Hot weather can be refreshing at times, but did you know that too much heat can lead to illness or even death? Fortunately, there is a delicious natural beverage that is low in calories and can help you combat the heat and maintain good health. I’ll reveal it in just a moment…
This Summer the Hottest on Record?
There have been so many nights this summer when I’ve either struggled to sleep or I woke up in a pool of my own sweat. It’s been hot, and it seems to keep getting hotter.
We’re nearing the end of August and the heat has rarely let up. In fact, I think it’s been nearly the hottest summer I can remember. I live in the northeast and visited down south for some “heat relief” but was caught up in yet another heat wave! And my friends and family out west have all told me about the blazing temperatures they’ve endured this summer. We can all feel each other’s pain.
According to recent data, this past July looks like it was the hottest month on Earth—ever.
I hope you made it through alright, and are continuing to thrive despite continuing warm temperatures. But I need to remind you of one thing: when you’re sitting out in the hot sun, keep in mind that taking care of your health when the mercury is high should be your top priority—and that means drinking lots of fluids.
Why Water May Not Be the Best Way to Battle Dehydration
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do. As important as it is to stay out of the heat, it’s virtually unavoidable—life goes on. But you can limit the impact of the high temperatures by keeping your fluids topped up.
Water is a good option. You’ll want to drink eight or more glasses per day in this kind of heat. But there is a water alternative that offers a better way to stay hydrated when the heat’s really on.
When you sweat, you lose electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals in your blood that carry an electric charge and impact a number of physical processes like the amount of water in your body, blood pH levels, muscle function, and other important functions. In this kind of heat, replacing lost electrolytes like potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, and phosphorous is just as important as staying hydrated.
So what’s the solution? That natural beverage I was referring to earlier: coconut water.
How Coconut Water Battles Dehydration in Ways Water Can’t
Coconut water is a very efficient rehydrator that’s packed full of electrolytes. It’s great because it is low in calories and sodium, which is an electrolyte most people aren’t low on. However, it’s very high in potassium. One 11-ounce can of natural coconut water has more potassium than four bananas—and potassium is a nutrient most Americans don’t get enough of. Plus, one can only contains 60 calories, which is less than a sports drink. If you’re watching your calories, don’t drink too many cans, but a couple each day in place of a glass of filtered water shouldn’t make a big difference to your count and can offer many health benefits.
One tip: if you perspire heavily or are spending a lot of time outside sweating, you might want to drop a little bit of sea salt into your coconut water to replace lost sodium.
Finally, read the label before you buy it. Some flavored coconut waters are packed full of sugar, so be careful to select the plain (sometimes labeled “original”) version. It has a nutty flavor that I find enjoyable; that extra sugar isn’t needed!
So start protecting yourself against this intense heat now by staying cool, hydrated, and stocked on electrolytes with a cool glass of coconut water.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Zelman, K.M., “The Truth About Coconut Water,” WebMD web site; http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/truth-about-coconut-water?page=1, last accessed August 19, 2015.
Samenow, J., “July looks like the hottest month ever on Earth,” Toronto Star web site, August 18, 2015; http://www.thestar.com/news/starweather/2015/08/july-looks-like-the-hottest-month-ever-on-earth.html.
Connolly, A.R., “Millions in East Coast, southern states under advisories in summer heat wave,” United Press International web site, July 21, 2015; http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/07/21/Millions-in-East-Coast-southern-states-under-advisories-in-summer-heat-wave/2031437491669/.