5 Ways to Stay Hydrated

As the temperature dials up, proper hydration is essential, especially if you lead an active lifestyle. Try these tips to promote drinking more water and stay cool and hydrated through the hot days of summer.

  • Add slices of fresh peaches and ginger or strawberries and lime to cold sparkling water.
  • Create your own “spa water” by adding fresh mint or basil and cucumber slices to ice cold water.
  • Chill fresh brewed fruit or herbal tea or decaf green tea. Add vanilla, mint or chunks of fruit to the batch for a refreshing, antioxidant rich beverage.
  • Eat plenty of high water fruits and vegetables. Watermelon,  berries, cucumber, tomatoes and salad greens are all more than 90% water.
  • Make a smoothie. Combine your favorite leafy green (depending on the green, just changes the color not the flavor) with fruit for a refreshing, nutrient rich snack.

This list is just a start.  Take a look in your fridge. You can add fresh blueberries, cantaloupe… really anything you want to get rid of or that looks pretty in a pitcher.  The most important thing is to stay hydrated and water is what you need.

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Clear to yellow…..

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Got Water?

Why?

  • helps your body function at it’s best
  • helps you concentrate
  • dehydration impairs performance
  • increased energy
  • sweat = water that is lost out of the body

How much? (general guidelines)

  • 4-8 years of age 6+ cups
  • boys 9-13 of age 9+ cups
  • girls 9-13 of age 8+ cups
  • 14 and older 9+ cups

Helpful Hydration Tips:

  • carry a water bottle with you
  • drink before, during and after exercise
  • during summer, freeze your water bottle to keep cold longer
  • consume foods with higher liquid content such as: melons, dairy, cold soups and smoothies
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Don't Waste Your Workout

Whether you are trying to lose weight, improve body composition, or improve performance, nutrition is the key.  Bookend your workouts!  Meaning: make sure to have fuel before a workout and after a workout.  What fuel is dependent on your goals and stomach sensitivity.
Generally:
3 hours before workout: meal containing protein, fat and carb and a small carb snack 30 minutes before.  Example: 2 eggs, whole grain toast with nut butter and fruit as the meal and small piece of fruit as the snack 30 minutes before.
2 hours before workout: small meal or snack containing protein and carb.  Such as peanut butter and jelly and glass of milk.
1 hour or less before workout: snack with carbohydrate.  Whole grain toast with all fruit jam or just a piece of fruit.  If you have a very sensitive stomach perhaps just 100% juice.  This is generally the only time to consume carb by itself. If working for weight loss, portions matter!
Hydration! Dehydration is commonly misconstrued as hunger.  Stay hydrated.  Drink 2 cups of water 2 hours before exercise.  1/2c 30 minutes before and have 2 sips every 15 minutes during exercise.  If you have moderate to vigorous activity lasting longer than 1 hour consider a sports or electrolyte drink as well.  For every pound lost in fluid post work out NEEDS to be replaced.  It’s not weight loss.  Drink 2-3 cups per pound lost.  This will help you recover from workout to workout and decrease soreness.
Recovery
Post workout have a snack with protein and carb within 30 minutes after and a meal within 2 hours.  Endorphins can decrease appetite post exercise.  However, post exercise is when the body will utilize nutrients versus store them!  Don’t’ wait to eat until you are starving mid afternoon.  Fuel early and often.
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Throw the Scale Away!

Or at least do NOT get on it today if you’re not ready to throw it away yet.

Do not step on the scale the day after a holiday, weekend, or vacation.  The scale only shows your total body weight.  The scale does not tell you what is muscle, bone, fat and most important after a holiday weekend, fluid.  When you consume more sodium, carb, or alcohol than usual your body retains fluid.  It will take about 48 hours of getting back into your routine to re-balance the fluid in your system.

I’m sure you’re aware that it takes 3500 calories to gain 1 pound of tissue.  So, unless you consumed 3500 calories MORE than what you already need in a day For example, 2000 calories to maintain your weight.  You would have to consume 5500 calories to gain 1 pound.  However, fluid shifts (water retention) can change in a matter of hours.

Remember, not 1 meal, 1 day or 1 week can ruin your healthy lifestyle.  Just get back on track today.  And, throw the scale away.

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Off Season Eats

Play the Game. You know it’s important to continue training during the off-season, but the load and type of training probably look different than they did a month ago. Play the balancing act. It’s time to focus on weaknesses and build strength and power. Your diet during this “off” time is equally important- it’s the perfect time to make diet changes that will fuel a better body. Gaining speed, strength, power (basically improving performance) relies heavily on nutrition.

