoors.
If iced tea or lemonade are your favourite summer drinks, try making your own. It's pretty easy to pour your tea over ice, add some lemon and if you want a little sweetness, add a bit of sugar. It will still be less than the sweetened ones that you buy. If you do buy, look for varieties that are unsweetened.
You can also make iced coffee which has considerably less calories than the iced drinks at your favourite coffee shop. If you do go to the coffee shop, check the website and pick the lowest calorie iced drink. For example, at Second Cup, if you order a 12-oz. Chocolate Toffee Crunch Chillatte, its 300 calories and 54 grams of carb. If you order brewed Iced Coffee, its less than 5 calories and if you want a little sweet, you can add a teaspoon of sugar and you're adding only 16 calories.
If you want to drink juices, use them as a breakfast drink or an occasional beverage rather than a thirst quencher.
Alcohol can be dehydrating so if you are having a drink, you might want to have some water or other cold lower-calorie drink first. Some of the summer cocktails are also calorie-rich. For example, a Mai Tai is about 350 calories compared to a white wine spritzer with only 75 calories. Again, don't use them as a thirst quencher but instead as a drink when you are already hydrated.