Feeling wiped out after a day in the hot summer sun? Being active outside at the beach, park or even the backyard can leave us physically exhausted and dehydrated this time of year. All that heat can zap not just our energy but nutrients we need, too. Luckily, there are a lot of foods and drinks that can help our bodies recover so we’re ready for the next fun summer activity.
Look for food with a high water content, lots of potassium, electrolytes and a little sugar and simple carbs to help jump start the system. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and load up on these foods and drinks.
- Cucumbers - They’re 95% water and one of the most hydrating veggies out there. Dip them in hummus, slice them in salads or add them to your water to make it even more refreshing.
- Bananas - Eat one before heading outside or after your activity because they’re high in potassium, a mineral that’s essential for muscle function. When the body is low on potassium, muscles will cramp, especially if you’re dehydrated.
- Spinach - It’s also a great source of potassium, which can be lost through sweating and dehydration.
- Chocolate milk - Surprised to see this sweet drink on this list? Athletes may already know that chocolate milk is a good post-workout recovery tool. One study finds it performed as well as Gatorade and almost twice as well as another sports recovery drink. And that’s because chocolate milk has the ideal ratio of simple carbs, sugars and proteins to get into the system fast and replace lost nutrients.
- Coconut water - This beverage hydrates quickly thanks to its electrolytes and potassium, as well as natural simple sugars and carbohydrates.
- Watermelon - It’s 92% water, high in electrolytes and has antioxidants as well as vitamin A, which make it great for recovery on a hot day.
- Protein - It helps repair muscles, especially after vigorous activities like hiking and swimming. Nuts, eggs, legumes, fish and yogurt are excellent sources of protein to help you recover from your day in the sun.
Source: The Daily Meal