Staying hydrated is like calling our parents or going to bed early: we all know it’s important, but it’s so easy to forget. Time gets in the way; something comes up; you just didn’t remember. But staying hydrated is one of the most important ways we can take care of our bodies from head to toe (seriously, hydration is necessary for everything from your hair, skin, and nails to your joint health and organ health). And let’s be honest: you’re probably drinking just enough water for the average person, but maybe not enough water for an athlete. Your body is over 70% water, and especially during warmer months, losing that water is so easy to do.
But drinking a ton of water each day can sometimes get boring (especially if you’re drinking your actual required amount per day or more). It’s necessary, of course, but it just doesn’t taste like—well—anything. And sports drinks are all well and good, but they actually contain a ton of salt—which is how you retain the electrolytes. But what else can you do to keep yourself hydrated without running to your local store to see if they carry watermelon water?
1) Have some actual watermelon.
Or some celery, for that matter. Fruits and veggies that contain a ton of water are perfect for amping up your hydration. Of course, it’s not the same as having a full glass, but a juicy watermelon is that juicy for a reason; it’s about 92% water. Plus—the natural sugars make it taste delicious! So, slice it up and have a snack so your body and your palette can thank you.
2) Infuse your water.
My favorite water infusion is a mix of lemons and limes; I get a sprite-feel, without the calories and corn syrup. But infusing your water (especially with citrus) is amazing for hydration, digestion, and overall health. You don’t even have to infuse in big batches; throw some lemons, berries, or whatever you choose into your water bottle, then chill overnight. You’ll wake up to something that tastes like juice, but healthier.
3) Opt for tea.
This one can help especially if you’re a coffee drinker; tea leaves don’t actually affect your water intake that much, so you can still get your caffeine fix without sacrificing that H2O. Tea, in my humble opinion, is seriously underrated, because it comes in all sorts of variety. You can opt for something herbal, something a little more traditional, something fruity—I guarantee whatever you’re looking for, there’s a tea for it (seriously. I once found a sage tea that seriously helped me with my cramps). Just whatever you do, make sure that you brew it correctly: you don’t want to scald your tea leaves and ruin the experience (yes, that is a thing).
4) Coconuts are your friend.
There’s a reason why coconut water is ridiculously trendy (and expensive); the water that’s found on the inside of a young coconut contains a ton of electrolytes and is really good for you! Coconut water is a great way to replenish what you’ve lost through all of that sweat. But you shouldn’t just drink your coconuts: eating young coconut meat is an amazing way to give your body even more nutrients, and the more-tender texture than a standard brown coconut makes it even more satisfying. Visit your local market to see if they’ll chop one up for you. Trust me—it’s worth it.
Give any one of these a try to make sure your throat doesn’t dry out on you mid-class. Classes and technique are important for skill, but caring for your body is important for longevity. Don’t forget to hydrate enough—or more than enough—each day. As my favorite instructor used to say: “hydrate until your pee is copious and clear, and you’ll know you’re doing it right.”
What are some of your favorite ways to hydrate? Tell us in the comments!