Nutrition Blog

8 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Diet This Spring

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

The arrival of spring is certainly a reminder that you have one more season to clean up your diet before summertime arrives! Maybe you let your healthy diet habits hibernate over the long drawn out winter we just had but this month it’s time to spring clean your diet and life style to get back on track! Instead of trying a new fad diet, detox or meal replacement regimen, try these 10 tips to make sure you are bikini ready and feeling healthy by summer.

1.Drink at least 48 ounces of water a day:It is important to stay hydrated throughout the day for various reasons. Staying hydrated not only helps with your alertness, controlling appetite, and improving physical activity, but it also keeps everyday symptoms like fatigue, headaches and dry skin at bay.

2.Incorporate a color into every meal: Eating a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables has been linked to improved health, and for good reason. Veggies and fruits (both fresh and frozen) are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber (a satiating nutrient) and antioxidants. In addition to bursting with healthy nutrients, fruits and vegetables are low in calories, which make both a great choice for the waistline.

3.Avoid processed carbohydrates:  Consuming processed carbohydrates such as white flours in breads, pastas, cookies, cakes etc can contribute to weight gain due to the effects that they have on blood sugar levels. Try to only consume whole wheat/ whole grain products when eating carbohydrate sources other than fruits. Examples of whole wheat/whole grains sources include breads made with 100% whole wheat flour, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, popcorn (unsalted and non-buttered), oatmeal, quinoa, millet, barely, couscous, whole wheat pitas and tortillas. When choosing whole grain wraps, crackers or breads, aim to find bread that lists the first ingredient as 100% whole wheat flour and contains at least 3 grams of fiber. 

4.Eat vegetarian once a week for all three meals:Cutting down on your animal consumption helps to slash saturated fat and cholesterol intake in the diet which can help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity while trimming your waistline of fat and calories. Some delicious vegetarian protein options include tofu, seitan, brown rice with beans and tempeh. My personal favorite vegetarian protein dish is Whole Foods “General Tso Chicken”, which is made with seitan. I promise you will not regret trying it!

5.Add a source of protein to your snacks:To truly satisfy your hunger in between meals, add some protein options into the mix. Opt for a non fat plain Greek yogurt, string cheese, almonds, cottage cheese , hummus or nut butter along side of a piece of fruit or serving of raw vegetables.

6.Incorporate yogurt into your routine:Yogurt is a wonderful source of protein, calcium and gut friendly bacteria that helps keep your GI system healthy by alleviating constipation and diarrhea. Try non fat plain regular or greek yogurt and add your own fruit for a sweet touch

7.Aim for 3 servings of whole grains per day:Eating whole instead of refined grains substantially lowers total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or bad) cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin levels. Not only are whole grains beneficial to the heart but they will keep your hunger at bay between meals. Try having oatmeal for breakfast, add quinoa to your salad at lunch and incorporate couscous into your evening meal to reap all the benefits that whole grains offer to your diet.

8. MOVE MORE:Even though this is not a diet tip, it’s a statement to live by when trying to lose weight. By moving more you will burn more calories and build muscle. Aim to incorporate at least 10,000 (about 5 miles) steps per day which is equivalent to moderate exercise. If you are really trying to lose weight, I recommend that you engage in atleast 250 minutes of exercise per week.


Tips on Staying Healthy this Winter

By: Christina Ushler, Registered Dietitian

Here are a few tips on creating a vibrant winter!

Sleep: Most authorities are recommending 7-9 hours of sleep every night. It is important to listen to your body and do what feels best. Try to get to bed and wake up at the same time every day to avoid confusing your body. When the body is lacking in sleep, stress goes up and immunity goes down. You may also eat differently than if you were properly rested. Many clients notice they might crave more carbohydrates or coffee if they are sleep deprived. They also notice dips in energy and mood swings throughout the day. Your body needs sleep to recover and refuel for the next day.

Fruits and Vegetables: Aim for consuming at least 3 fruit per day and at least 3 vegetables per day. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants. They are nutrient dense and lower in calories compared to other foods. Antioxidants help fight disease and improve immunity. Greens are great for detoxifying the body and increasing energy. Soups and stews are an easy way to get more veggies in. Blending and juicing are also great options.