Keep in Check.  It is much easier to optimize body weight and composition now, rather than when it is time to perform. Keeping your diet in check will prevent adding weight or losing muscle once season rolls around.

Fuel During Exercise/Training/Practice

–      Training needs have differed. It has likely decreased, but that doesn’t mean it is less demanding on the body.

–      Don’t forget fluids – many times drinking water is easy to forget. Take at least 2 big gulps every 15 minutes

–      You are preparing for a better future. Activity above 1 hour= need carbohydrate in addition to water

 

 

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Concession Stand Crunch

With Blue’s hockey playoffs, baseball season and the spring high school sports coming to an end and beginning summer sports, it’s important to plan ahead to keep your healthy diet on track.  Concession stands are a convenient food source for many fun summertime events. However, many of these food options include high fat, high sugar, high salt and low fiber foods.  You should be able to enjoy those baseball games, concerts, and amusement parks without too much worrying about nutrition.

Nutrition Tips to keep in mind:

– Watch the condiments. Try mustard, vinegar, or oil-based dressings to add flavor.

– “Fat-free” and “low-fat” don’t always equal low sugar or low calorie

– Ask about lean meat options such as turkey brats, veggie/turkey burgers, or low-fat beef

– Quench your thirst with some water- thirst can be misconstrued for hunger many times.

Sporting events and concerts are good times to stand up, walk around, and cheer/socialize at the same time! If you’re afraid of missing something, walk at half time, in between innings, or intermission.

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Eating Before Exercise

WHAT?

–      Carbohydrates

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables: potatoes, peas, corn
  • Dairy: milk, yogurt
  • Grains: bread, pasta, rice, granola
  • Sweets

–      Fluid

  • Water
  • Flavored water
  • Milk
  • Smoothies
  • Urine should be the color of lemonade

WHEN?

–      4 hours before training: High- carb meal

–      1 hour before training: Snack

  • Don’t go in hungry
  • Focus on carbs and fluid

WHY?

This gives you the fuel to get through the tough work you put into training. Dehydration causes the biggest decreases in performance.

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Fueling with Carbs

What are carbs?

Carbohydrates are compounds in food that are THE main source of energy. Your body needs energy to move the best it possibly can. Carbs can be found in many foods. They can be found in:

–      Grains: pasta, rice, oats, etc

–      Vegetables: potatoes, corn, peas

–      Dairy: milk, yogurt

–      Fruit: berries, melon, oranges, etc

–      Sweets: cake, candy, cookies, sugar

Why Do I Need to Know?

Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source. They are highly important for exercise! Without them, you get tired, can’t complete your work outs, and the brain and nerve functions can only work right with carb as fuel. Carb also helps your muscles use protein for repair. There are two types of carb: simple and complex. One gives you energy quickly and the other fuels you longer. A combo of the two is important to get the benefits of both. Your body, the sport you play, and how long you exercise all dictate how much and what types you need! Eating before work outs and within 30 minutes after gives your body the best chance to succeed. Your body can perform at its max when you eat carb in the right amounts and at the right times.

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Natural Weight Loss

Now is the time that many of you are thinking about losing weight.  When beginning a weight loss program the ultimate goal should not be to watch the scale go down quickly. The goal should be to find your individual eating style and allow your body to find it’s natural weight.

The purpose of any weight loss program should be to lower your body fat percent and increase your metabolism. Unfortunately, many diets have the opposite effect.

Diets that severely restrict caloric intake may offer immediate results (not long-term), but they trigger a “starvation response” in which the body slows down its metabolic rate to conserve energy.  Once the goal weight is reached and normal eating resumes, the body gains weight even faster because it requires fewer calories just to maintain normal body functions.

In addition, rapid weight loss results in the loss of large amounts of glycogen (stored form of carbohydrate; what your body needs for energy), water, minerals, and muscle and organ protein.  These undesirable losses of lean body mass are coupled with only minimal losses in fat.

Yo-yo dieting has a similar effect. The more weight we lose, regain and lose again, the more muscle tissue we lose. The loss of muscle tissue is responsible for lowering our metabolic rate.

So for this spring/summer season, do yourself, your body and your mind a favor; do not start another diet.  Start a program that will promote a sustained, healthy nutrition and exercise program built for you.

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