But if the idea of gulping down even more water each day sounds like a chore to you, you’ll be comforted to know that what you eat can help you stay hydrated as well.
Research has shown that most adults get about 25% of their fluid intake from foods containing water. We’ll give you some tasty snack options to enjoy before and after exercise this summer (or anytime) that can help you stay hydrated and replenish nutrients.
See more: Get more expert tips on how to exercise safely in the heat
“Focus on a good sources of carbs for energy,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. If you’ll be doing intense cardio, avoid very high-fiber snacks before a workout or foods rich in protein or fat as these slow digestion and can lead to cramping or indigestion when working out.
Give yourself time to digest: Finish eating your snack 30 minutes before a workout, 60 minutes if you’re suffering from nausea or morning sickness.
Going to a yoga class? Palinski-Wade says she’d recommend avoiding carbonated beverages, high acid foods (citrus fruits, tomatoes), and anything high in fat/protein right before your class to prevent heartburn, indigestion, and nausea while exercising in various poses.
Keep your pre-exercise snack to about 200 calories and include 15 grams of carbs for every 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. That’s equal to one medium piece of fruit, 4 oz of juice, 8 oz of milk, one slice of bread, or 6 oz of a sports drink. Palinski-Wade says fruit is a great warm-weather snack option because it’s rich in carbs and water.
We know you’re already thinking watermelon when it comes to hydrating foods, but don’t forget about these high-water content fruits: cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, apples, pineapple, blueberries, and peaches.
Pre-workout snack suggestions:
- Make a smoothie with 1/2 cup fruit, 1/2 cup low-fat or Greek yogurt, and 1/2 cup ice.
- Have 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt topped with ¾ cup berries or other fruit.
- Pair 6 whole grain crackers topped with 1 ounce cheese and served with ½ cup berries.
- Spread 1 medium apple with 1 Tbsp natural almond butter.