By Marcey Klein BS, CNC
Wonderful summer has finally arrived! It’s easy to bask in the sun, stay out all day and overdo it either at the beach or at festivals and amusement parks. I have a tendency to become a weekend warrior myself, and when that happens, I come home fatigued, burnt from the sun, and bleary eyed. It takes a few days to recover, and this is when we need to take extra care of ourselves since our immune systems are more susceptible to the things going around. This summer I have vowed to not let this happen. With just a few tweaks we can make sure not to get sunburned, to keep ourselves energetic by upping our electrolytes and hydration, and getting our antioxidants and vitamin C from summer fruit.
Investing in a double walled water bottle is a great idea to keep our water nice and cool, no one wants to drink warm liquids. I invested in a 40 oz. Hydro Flask, and let me tell you, it was fantastic at the last music festival I went to, keeping my water cool all day long. You should drink about half your weight in ounces if you are really active and sweating, otherwise it’s eight or more 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Water helps regulate our body temperature, helps with healthy detoxification and cellular health, boosts the immune system, and stimulates brain function. Water is the elixir of life, literally! But please drink filtered water. The water that comes from the tap contains chlorine, which damages our own bacteria, causing the liver to have to work more to detoxify, and interferes with our thyroid’s absorption of iodine, slowing down our metabolism.
Some shade and good sunscreen will protect your skin from UV damage. Yes we want some sun to help us with our vitamin D levels, but it’s very easy to get burned out there, there is a fine line. Skin that isn’t normally exposed to the sun needs to be especially protected, and the sunscreens that I like to use are the physical sunscreens, not the chemical ones. The physical sunscreens contain the protective minerals zinc and titanium dioxide, the chemical sunscreens just don’t have enough studies to prove their safety, and some studies have shown these chemicals to be hormone disruptive and even cancer causing.
Electrolytes are minerals in the body that have an electrical charge. They help us with energy, muscle contraction, and a regular heart beat. The major electrolytes are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and phosphate. I love electrolytes because they make me feel all charged up, they give me good energy. I’ll drink an Oxylent packet, a trace mineral packet, or magnesium packet. Of course, you can get electrolytes in nutrient rich foods like coconut juice, watermelon, avocado, and bananas, it’s just sometimes easier to carry packets of them you can take along when you need the energy. You can also make your own electrolyte sport drink with a pinch of sea salt and a squeeze of honey or maple syrup.
And last but not least, eating ripe fruit in season will give you the most nutrition, hydration, antioxidants and phytonutrients they can offer. These include watermelon, cantaloupe, nectarines, peaches, cherries, raspberries, and grapes. They deliver a highly absorbable form of nutrients to our cells, helping us stay active and healthy during these hot sunny days. So, have fun, but take time to nourish and care for yourself in the process so you’re not paying the price later.