Hydration: You may not be as thirsty in the winter but it still is essential to drink appropriate amounts of fluid for preventative measures. Instead of drinking cold water, try drinking water at room temperature or boiled. It is recommended to drink half of your body weight (pounds) in ounces of water per day. Therefore, a 140 pound person needs to consume 70 ounces of water or 8.75 cups fluid per day (8 ounces = 1 cup). Plain water is best. Coffees, teas and juices can dehydrate you further and should not be included in total intake.

Sugar: Watch the sugar intake! Many are overdoing it in the sugar department, especially in the cold winter months. Holiday parties and alcohol can cause our intake to increase dramatically. Sugar can suppress the immune system, accelerate aging, and even feed cancer. It is important to check the ingredients because sugar can be hidden in many foods. Try using natural sweeteners in recipes like honey, agave nectar, or 100% maple syrup. To knock out a sweet craving, try incorporating more sweet vegetables into your diet like yams, squash, carrots, and beets. Increasing naturally sweet foods in the diet will reduce your cravings for sugary foods and beverages.

Physical Activity: Stay active. Schedule in physical activity you enjoy. Otherwise, it may feel like a chore. There are plenty of opportunities to stay active in the winter. For example, you can join a gym, aerobics class, or take up skiing. There also are plenty of opportunities to do exercise from the comfort of your own home. YouTube is a great resource to find exercises and workouts for free. You can also purchase exercise videos from your favorite trainers or watch them for free on your TV. Exercise helps to detox the body and releases feel good hormones that keep us feeling good. It is recommended to schedule in at least 30 minutes per day.

Manage Stress: Chronic stress can lead to increased susceptibility to illness. When was the last time you scheduled time for your self? Schedule a massage, take on meditation, hire a coach, practice daily yoga, reduce your hours at work, or schedule in one night per week to devote 100% to your own needs. Some other suggestions might be to reduce your intake of drugs and alcohol, or even seek out therapy from a professional for new ideas and insights.

Remain Social: The cold weather might tempt you to avoid leaving the house and stay warm and cozy by the fire. However, this might cause you to feel isolated from the rest of the world. Statistics show that social activities help to bring happiness and connectivity to the world. Perhaps consider doing something different this winter, like skiing or ice skating. You might consider planning a vacation to somewhere warm during the colder months. There are also countless opportunities from joining a club, such as networking groups, painting classes, or a volleyball team.

For more tips on what you can do to stay healthy this winter, schedule an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians today.

Our Dietitian’s New Year’s Resolutions for Weight Loss

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

Welcome to the New Year! Let this year be a year for a renewed commitment to living healthy. If you have thought about taking action towards better health or are currently taking action and making changes to your life, add these wellness resolutions provided by our dietitian, Theresa Shank, into your routine to keep you motivated, energized, fit and feeling healthy and beautiful inside and out this year.


Typically New Year resolutions are unrealistic and poorly executed. The first step to making a change that will last is changing a single behavior one at a time. Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones will require time. Stay underwhelmed instead of overwhelmed and not think that you have to reassess and change everything in your life. Instead, work towards changing one thing at a time this year such as the changes listed below.

Mindful eating is very important while keeping your brain sharp and your waistline down. If your resolution was to eat healthier try practicing mindful eating techniques during before and during each meal. Ask yourself questions such as; does my body need this? Am I craving this just because I am sad, bored or stressed out? Engaging in mindful eating does not require lots of practice or training. Try focusing on what you are eating, notice aromas, texture and tastes and your responses both physical and emotional. Take at least 20 minutes to eat your entire meal; that’s how long it takes your brain to notice if it is full. The principle to mindful eating is learning to hear what your body is telling you about hunger and satisfaction.

Add meatless Mondays into your weekly schedule. Challenge yourself to not include meet into your eating routine on Mondays. This will help you to decrease your overall intake of fat and saturated fat that is shown to increase LDL cholesterol levels. Try making stir-fry with tofu instead of chicken or combining a mixture of beans and vegetables to make a nutrient rich and fiber filled meal that will help keep your hunger at bay.

