Hydration Hacks for Summer - Good Food Made Simple

Hydration Hacks for Summer

Jun 17, 2019
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Hot summer days are ahead of us, which means hydration should be making its way to the top of your health priority list. Staying hydrated throughout the year is crucial, but especially as the temperatures rise and we lose more water through sweat it’s important to be a bit more mindful of replenishing those fluid stores. On top of that, we all know that when it’s hot out water isn’t the only beverage our minds drift to as a thirst-quencher, so to help you avoid loading up on sugary iced teas and punches we’re going to breakdown some alternative hydration solutions for you and dig into what the science really says about artificial sweeteners.

First off, let’s set the stage and discuss why hydration is important for our nutrition and health. Considering our bodies are made up of 50-60% water, maintaining adequate fluid intake is going to help with the general functioning of our major organs and body processes. Without water, we’re practically nothing! Aside from that, there are benefits to staying hydrated that you can actually feel on a daily basis. Maintaining your fluid levels helps with:

All of those benefits sound great, right? So now you might be asking, “well how much do I really need to be drinking in a day?” The general rule of 8 cups per day can actually be made a bit more precise for your personal needs and I recommend drinking half your bodyweight in ounces. So, if you are a 140 lb. female, that’s 70 ounces, or roughly 8-9 cups of water daily. Another good indicator to check if you’re hydrating sufficiently is by peeking at your urine color. If it’s a dark yellow, drink up, but if you’re looking pretty clear, well then you’re in the clear!


Water is Queen when it comes to hydration, but sometimes that can get a bit tiring, so let’s list some substitutions that get the job done. You could always sip on:

Artificial Sweeteners

Even though stores are now more stocked than ever with these non-sweetened options, you will still find diet beverages that are made sweeter with the use of artificial or natural non-caloric sweeteners. Diet sodas, flavored waters, and other energy, juice, and tea drinks are cropping up all the time with familiar sweeteners like aspartame, but also new ones like monk fruit and stevia. And in light of recent recommendations from health organizations to decrease consumption of these non-caloric options, you might be wondering if they’re still okay to consume or if water and zero calorie drinks are the only way to go for optimal health.

To be clear, there is still much research that needs to be done on these substances as concrete conclusions are difficult to make and nutrition studies are always a little murky. Nevertheless, there are a lot of studies out there that draw some fairly strong conclusions about use and safety.

One area of concern of these sweeteners is their effect on blood glucose, especially for people with diabetes. Small-scale studies have no shown difference to glucose response over a twenty-four hour period between non-nutritive and nutritive sweeteners. Similarly, there are found to be non-significant differences to one’s insulin response following a meal when consuming non-nutritive (artificial or natural) vs. caloric sweeteners. However, there is more research needed on long term, chronic consumption of these sugars.

Another popular concern splashed in the media regarding these substances is their risk to increase cancer. It’s important to keep in mind that many of the studies done in this area use mice, which are not the same as human studies, but research shows these substances to not be carcinogenic and that more studies are needed.

Overall, when it comes to hydration, choosing water or another no-calorie flavored beverage is going to be best, and if choosing something a bit sweeter, be sure to keep an eye on the sugar source and sip in moderation.



Article courtesy of  Casey Seiden MS, RD, CDN, CDE
IG @eat.well.together

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