BLOG: Summer days are great for outdoor activity, but can quickly become dangerous if the weather gets too hot; increasing the risk for dehydration. Our bodies are made up of 70% water, and as little as a one or two pound loss of fluid can cause the heart to beat an additional five times every minute! Aside from stressing the heart, dehydration can cause muscle cramping, fatigue, dizziness, confusion and dry skin.
Yet, staying hydrated is more than just drinking enough water. When we sweat we lose important vitamins and minerals, called electrolytes. Electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium, are responsible for maintaining blood pressure, conducting nerve impulses and increasing energy levels. Therefore, it is important to replace these nutrients after a long, hot day in the sun.
Consuming sports drinks, such as Stewart’s Sportade, or another Refresher beverage, is one way to replenish electrolytes. Every serving of Stewart’s Sportade contains a careful balance of nutrients for rehydration.
You may also try replacing electrolytes with food. Apples, oranges, bananas and yogurt are a great source of hard-to-find potassium, the electrolyte lost most easily in sweat. Dried fruit and nuts, like those found in Stewart’s Car Cups, are excellent sources of zinc, magnesium and iron (just one almond contains all three!) I recommend refueling with these foods, because they contain fiber and/or protein to help keep you full. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that although these choices contain electrolytes, you still must drink enough water to replace all the fluid lost while working in the sun.
Stewart’s has all these options available in one easy stop and conveniently packaged for a hot day on the go. No matter where you are in Upstate New York, there is a Stewart’s nearby with ice cold beverages and important snacks for refueling and preventing dehydration. Stewart’s also has bags of ice available for those customers who are looking to pack a cooler full of hydrating options for the day. And remember, whether it’s a day of work or a day of fun, it’s important to stay hydrated in the sun!
-Christine Sloat MS, RD, CDN
Christine Sloat is a Registered Dietitian and life-long resident of upstate New York.
She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics from the University of Delaware, and a Master’s of Science in Applied Nutrition from The Sage Colleges in Troy. She has a nutrition consulting business, Nutritious Notions LLC.