5 Drinks to Keep You Hydrated During Sweaty, Hot Days
As the weather gets warmer, you'll probably see yourself outside more often. Whether you're gardening your plants, going out for a run, or simply just soaking up some vitamin D, your body is going to feel dehydrated. Dehydration happens when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to carry out function normally. This is why when you feel hot and= sweating, you need to be sure to stay hydrated.
There are drinks to stay away from when you're feeling dehydrated and that makes you more thirsty, so it's important to know which ones to carry with you on those sweaty, hot days. We spoke with dietitians on our medical expert board to keep you informed on what to drink to stay hydrated. For more, check out Never Drink This on a Super-Hot Day, Dietitian Says.
Drinking water helps your body's health. From aiding weight loss, stopping belly bloat, and keeping your vital organs functioning properly. Not having enough water in your system makes you severely dehydrated and comes with negative effects. For example, lack of water can have you feeling groggy, losing focus, getting headaches, and even risking poor-kidney function.
"Water is the best way to keep yourself hydrated during a sweaty hot day and it's best for the body and it's what the body craves," Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim.
Water with electrolytes
"During those hot summer days or a tough workout session, a beverage with electrolytes will help to keep you hydrated or help to replenish you more effectively than just plain water, but assess whether or not you really need the sports drinks with sugar," says Laura Burak MS, RD, founder of GetNaked® Nutrition and author of Slimdown with Smoothies. "Because these innocent-looking beverages can pack on more calories than you just burned."
With that being said, Burak suggests drinking Smartwater—a brand of bottled water distilled to remove minerals and electrolytes, but adds some back, including magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
"Smartwater is a top choice because it's like a sports drink without the liquid calories or sugar," says Burak. "It is just water with electrolytes which is really all a 'regular' person needs."
She also states that if you're a true athlete or spend significant time in hot climates either sweating or working, the calories and glucose in the other drinks could help sustain energy levels and electrolyte balance.
Young suggests adding potassium-rich fruit such as orange or banana can help with dehydration.
"A fruit smoothie made with banana, berries, unsweetened almond milk, and ice is also super hydrating and rich in potassium," she says.
According to Harvard Health, potassium's role in your body is to help balance the fluid levels in your cells. It is an essential mineral that is needed by all tissues in the body and is sometimes referred to as an electrolyte. This is because it carries a small electrical charge that activates various cell and nerve functions.
"Coconut water is an excellent all-natural way to rehydrate," says Sydney Greene MS, RDN.
According to Greene, coconut water is rich in potassium and also contains some calcium and magnesium. "This drink has got electrolytes covered," she says.
"Coconut water is a great choice on a hot day," adds Young. "Unsweetened coconut water is the best choice and it also contains electrolytes including potassium."
In addition, Greene states that one serving has some naturally occurring sugar from coconut.
"On sweaty days, this tasty drink has your needs covered," Greene says.
"Gatorade is the quintessential sports drink that has probably been around the longest," says Burak. "If you need that glucose boost and electrolytes, it has the least sugar and calories of many of the drinks I see on the market."
Certain Gatorade products contain both sodium and potassium electrolytes. This is because sweat contains more than just water, so it's important they refuel with the proper nutrients.