When we’re cold – especially really cold – we often forget to hydrate properly. During the winter, you have to remind yourself to hydrate, regularly – not just when you’re thirsty – to avoid dehydration. When we’re inside we’re usually heated, and when we’re outside we’re probably in thick clothing, sweating. You can sometimes get more dehydrated in winter than you do in the summer. Here are five suggestions for how to make sure you’re getting all your electrolytes this winter.
Eat More Fruits
One reason some health food places push smoothies is because the easiest way to get healthy is to get some fruits and veggies in your diet. Some of us find it hard to do so because we’re used to processed foods, and we love the convenience of everything we need in a cup. You can get things like prunes, dried apricots, raisins, bananas and orange juice in numerous forms, and they are a great source of electrolytes.
Eat Your Vegetables
So many winter-safe vegetables will help you get your electrolytes that you can, as with fruits, really load up a smoothie, or make some delicious side dishes with each of your meals. Some of the best vegetables to have for electrolytes are potatoes, acorn squash, spinach, broccoli and tomatoes. You can put a lot of these in a simple salad, too, if you’re finding trouble coming up with a recipe you like.
Get Your Proteins
You need protein anyway, but you might not realize where you can get good proteins that also help you replenish your electrolytes. Dairy, legumes, beans and more can pack protein and help you stay hydrated. Some good sources are kidney beans, soybeans, lentils, nuts, milk and yogurt. You can put together three solid meals with these proteins alone, and by adding fruits and veggies from the other categories, you’ll be set on electrolytes, and most of your other nutrients for the day. These are also critical if you’re someone who loves to exercise.
Sports drinks can be trouble for some people, as they have more sugar, sodium, calories, and artificial colorings and flavors – many of these elements might make you pay a price with your health in exchange for some electrolytes. If you’re going for endurance, this might work very well for you, but for most people, three healthy meals and water is usually the best way to balance electrolytes, even if you exercise a bit. Coconut water is another alternative to sports drinks.
Balancing Your Electrolyte Intake
The best bet for properly balancing out your electrolytes is to limit the number of processed foods you’re eating. Whole foods of some kind, which are rich in nutrients, are the best way to go – you’ll be healthier in general, and getting the electrolytes you need, likely without having to supplement them. While you’ll find things like sodium and chloride readily available (especially in table salt) you should limit your intake of them both, as they can affect your heart.