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Electrolyte-rich drinks and hydration hacks to beat the heat this summer

With the summer season nearly upon us, the concern of dehydration looms large due to the soaring temperatures and scorching sun. “This combination of heat and humidity increases the likelihood of excessive sweating and fluid loss, leading to dehydration,” Shona Prabhu, celebrity sports & performance nutritionist with Fast&Up, tells indianexpress.com.

In such a scenario, the importance of electrolyte-rich drinks for replenishing fluids becomes paramount for maintaining health and vitality. Here are five drinks recommended by Prabhu to stay hydrated throughout the day:

Coconut Water
Coconut water emerges as a lifesaver during the summer months. This refreshing liquid is brimming with electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and sodium — all crucial for maintaining hydration levels. Unlike sugary drinks, coconut water provides natural sugars for a quick energy boost without dehydrating effects.

Nimbu Pani (Lemon Water)
A popular and refreshing drink, nimbu pani is concocted by blending fresh lemon juice and water, with a pinch of salt or sugar. It not only quenches thirst but also provides a boost of vitamin C and electrolytes, aiding in hydration and replenishing lost minerals due to sweating.

Chaas (Buttermilk)
Chaas or buttermilk, a probiotic drink made by diluting yogurt with water and adding spices like roasted cumin powder and salt, offers a cooling sensation and aids digestion. It replenishes electrolytes lost through sweating, making it an ideal choice for hydration during summer.

A summer favorite, jaljeera is prepared by blending mint, coriander, cumin, and other spices with water. With its cooling properties and digestive benefits, jaljeera offers a refreshing option to stay hydrated while also stimulating the appetite.

In addition to these natural drinks, Prabhu recommends the following tips to maintain hydration throughout the day:

  1. Carry a water bottle with you and sip regularly throughout the day; don’t wait until you are thirsty.
  2. Include fruits and vegetables rich in water content, such as watermelon, cucumber, and spinach, in your diet.
  3. Limit sugary drinks, caffeine, and alcohol as they can act as diuretics, increasing urine production and contributing to dehydration if not balanced with adequate water intake.
  4. Be cautious of spicy and high-sodium foods in Indian cuisine, as they can increase thirst and fluid loss, disrupting electrolyte balance and contributing to dehydration if not balanced with water intake.

For athletes and fitness enthusiasts, engaging in outdoor activities such as sports, workouts, or prolonged sun exposure without proper hydration can accelerate fluid loss and dehydration.

Prabhu suggests hydrating with at least 1 or 2 glasses of water before starting training or working out. Additionally, during workouts, it’s crucial to consume fluids at regular intervals; electrolyte-rich drinks and sports drinks can be beneficial during prolonged or intense exercise routines.

However, Prabhu advises against consuming ORS electrolyte drinks (Oral rehydration therapy) if you are not losing a significant amount of fluids from your body. “Post-workout, rehydrating with coconut water or natural electrolyte drinks can help restore fluid balance and aid recovery.”

By understanding the causes of dehydration, implementing strategies to combat it, selecting appropriate electrolyte drinks, and prioritising hydration, individuals can stay healthy, energised, and hydrated throughout the summer months.


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