Pile on the veggies. It’s no secret that almost all vegetables are naturally low in fat and calorie, good sources of dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamins A and C. In order to meet the recommended daily intake of 4 servings of vegetables a day, try setting a goal to incorporate a color into every meal to insure consuming enough vegetables throughout the day.

Slash added sugar intake to cut calories and ease weight loss. Women should not consume more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which equates out to 24 grams of sugar. Sugar is hidden EVERYWHERE so please look at labels and monitor your intake throughout the day. Added sugars include soft drinks, sweetened teas and juice drinks, and sport drinks such as Gatorade. Additional sources of added sugars include sweet treats such as cookies, cakes, ice cream, coffee creamers, candy, salad dressings, syrups, crackers, bread etc. Look at your labels and try choosing foods that contain less than 8 grams of added sugar per serving to keep your intake in check.

Lastly, try to avoid refined carbohydrates. By reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates you will better be able to control your blood sugar levels, sustain your hunger and help promote healthy bowel movement regimens. Refined carbohydrates include refined flours found in sources such as white bread and pasta, white rice, fruit juices, and all sweeteners, such as white sugar, corn syrup, fructose, and cane juice. One or more of these are found in most processed, boxed, canned, frozen, commercially-prepared, and fast foods. Instead of refined carbohydrates, try to only consume whole grains when eating carbohydrates. Examples of whole grains include breads made with 100% whole-wheat flour, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, popcorn (unsalted and non-buttered), oatmeal, quinoa, millet, barely, couscous, whole-wheat pitas and tortillas. When choosing whole grain wraps, bread, crackers etc aim to find bread with 0 grams of sugar and at least 3 grams of fiber.

All of these tips are manageable and applicable to the average woman’s daily lifestyle. This year make a change and stick with it because you are worth it. By following these tips, Theresa guarantee’s that weight loss will happen. After accomplishing these goals, we encourage you to schedule a visit with Theresa to learn how to maintain these goals and create news ones so that you can continue to live a happy and healthy 2014. 

Healthy Winter Soup Recipes

By: Christina Ushler, R.D.

The cold season is here! Soups are a great way to stay warm and healthy during this season. They are also quick, easy and taste great. Typically, soups served at restaurants can be high sodium, fat, and/or calories. When homemade, you can control the ingredients and how much salt is added. They are easy to reheat and an easy way to get more vegetables in your diet. Here are a few of my favorite healthy recipes.


Carrot Ginger Soup

Cooking Time: 
30 minutes

Yields: 4

Ingredients:

6 carrots

1 medium onion

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 cups water

6-inch piece fresh ginger, juiced

Fresh parsley to garnish

Directions

1.        Wash, peel and cut carrots and onion into chunks.
2.        Place vegetables and salt in a pot.
3.        Add water and bring to boil. Cover with a lid.
4.        Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes.
5.        Transfer soup into blender, adding water if necessary to achieve desired consistency.
6.        When blending is done, squeeze juice from grated ginger and add to soup.
7.        Garnish with parsley.

Notes

          For extra flavor, sauté vegetables before cooking.

          Substitute carrots with squash, parsnip or beets. Squash and beets need 35 to 40 minutes to cook.

Creamy Parsnips Soup with Polka Dots

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Yields: 4

Ingredients:

4-6 parsnips, cut into chunks

1 large yellow onion, cut into chunks

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 cups water

1 cup green peas

Directions

1.        Place parsnips, onion, nutmeg, salt and water in a pot and bring to a boil.
2.        Cover the pot and simmer 20 minutes, or until the parsnips are soft.
3.        Using an immersion blender purée soup until very creamy. If necessary add more water to get desired consistency.
4.        Add green peas and mix with a spoon.
5.        Once peas are heated through, serve in individual bowls

Notes

          Use 2 cups rice or soy milk and 2 cups water for a more silky texture.

          Replace some of the parsnips with carrots.

Creamy Broccoli Soup


Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 4

Ingredients:

1 bunch broccoli

5 cups water

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons barley miso

1 cup cooked brown rice

Directions
1.        Wash broccoli and separate stems from florets.
2.        In a pot, bring water to a boil.
3.        Add broccoli stems, onion and garlic.
4.        Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
5.        Remove 2 cups of liquid from pot and dissolve miso paste in the liquid, return to pot.
6.        Add brown rice.
7.        Use an immersion blender to cream the soup.
8.        When smooth add broccoli florets, cook 10 more minutes.

