Playing with the grandkids, strolling flea markets, gardening… summer is all about fun-filled days. But an uptick in activity and soaring temperatures can sap your body’s fluid levels — and older adults are particularly prone to dehydration.
Even mild dehydration (a 2.5 percent dip) can dampen energy and trigger brain fog, according to the Natural Library of Medicine. Fortunately, these four natural tricks can help reverse your slump.
Permission to laze in bed a little longer: Researchers reporting in the journal Sleep found that snoozing 8 hours a night reduces your risk of dehydration (and the grogginess that accompanies it) by 59 percent compared to sleeping 6 hours or less. During shut-eye, your body releases a hydration-regulating hormone called vasopressin. But when you don’t clock enough Zzzs, vasopressin production is cut short, which can leave you feeling parched and draggy.
Start smoothies with this
This time of year, you can break a sweat simply sitting on the porch. To restore lost fluids and nix sluggishness, swap in coconut water for plain water in your smoothies, mocktails, and cocktails. It’s packed with minerals like potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium that can balance your fluid levels as effectively as pricey (and often sugar-laden!) electrolyte drinks.
For an extra-delicious alcoholic sip that’ll turn rehydrating into a party, try this recipe:
Tropical Temptation Coconut Mojito Slushy (Serves 4)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 /2 (15 ounces) can cream of coconut
- 6 ounces coconut rum
- 1 /2 teaspoon lime zest
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- In pot, heat first three ingredients over medium heat; cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat; steep 30 minutes. Discard mint leaves.
- In blender, puree remaining ingredients with 8 cups ice and 1/4 cup mint syrup until smooth.
Snack on watermelon
Savoring this juicy fruit can boost your hydration — plus it’s packed with antioxidants and other nutrients. Watermelon is as hydrating as water (it’s actually 92 percent water!) and quite a bit more flavorful, which means it’s effective at blocking low-grade dehydration that your body may register as tiredness.
Pop a piece of gum
If you’re like us and often fill a water bottle, then forget to sip it, help is here. Just chewing gum or popping a mint can prompt you to sip more water without a second thought, boosting your physical and mental stamina. According to SpoonUniversity.com, the scientific reason you get thirsty after consuming sugar is that when sugar enters the bloodstream, the particles suck water from your body’s cells — effectively depleting supplies. Your cells then send chemical messages to the brain indicating that it’s time to drink fluids. Almost like an alarm clock for hydration!
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.