Hot and humid weather during the summer can spell TROUBLE if you become dehydrated. Since the human body is 60% water, it is especially important to be vigilant about staying hydrated.
The Institute of Medicine suggests a minimum of six to eight cups of fluids daily. However, you should increase your fluids if you fall into one of the following categories:
- Are exercising.
- Take certain medications such as diuretics.
- Are running a fever.
- Have prolonged vomiting or diarrhea.
- Just had surgery and/or blood loss.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How will you know if your body is possibly dehydrated? These are the most common symptoms of mild dehydration:
- Feeling thirsty.
- Having a dry mouth.
- Not quite as sharp mentally.
Water, of course, is a top choice for staying hydrated. But keep in mind that a variety of beverages will count toward your daily fluid needs, including milk. Additionally, certain foods provide enough water to contribute toward our daily fluid requirement, such as soup, yogurt and high-water content produce.
What better way to celebrate June Dairy Month and stay hydrated than with a smoothie? They are easy, fun and refreshing – especially on a hot summer day. Choosing milk as the liquid base for a smoothie contributes protein, calcium and a variety of vitamins and minerals along with hydrating the body.
Pick one or two ingredients from each category and blend to the desired consistency. Add ½ cup ice cubes to make it extra cold and a little extra liquid if you prefer a thinner smoothie. Makes two servings. ENJOY!!
Frozen/fresh berries, ½ cup
Pineapple tidbits, ½ cup
Fresh banana, ½
Frozen/fresh peach slices, ½ cup
Fresh apple, 1 small peeled, sliced
Melon, 1 cup
Baby spinach or kale, ½ cup packed
Grated carrots, ½ cup
Cucumber, ½ fresh, peeled
Vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon
Coconut extract, ½ teaspoon
Sugar, 1 teaspoon
Honey or agave nectar, 1 teaspoon
Plain or flavored yogurt, ½ cup
Juice of ½ a lemon
Peanut butter, 1 tablespoon
Wheat germ, 1 tablespoon
Flaxseed meal, 1 tablespoon
Rita P. Smith, MS, RD, CDE is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has worked in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for almost 40 years.