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So we all try to avoid sodium and bloat, right?

Well the ironic thing about being dehydrated is that, since sodium helps to retain water, it’s actually a great idea (in moderation, of course).

If you are feeling the heat of the summer and your muscles are cramping from those extra bikini-mindset workouts, remember to stay hydrated! Eating a clean diet is always important, but paying extra attention around this time of year is key to feeling refreshed and energized! Of course, you can eat energy-boosting foods, which I discussed yesterday – many of which will carry over onto this list – but what is great about foods is that you are sneaking in extra water that you probably didn’t know about!

  1. Drink water! Obviously the first on the list; but it really is important. Many people don’t drink enough water because they don’t like the plain nature of it; but the great thing about water is you can flavor it! Crystal Light makes the world go-round with it’s sugar-free tasty flavors. There are also many different varieties of water add-ins – which I am sure a simple Google search can explain!
  2. Gatorade/Powerade/etc. These drinks, while not my favorite, are great if you are really dehydrated (hangovers, anyone?) But while they are a good source of hydration, it is important to remember that water is still your best option.
  3. Coffee and tea. Caffeine actually negates the absorption of calcium, so you aren’t getting any benefits of the dairy products that are added into these drinks – but what they do boast is water! Brewed directly into water, you will still benefit from an iced tea on a hot day – just remember that caffeine also speeds up your metabolism and you may have to pee soon after a glass!
  4. Fruit. Fruit. And more fruit. WATERmelon is an excellent source. But really, fruit needs water to grow, right? Simple science – water is absorbed into plants to help them grow and fruits put them directly back into your body. And be honest, you know a piece of ripe, juicy fruit is just as good a thirst-quencher as a glass of water!
  5. Vegetables. Also grown from plants, vegetables contain water. Keep in mind that the more the vegetable is to its natural state (raw) the more moisture it contains. This phenom has caught on largely lately with the Paleo Diet; which, coming from the term Paleolithic, boasts eating foods as close to their natural form as possible. Worked for the cavemen, may work for us too! But do remember that cooking foods heats them up to temperatures needed to kill bacteria.
  6. Salad. My favorite food to talk about! Salads are great for everything – mostly because anything you desire can be added in. Iceberg lettuce is essentially all water, and cucumbers and other fruits and veggies can be added in making your lunch equal a potentially a few glasses of water! Tomatoes and bell peppers are also a great source of water, will fill you up and give you vegetable skins which contain fiber! Definitely a win!!
  7. Frozen flavored ice. Ice pops are always a great cool-down treat; but making your own is even better! A really simple trick is powdered lemonade (made a little strong because flavors tend to get muted with freezing) and some fresh fruit frozen into an ice mold. Sweet, juicy and satisfying!

Keep in mind none of these aforementioned foods abide by any type of special diet. If you live with a chronic disease or need special dietary requirements, it is always important to check with a professional, such as your doctor.

But for now – happy eating!