Unconventional Tips to Stay Hydrated in Any Season
Dehydration is one of the leading causes of malaise low-grade health problems, and is often the most under-diagnosed.
With this past Ramadan coinciding with the intense heat of July, it’s no wonder many worshipers were feeling spiritually reborn- but physically depleted. After such an intense month of fasting during the day and standing in prayer by night, it’s especially important to focus on re-balancing the body by ensuring proper hydration and nutrient levels. This article will provide a few simple and effective tips for ensuring that your body is as refreshed as your spirit – after Ramadan, and throughout the year inshaAllah.
Isn’t Water Enough?
Of course, the first thing we think of when we’ve been deprived of proper fluids, is to drink as much water as possible. And while this is beneficial, it’s important to drink a range of healthy beverages for the following reasons:
–> If you are dehydrated, your body will have lost much needed electrolytes and minerals that water alone will not replace.
–>Drinking a ton of cold water can cause a shock to the system and cause your body not to absorb as much.
–> Interspersing your water with fresh fruit and vegetable juices helps to restore energy, cleanse the body of toxins loosened while fasting and help cells and tissue to regenerate.
5 Unconventional Drinks to Re-hydrate and Re-balance the Body
So, now that we know that it’s more effective to drink a range of beverages- which are the most effective- and delicious? Below are a few of my favorites.
1. An Ayurveda (ancient East Indian medicine) practice that I love and recommend often for re-hydrating the body is to sip on plain, hot water first thing in the morning and throughout the day. Hot water is more easily absorbed by cells and tissue and helps to flush out toxins. Also, the fact that there is nothing added to the water allows your body to absorb it immediately (because there is no flavor, fruit juice, etc. to metabolize first) and speeds recovery from dehydration. Bonus – this is great for weight loss as well!
2. Coconut Water is also a great re-hydration aid. It is naturally chock full of electrolytes (a blend of sodium, magnesium, potassium and more elements critical to optimal bodily function). Natives of hot Polynesian regions regularly drink coconut water to maintain essential fluid and nutrient levels, increase energy and even as a beauty aid. An acquired taste for some, coconut water may just be your new go-to sports drink!
3. Speaking of coconut water, it makes a great base for fresh juices and smoothies. For a moisture infusing drink that tastes fabulous, blend watermelon, coconut water, honey (to taste) and your choice of pineapple or strawberries. This tropical blend is so good you may want to top it off with an umbrella!
4. If you’re more partial to strong, spicy flavors, try mixing the juice of a lemon, oranges, and a small knob of ginger with either coconut or purified water. Mix in a teaspoon or two of honey or blackstrap molasses to sweeten and for added health benefits.
5. If you have access to fresh sugar cane juice, this is one of my go-to hydration solutions and energy drinks. Full of vitamins and nutrients as well as beneficial natural sugar (which the brain and muscles need to function properly), raw cane juice is a mainstay at many juice stands across the Middle East, India and Asia. Just be sure to drink soon after it is juiced, as sugar cane juice oxidizes quickly and loses some of its nutritional value if stored to long.
*Some Beverages to be Cautious of When You’re Dehydrated:
–> Beware of store-bought flavored or “vitamin waters”, as they often contain added sugars and even dye, which can be harmful and impede proper hydration.
–> Avoid caffeine (I know- argh!), which acts as a diuretic and will cause you to lose more fluid than you take in.
–> While tea is one of my favorite drinks and can be very beneficial, avoid caffeinated teas (even green tea), while you are trying to re-hydrate. Better choices include hibiscus (helps to lower and maintain blood pressure), peppermint (invigorates the body) and ginger (helps increase circulation and reduce tissue and cellular inflammation).
So, how did you fare this Ramadan- do you feel the need for extra hydration now that it’s over? And if you have a favorite method of re-hydrating naturally- share in the comments below!