Chicken Ginger Soup


Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Yields: 4

Ingredients:

21/2 pounds skinned chicken (on the bone)

3 long stalks celery

1/2 bunch scallions

3-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into slivers

Sea salt to taste

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 bunch chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Directions

1.        Place the chicken in a pot with enough water to cover it.
2.        Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
3.        Add celery, scallion and ginger.
4.        Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 11/2 hours.
5.        Remove the chicken, allow it to cool. Pull the meat from the bones.
6.        Return chicken to the pot and add salt, lemon juice and parsley or cilantro.
7.        Mix well and serve





What is the FODMAP Diet?

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

Recently, patients have been asking about the FODMAP diet. Typically, this food method is often recommended to relieve chronic digestive complaints such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, and Mono-saccharides And Polyols. This is a diet that limits, but does not eliminate, foods that contain:

• Lactose

• Fructose

• Fructans

• Galactans

• Sugar alcohols (polyols)

These compounds in food are poorly absorbed and rapidly fermented by GI bacteria, leading to increased water and gas in the GI tract, which then leads to GI tract distention that causes changes in GI motility, bloating, discomfort and flatulence.  

To assess your tolerance for these compounds, eliminate foods high in FODMAPs for 6-8 weeks and then gradually reintroduce foods to identify bothersome foods. Reintroduce one food every four days with a 2-week break between symptom causing foods. The goal is to identify the threshold at which you are able to consume FODMAP containing foods without causing negative GI symptoms.

In order to follow the initial FODMAP process, an individual must be able to identify which foods are to be avoided during the 6-8 weeks of elimination. Foods that contain lactose should be avoided. Lactose is a carbohydrate found in cows, sheep’s and goat milk. Foods such as yogurt, ice cream, milk, and ricotta and cottage cheeses should be limited.

Fructose is a carbohydrate found in fruit, honey, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and agave syrup, but not all fructose containing foods need to be limited on a low FODMAPs diet. Fructose malabsorption is similar to lactose intolerance, in that fructose is not completely digested in the GI tract due to the lack of an enzyme, but unlike lactose intolerance the absorption of fructose is dependent on another carbohydrate, glucose. Therefore, fructose containing foods with a 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose are generally well tolerated on the FODMAPs diet. Foods such as apples, pears, and mangoes will likely trigger abdominal symptoms because these fruits have excess fructose compared with glucose. Try to avoid fruits such as apples, pears, cherries, raspberries, peaches, watermelon, orange juice, and blackberries.

Fructans are carbohydrates that are completely malabsorbed because the intestine lacks an enzyme to break their fructose- fructose bond; thus leading to symptoms of bloating and gas. Foods that contain fructans include wheat, onions and garlic.

Galactans are carbohydrates are malabsorbed for the same reason as fructans; the intestine does not have the enzyme needed to break down galactans. Examples of galactans include beans and lentils.

Lastly, Polyols are also known as sugar alcohols. They are found naturally in some fruits and vegetables and added as sweeteners to sugar-free gums, mints, cough drops, and medications. Sugar alcohols have varying effects on the bowel. When trying to limit sugar alcohols, look at ingredient lists for the following: sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol and maltitol.

Following a low FODMAP diet can be a challenge without the help of a FODMAP knowledgeable dietitian.  As with any diet change, be sure to discuss whether the low FODMAP diet is appropriate for you with your health practitioner.

For further explanation as to which foods should be limited and which foods are suitable for a FODMAP diet please reference the various resources listed below.

http://stanfordhospital.org/digestivehealth/nutrition/DH-Low-FODMAP-Diet-Handout.pdf

http://www.ibsgroup.org/brochures/fodmap-intolerances.pdf

http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/low-high.html

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/072710p30.shtml

 

What You Need to Know About Dietary Fat

By: Christina Ushler, Registered Dietitian

Fats (also known as “lipids”) function as energy molecules in metabolism, components for the structure of cell membranes, and as hormones. Our bodies need fat, even though the media continues to inundate us with “low-fat” and “fat-free” products. You need fat in the diet to feel full, which is a reason why many can overeat on “fat-free” food. Dependent on the source of information, the daily recommendations and many different types of fat can be confusing. I hope this article will help to rectify some of the common confusion.

