As every runner knows, it's important to stay hydrated.The outcome for those who fail to keep themselves 'watered' can be significant. Headaches, muscle fatigue and low blood pressure will make training runs more difficult, and race times will suffer. There is also the worry of increased heart rates, and the potential for a much more serious outcome.
While it's summer the importance of hydration obviously becomes much more apparent. Drinking water will always help. However, many foods can also help. We've listed 10 that we think will help keep us all sufficiently hydrated.
1. Melons (Water melons and Honeydew melons)
Melons are rich sources of water. Water melons and Honeydew melons, both widely available during the summer months, offer 92% and 90% water respectively. They are also packed with other beneficial nutrients. These include sugar, electrolytes and vitamin C.
2. Oranges (and other citrus fruits)
Oranges and other citrus fruits (including lemns and limes) provide a great source of water. With 88% water content, a typical orange will usually provide over 100ml of water. They are also rich in vitiamin C, antioxidants, and important electrolytes, including potassium. They are also beleived to help prevent kidney stones.
With the highest water content (96%) in this list, cucumbers are arguably the best medicine for rehydration. They also contain small amounts of vitamin K, potassium and magnesium. Being made up almost wholly of water, cucumbers contain very few calories, so adding extra to your diet is unlikely to cause problems.
4. Carrots (especially baby carrots)
As well as being a great source of vitamin A, carrots are 88% water. So, adding them to a salad, or snacking on them with a tasty dip will help you hydrate after a lengthy run.
Even better are baby carrots, with 90% water. An added benefit is that their size make them super convenient for snacking, and ideal for adding to your lunchbox in prepapration for that pre-lunch run.
Everyone loves strawberries! Whether eaten whole with cream, or whipped in to a smoothie, these tasty, snack-sized sweet fruits are always winner. And another reason to love them is their water content. With an impressive 92% water, we all have another reason to enjoy more of these tasty delights.
The average broccoli is about 91% water. So, for those who like to add it to a salad, it is perfect for rehydrating. It is also valuable for it richness in sulforaphane, a chemical known to boost the body's protective processes and to expel cancer causing toxins.
7. Soups and broths
A great way to rehydrate in the winter months. With a water content typically above 90% a tasty bowl of soup can be a great way to replenish water stores. Adding a selction of vegetables is will add valuee, providing a valuable input of vitamins.
Be wary of of adding too much salt, directly or as part of other ingredients as this can drastically reduce any hydrating effect.
Eating tomotoes is an excellent way to rehydrate. Whether eaten as a snack, or as part of salad or other meal, their water content of almost 95%, as well as immunity-boosting vitamins A and C, make them an ideal addition to any post-exercise regime.
As well as being a great source of iron, potassium, calcium, folic acid and vitamin E, spinach has a water content in excess of 90%. So, adding it to your sandwiches or onto your salad will provide a definite hydtation boost.
Although a fairly unassuming vegetable, the cauliflower is packed full of healthy goodness. With a water content of 92% it is a perfect complement to any rehydration strategy. It is also rich in vitamins B6 and D and contain minerals calcium, iron and magnesium.
Studies of have suggested cauliflower may also help to prevent breast cancer.