Staying hydrated this summer takes more than just water - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Health Advice

Staying hydrated this summer takes more than just water

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Sandra Lassiter

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Posted: Monday, July 11, 2011 10:00 am | Updated: 4:51 pm, Fri Jul 15, 2011.

It's officially summer and time to put serious thought into your daily hydration routine. Proper hydration is extremely important in dry climates like Arizona and especially during the hottest months of the year.

On a daily basis, it is recommended that you drink half your body weight in ounces of water to stay properly hydrated. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you should drink 75 ounces of water each day. Add any kind of physical activity to the mix and you will need to drink more than the recommended daily amount to stay hydrated.

For most people, especially in Arizona, drinking just water is not sufficient to stay properly hydrated, especially during the intense heat of summer. Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, headaches, cramping and fatigue.

Perspiration is designed to eliminate waste from the body; it also eliminates important minerals called electrolytes. Electrolytes are salts and minerals, such as sodium, potassium and calcium, which may be lost from the body in very hot and dry climates as well as during physical activity. When you're feeling the symptoms of dehydration, you're body is telling you that it is deficient in electrolytes.

You can easily replenish electrolytes. You can easily find electrolyte enhanced water in most stores and electrolytes are also contained in most sports drinks. Some sports drinks, however, are high in sugar, making electrolyte enhanced water more desirable. Emergen-C and other electrolyte supplements in packet form can be kept handy to add to your filtered water. Coconut water is growing in popularity due to its many health benefits, it also has no added sugar and is fat and cholesterol free.

Tip: You can make your own electrolyte enhanced water by mixing a pinch of sea salt into filtered water. For added flavor, squeeze in some fresh lemon or lime juice. Sea salt contains a variety of minerals that play a role in keeping the body's electrolytes in balance.

Coconut water is loaded with the five key electrolytes: Potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium and calcium, and contains 15 times more potassium than that found in other sport drinks. It is readily absorbed by the body converting into energy immediately. In Arizona, it's what you need to stay hydrated.

Fact: In cases of emergency, coconut water has been used as an intravenous hydration fluid instead of the standard IV fluid because its makeup is almost identical to blood plasma.

During World War II, many wounded soldiers were saved in the Pacific because of emergency transfusion using coconut water when blood plasma was not available.

Stays healthy and hydrated this summer; drink plenty of water combined with electrolyte enhanced drinks.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Sandra Lassiter is a yoga teacher, practitioner and owner of Hot Yoga Ahwatukee. Reach her at (480) 786-8124 or Sandra@HotYogaAhwatukee.com.

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