All fats (or lipids) are composed of fatty acids, which are chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. The chemical composition determines the type of fat.

Main types of fats:

  1. 1.Saturated Fats
  2. 2.Unsaturated Fats
    1. a.monounsaturated
    2. b.polyunsaturated
  3. Trans-fatty acids

Saturated fats

You will find these in beef, poultry, pork, cow’s milk, coconut, avocado, palm oil, and full-fat dairy. They are solid at room temperature. Chemically, they consist of carbon atoms saturated with hydrogen atoms. While opinions are mixed about the amount needed per day, it is generally recommended to limit consumption of red meats and butter. Too much saturated fat in the diet can lead to increased risk of heart disease.

Unsaturated fats

There are two types of unsaturated fats: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.

            -Monounsaturated:

                        -You will find these in avocados, olives, olive oil, nuts, sunflower oil, seeds,halibut, sablefish, mackerel, vegetables high in oleic acid. They are liquid at room temperature but become solid when chilled. Their chemical makeup consists of one double-bonded carbon molecule. They raise good HDL cholesterol and lower bad LDL cholesterol. They are generally considered heart healthy and these foods should be eaten daily.

            -Polyunsaturated:

                        -You will find these in salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout, fresh tuna, flax seed, flax seed oil, walnuts, soybean oil. They are liquid at room temperature, even when chilled. Their chemical makeup has more than one double-bonded carbon atom. These fats are considered “essential” because the body cannot make them and must rely on food sources to get them. Strive to eat fish 3 times per week and plant-based polys often.

Omega 3 fats are considered anti-inflammatory and associated with lower risk of death. These fats raise good HDL cholesterol and lower bad LDL cholesterol.They are generally considered heart healthy. Omega 3 fats are found in wild-caught salmon, mackerel, anchovies, walnuts, flaxseed, and green leafy vegetables.

Omega 6 fats are more abundant in our diet.They can be found in vegetable cooking oils (soybean, sunflower, canola and corn oil). They are also common ingredients found in many of the foods we consume. Most need to increase their intake of Omega 3 fats and lower their intake of Omega 6 fats. Too many Omega 6 fats can be pro-inflammatory.

Omega 9 fats are not essential in the diet because they can be created in the human body. These fats can be used in the body as a substitute for omega 3’s or 6’s if they are not present. However, they are not an ideal replacement and the body will eventually suffer from this. They are found in animal fats, vegetable oils and olive oil.

Trans Fats

You will find these in margarine, processed foods, candy, chips, soda, flaky pastries, and some peanut butters. These fats are are made by adding hydrogen bonds to liquid oils to make a more shelf-stable product. These fats have been proven to promote heart disease. They can raise bad LDL cholesterol and lower good HDL cholesterol. They can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries. Consumers should entirely avoid products with partially hydrogenated oils listed in the ingredients.

Guidelines to Purchasing Granola

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

There has been a long standing debate about whether or not granola merits its reputation as the “healthy person’s cereal”. Before adding granola as a healthy choice into your daily routine, apply our dietitian’s guidelines to purchasing granola.

1. Check the sugar. Granola can be loaded with sugar. Evaporated cane juice, molasses, brown rice syrup, oat syrup solids, are all sources of sugar. I advise you to aim for less than 8 grams of sugar per serving.

2. Watch the calories. These typically amount to several hundred calories per serving size. Healthier granolas have less than 200 calories per ¼ cup serving, 270 calories per 1/3 cup serving, or 400 calories per ½ cup serving.

3. Keep portion size small. This point is key: The serving size for granola is smaller than cereal, not a whole bowl. Typically it’s a quarter or a third of a cup. So rather than filling up a bowl with only granola and milk, try using granola to enhance other healthy food items such as Greek yogurt, oatmeal, muffin or pancake mix etc.

