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February 2012
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Hydration: More Than Just H2O
There are many foods and drinks, in addition to water, that will help you stay hydrated.

Although water is widely considered the best option for staying hydrated, there are several other foods and drinks that can help your body refuel. Adequate hydration is vital for good health and even more important if you’ve just finished an intense workout or are under the weather.
 
In addition to getting enough water, Men’s Health (www.menshealth.com) recommends hydrating with the following items:
 
1. Skim Milk: According to Nancy Clark, R.D., author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, skim milk hydrates better than many traditional sports drinks due to its ideal sodium content. Chocolate milk has also been shown to aid recovery from a hard workout, thanks to its combination of carbs, sodium, protein and antioxidants.
 
2. V8: The sodium, calories and carbs in V8 make it a great tool for hydration. Clark recommends that individuals get at least 500 milligrams of sodium per hour if they’re participating in a lot of sweaty exercise. Drink about eight ounces of V8 and you’ll be all set.
 
3. Chicken Noodle Soup: If you’ve ever had the flu or another dehydrating illness, you’ve probably been advised to have some chicken noodle soup. Turns out, there’s a good reason for that: An average cup of canned soup has about 840 milligrams of sodium to help you retain the broth, and around 14 grams of carbohydrates to help you absorb it. Chicken broth has also been shown to have some mild anti-viral properties. If you don’t have much of an appetite, try a popsicle.
 
Here are a few more recommendations, courtesy of Shape (www.shape.com):
 
1. Salad: Did you know that most lettuce greens are 94 percent water? For even more hydration from your salad, add cucumbers. This veggie’s flesh is primarily composed of water, as well as valuable vitamin C.
 
2. Watermelon: According to Shape, a 2009 study at the University of Aberdeen Medical School concluded that the combination of salts, minerals and natural sugars in many fruits and vegetables lead to more efficient hydration than normally achieved with water and sports drinks. Watermelon consists of 92 percent water content, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, making it a hydrating superpower.
 
3. Tomato Sauce: Most store-bought tomato sauces are about 90 percent water. In addition, one half-cup serving has around 50 calories and zero grams of fat, making it a healthy choice in general.
 
Whether you exercise on a daily basis or not, it’s important to keep your body properly hydrated. Fortunately, for those who don’t love water, there are plenty of options for supplementing your water intake. Learn more about dehydration prevention at www.mayoclinic.com/health/dehydration/DS00561/DSECTION=prevention.

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