Tag Archives: hydration

Seasonally Appropriate Hydration

Ideas to flavor your water.

Ideas to flavor your water.

Last week, my school hosted a community health fair.   Each student was asked to choose a topic related to the bountiful harvest of summer.  There were incredibly informative tables about fermentation, sprouting, the importance of eating greens and hormone balancing through food.  A colleague and I chose to make our booth about the importance of hydration.  My booth partner, Stephanie Rider, provided a great short primer for ways to add tasty, seasonally appropriate hydration to your day.  I thought I would share it with my readers. (You can see my part of the handout here.)   Enjoy!

Basil, cucumber, orange water.

Basil, cucumber, orange water.

Adding Hydration into your Day
Adding vegetables and fruits such as those listed below will enhance
your intake of water.
Vegetables: Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber,
Green Peppers, Iceberg Lettuce, Spinach, Tomatoes
Fruits: Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Grapefruit,
Raspberries, Strawberries, Watermelon
The best way to ensure adequate hydration is to include water in your
daily routine. How can you make hydration fun? Adding fresh fruits,
vegetables and herbs to your water can provide both eye-catching
appeal and subtle flavoring.

There are many great, natural ingredients you can add to your water
to infuse color and flavor.
As you add these ingredients, you also get the benefit of the vitamins
and minerals contained in those foods.
Wholistic nutrition also recognizes the energetic and healing properties
of foods and herbs, and selecting the right ones based on the time of
year will support natural nourishment.
Summer: Cooling
Summer is a great time to look to foods that have a cooling effect on
the body to help stay regulated in the heat of the summer.
Such food/herb combinations are:
Cucumber, Orange and Basil
Dandelion leaf
Lemon and Lavender
Peaches and Chamomile
Pineapple and Green Tea
Berries: (black, blue, raspberry) and Mint
Watermelon and Mint

Fall: Grounding
Fall is a great time to add grounding foods to your diet. This reflects
the natural cycle of nature by supporting the need to ground and
prepare for winter months, drawing energy into your core.
Great fall seasonal flavors to use are:
Cilantro and Citrus peel
Apricot and Goji Berries
Kumquat and Rosemary
Pineapple and Ginger
Winter: Warming, Immunity Boosting
Winter is a time to stay hydrated, as the dryness of the air can
dehydrate just as much as summertime heat. Additionally, infusing
your liquids with warming foods and herbs will deeply warm you from
the inside out. It is also a great time to boost your immunities against

colds and flu. Consider warm/hot water infusions, herbal teas as well
as broths for hydration.
Winter concoctions can include:
Kumquat and Basil
Citrus peel
Black tea and Ginger
Cinnamon, Clove and Honey
When you are fighting a cold or virus:
Fresh Ginger (not dried) tea
Onion and Rosemary/Parsley broth
Miso broth

Spring: Uplifting
Springtime is a time of rebirth. Consider these “first harvest” fruits,
vegetables and herbs to bring that uplifting nourishment to your body
as you prepare for this cycle of nature.
Springtime harvest infusions can include:
Cherry and Lime
Pineapple and Ginger
Strawberries and Rose Petals
Cucumbers and Basil
Lavender and Lemon

Summertime Hydration


Summertime hydration.

The Importance of Summer Hydration.

Hydration: the act or process of combining or treating with water: the introduction of additional fluid into the body

Summertime has arrived in Portland and the importance of proper hydration cannot be overstated.  Our bodies require water to stay alive. Humans can survive for over 30 days without food but a mere 3-5 days without water will lead to death.    In fact, over half of our body weight is water.   Our body uses water for lubricating joints, flushing toxins, nutrient transportation and maintaining proper body temperature.  Water is involved in almost every bodily function.  Poor hydration can lead to constipation, dry and itchy skin, acne, nose bleeds, repeated urinary tract infections, dry coughs, sneezing, sinus pressure, headaches and fatigue.   In fact, a drop in body water as small as 2% can lead to short-term memory problems and difficulty focusing to read a computer screen or printed page. 

Without adequate water consumption, our body will not be able to remove the toxic substances it produces.  Uric acid, urea and lactic acids are all waste products produced by our own bodies.  Our kidneys require sufficient water to dissolve these toxic substances and remove them from the body.  Gout, sore muscles and other difficulties can arise if these substances aren’t removed.

Signs of dehydration:

·         Feeling thirsty

·         Dark colored or scant urine

·         Confusion

·         Headaches

·         Weakness

·         Fainting

·         Dizziness

·         Heart palpitations

·         Inability to sweat

·         No tears

·         Muscle cramps

Recommended Daily Amount of Water:

Recommendations for the amount of water necessary for the average person vary according to activity level, climate, age and other factors. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women take in about 11 cups of fluid a day, and men take in about 15 cups, but that includes liquids found in foods too. Fruits and vegetables add up, since most are at least 80 percent water by weight. For most people, a well-balanced diet combined with 8 glasses of water a day should provide sufficient hydration.  One of the simplest methods of checking for dehydration is looking at the color of your urine.  If your urine is clear or a pale yellow color, you are most likely receiving adequate hydration.

Some people may need more water to maintain optimal health.  Those with certain medical conditions, such as kidney stones or bladder infections, those who are vomiting or have diarrhea and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding will require more water.  Also those who spend more time outside in hot weather or are going to be exercising will have an increased need for water.  As we age, our ability to detect thirst decreases so elderly people need to be more vigilant about staying hydrated.

Sources of Hydration:

Water and liquids found in food should be your primary sources of hydration.  Coconut water, herbal teas, milk, smoothies and fruit and vegetable juices can also contribute to your daily fluid intake.  However, it is important to remember these liquids also add calories and sugar to your diet so they should be consumed in moderation. One to two cups of coffee a day can be acceptable.   Keep in mind, however, caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics which will contribute to dehydration.  There are many tasty and interesting ways to meet your daily hydration needs but water is usually the easiest, most economical and best option.

Check back tomorrow for a yummy recipe for a refreshing Watermelon Aqua Fresca.


See more beautiful photos from Allan Lee on flickr.  Text added by me.

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