4. Trim the fat.  A lot of granolas contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats from nuts and omega-3s from seeds, but even they can still add up. Look for granolas that have between 2 and 3 grams of fat per quarter cup serving or <3 grams of fat per 100 calorie serving.

5. Review the Oils. Many granola varieties list palm oil and hydrogenated oils on their ingredient list. With their high saturated fat, these oils are bad for the heart.  Look for healthier alternatives like organic coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil, respectively.

6. Scan for fillers. Even the ingredient list on healthy-leading brands can contain some surprises, like inulin (a soluble fiber that can cause digestive problems), soy protein isolate, and other sneaky ingredients. Try to avoid these fillers.

Avocado Vinaigrette Dressing

avocado dressing


Avocado Vinaigrette Dressing (Makes 2 cups)

1 avocado
1/2 cup water
1/2 an orange, peeled
Pinch sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar

 

Preparation:  Peel the avocado and remove the pit. Place the avocado flesh in a blender or processor. Add in the water, half an orange, sea salt, olive oil, and white wine vinegar. Process the mixture on high until smooth and creamy. Add additional water if the dressing is too thick. Spoon the dressing on top of the avocado and arugula.


Healthy Breakfast Bar Recipe

http://www.foxychirp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Homemade-Breakfast-Bars.jpg

Healthy Breakfast Bars

·         1 ¼ cup  almond flour

·         ¼ teaspoon  sea salt

·         ¼ teaspoon baking soda

·         ¼ cup grapeseed oil

·         ¼ cup agave nectar

·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·         ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

·         ½ cup pumpkin seeds

·         ½ cup sunflower seeds

·         ¼ cup slivered almonds

·         ¼ cup raisins

1.    In a small bowl, combine almond flour, salt

2.    your hands with water to help pat the dough down evenly and baking soda

3.    In a large bowl, combine grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla

4.    Stir dry ingredients into wet

5.    Mix in coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almond slivers and raisins

6.    Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with grapeseed oil

7.    Press the dough into the baking dish, wetting

8.    Bake at 350° for 20 minutes

9.    Cool bars in pan for 2 hours, then serve

Makes 12-16 bars

How to Maintain Proper Hydration

HydrationBy: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

Since the summer heat is in full blast this week, it is important that you stay hydrated, especially during physical activity. Proper hydration is one of the most important aspects of physical activity. Drinking adequate amounts of fluids before, during and after physical activity is vital to helping your body prepare, sustain and recover after physical activity.

First things first, know if you are properly hydrated before participating in physical activity. A way to measure your hydration status is by checking the color of your urine. Clear or pale yellow urine is a sign of appropriate hydration. Dark colored urine, the color of apple juice or tea, indicates dehydration. To prevent dehydration before exercise, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends consuming 16 ounces of fluid 2 to 3 hours before the start of physical activity.

To maintain proper hydration during exercise, it is recommended to consume 8-12 fluid ounces every 15-20 minutes during exercise. The duration of physical activity matters when choosing which fluids to hydrate with. For instance, for short durations (<60minutes) low to moderate intensity activity, water is the best choice to drink before, during and after exercise. On the other hand, sports drinks such as Gatorade or 100% natural coconut water are good options for hydration when participating in moderate to high intensity activity lasting longer than 60 minutes. These types of fluids help to replace carbohydrate and electrolytes that are lost during exercise.

            Post exercise hydration should include consuming 24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost during exercise. A person should weigh themselves prior to exercising and then after exercising to determine how much fluid is needed to rehydrate adequately.

If you are not participating in physical activity during times of extreme heat, it is still important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Try to apply these simple tips to your daily routine so as to avoid the harmful effects of dehydration.

1. Drink a tall glass of water every morning when you first wake up. Try placing the glass next to your bed the night before so it is ready & waiting.

2. Drink water at every meal. You’ll stay hydrated and cut the calories from sugar sweetened beverages.

3. Consume water filled foods such as fruits and vegetables to stay hydrated and to maintain optimum health.

4. Add a splash of all-natural flavor. If the taste of water is keeping you from drinking your fair share, add a bit of lemon, mint or cucumber to jazz up the taste.

5. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go.

6. Set a reminder on your phone to drink water every hour.

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