Healthy & Hydrated Ideas For Labor Day

Labor Day is just around the corner and plenty of outdoor events are happening to make this holiday a memorable one. So, while you catch a little backyard football, prepare the home for fall, or just hang with friends, staying hydrated is still important.

“Our bodies are made up of 45-75% water and that’s why staying well-hydrated is so important,” said LeAnne Anderson, a registered dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at the Polk Education Center at CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial.

“Water is the best beverage for staying hydrated,” Anderson said. “It is readily available, calorie-free and provides the fluid your body and brain need to perform at their best.” And with these great tips, staying healthy and hydrated this Labor Day can be fun, easy, and delicious!

Bring On The Fruits And Veggies

We all know a fruit and veggie tray is a party standard, but did you know it can help keep dehydration at bay in the sizzling summer heat?vegetable-777473_1280

“Electrolytes and fluid can be replaced by consuming fruits and vegetables that have a high water content,” said Anderson. “The following foods contain at least 80% water and provide vitamins, minerals and electrolytes including potassium:

  • Melons
  • Kiwi
  • Citrus fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Berries
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers.

Sodium can be obtained by lightly salting foods.”

Walk Away From The Sports Drink

“Even though sports drinks contain electrolytes and fluid, they also provide added sugar, “ says Anderson.  “A 20 oz. sports drink can contain up to 2 ½ tablespoons of sugar. While beverages such as soda, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sweet tea and coffee drinks provide fluid, they also contain added sugars, which provide unnecessary calories with little nutritional value.”

She suggests this recipe to make your own sports drink.

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/3 to ½ cup honey or agave syrup,
  • ½ tsp salt,
  • 1 cup citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange).

Mix until salt and sugar are dissolved.  Store in refrigerator.

Serve Up Fresh

It’s easy to make the weekend memorable with some great drinks. Turn up the fun with these two ideas from Anderson. Mix fruit juice with club soda, and add a spritz of lemon or lime. For the kids, have their favorite juices on hand and mix with the club soda for an easy and healthy twist on sugar-loaded sodas.

lime-907124_1280Another idea from Anderson: “Make infused water by adding your favorite combination of fruit, vegetables, and herbs to water, and let chill.” What better way to make staying hydrated tasty and awesome!

Here are some of her ideas:

  •    Watermelon cubes + Cucumber Slices + Mint Leaves
  •    Fresh strawberry halves + Kiwi slices
  •    Fresh blackberries + Lemon slices + basil
  •    Sliced lime + sliced gingerroot
  •    Mango chunks + Orange slices

And it’s super easy to make the infused water. Lightly crush any berries, or cut them in half to let the juices infuse in the water. For the herbs, it doesn’t take much to add their flavor! Usually, a few leaves do the trick. The taste is totally up to you. Add as much or as little as you like. Once you have your ingredients, mix them together in a two-quart pitcher and let chill in the fridge for two hours. Easy. Done.

Whatever your plans, with these easy and tasty ideas, you can stay healthy and hydrated this Labor Day.