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07.15 - July

What foods can help you stay hydrated?
Learn how you can use a fork or spoon to help get the fluid you need

Child eating watermelon Think hydration — and you probably think water, the body's essential fluid. But did you know you can eat your H2O too?

That's when you choose foods that are high in water content.

For example, some varieties of fruit and veggies are more than 85 percent water. On hot days, these foods — along with other fluids — can help you stay hydrated. And there's a bonus: Water-rich fruits and veggies can also help replace key minerals (electrolytes) — which your body sheds when you sweat.

Enjoy a thirst-quenching menu
When the temperature rises, make a splash in your daily diet with these tasty ideas:

Super salads. Watermelon, oranges, tomatoes, cantaloupe, berries, celery and cucumbers are all flush with fluid. These water-rich foods make great low-calorie snacks too!

Berry-delicious smoothies. Add berries — fresh or frozen — to low-fat or fat-free yogurt or milk. Puree in a blender.

Summer salsas. These can be made from vegetables, fruits or a combination of both. Enjoy your favorite variety as a snack — dip into it with cut-up veggies or whole-grain pita chips. Or top grilled fish or chicken with it. Have a sweet tooth? Give orange or pineapple salsa a try.

Chilled soups. You can serve these as a light meal — or as an appetizer or dessert. Here are three cool and soothing options:
  • Gazpacho. A summertime favorite that's typically rich in tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper and garlic.
  • Vichyssoise. This creamy French classic is made with pureed potatoes and leeks. To keep it on the healthful side, use low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth. For an even creamier soup, stir in a little plain low-fat yogurt or low-fat sour cream.
  • Fruit soups. Strawberries, raspberries and cantaloupe puree nicely. See "Chilled melon soup" for a recipe to try.
Frozen nibbles. Freeze grapes or berries. Grab them for a quick and cold snack.

More hints on hydration
Perhaps you're wondering, How much water do I need? Maybe you've heard it should be eight glasses a day. Actually, there's no set amount that's right for everyone.*

Staying hydrated is important, though. So carry a refillable water bottle with you — and sip from it throughout the day. Don't wait until you're thirsty.

Bored with the same old water supply? Give it a twist with a wedge of lemon or lime — or a splash of 100 percent fruit juice. Be sure to wash your water bottle daily.

Remember, heat can be a hazard
To learn more about safety in hot weather, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov. You can also check the weather and heat index in your area — and see heat advisories — at weather.gov.

In hot weather, do keep an especially close eye on older people, people with health conditions and young children — and make sure they stay hydrated. They're at the highest risk of heat-related illness.

*Hydration needs can vary — based on health conditions you have and medications you're taking. Talk with your doctor about what's right for you.

Cheers! Try our favorite beverage recipes
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Chilled melon soup
A cold soup on a hot day can quench your thirst — and hunger. Don't have cardamom on hand? Try substituting ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg. Another cool option: Freeze this fruity concoction in ice cube trays — and add wooden sticks for a homemade melon pop.

Sporty types: Stay safe out there!

If you exercise — or do other outdoor activities — in warm weather, these precautions to help prevent dehydration are important:
  • Try to plan your active time for the evening or early morning hours, when it tends to be cooler.
  • If the temperature soars, postpone outdoor activity, if possible.
  • Have some water before — and after — exercise. And rehydrate about every 10 to 20 minutes during activity. It's better to drink small amounts frequently — instead of large amounts less often.
Cool water is a good choice for most people. However, during strenuous or long workouts, your body may benefit from a sports drink — to replace electrolytes.