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Staying Hydrated During a Heat Wave

Our 2020 summer is setting records for the heat. This weekend in Los Angeles, temperatures are expected to reach 110 degrees. A few weeks ago, Death Valley in southern California had the hottest temperature in the world!!! Staying hydrated and maintaining a good electrolyte balance is essential in getting through these heat waves. Here are a few simple tips for optimal hydration during this intense heat.

- Drink cool or room temperature water. It may feel tempting to grab the ice cold drinks, but even during a heat wave, ice-cold drinks are not recommended. Think of what happens when you put your hand in a cooler of ice. When you pull your hand out, it is numb and going through the process of vasoconstriction. The blood vessels tightly contract, cutting off blood so you don't lose more heat. Think of what happens to your stomach with ice-cold drinks. The iced drinks cut off the blood supply to your digestive system, when you need it the most. An ice pack may be good for reducing inflammation during an injury, but you don't need an ice pack for your digestive system.

- To maintain healthy electrolyte balance, drink banana smoothies. You could blend bananas, almond milk and chia seeds. Bananas are a great source of potassium, an important mineral and electrolyte. Chia seeds will help prevent dehydration, but remember to soak them before you consume them. Eating dry chia seeds can increase dehydration, but soaked chia seeds will decrease dehydration. Try soaking the chia seeds in almond milk the night before and then blending it with bananas a few hours later.

- Ditch the Gatorade or any of the electrolyte drinks in plastic bottles. Instead, combine a pinch of salt, lime and a touch of honey. I prefer to use Celtic sea salt in this recipe because of its high mineral content.

So stay cool and know that this too shall pass! (And hopefully we'll have some new laws that curb global warming.)

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