JOPLIN, Mo. — With heat indices near or above 100, it doesn’t take much for someone working or spending time outside to get sick.
But, there are some foods and drinks that can help prevent that from happening.
This time of year, Kathi Cassady and this water bottle are constant companions, whether she’s working out inside and especially when she’s outside mowing.
“I don’t want to have cramps and I want to keep my electrolytes up and that’s really important. So you certainly don’t want to have heat stroke or whatever, heat exhaustion,” said Kathi Cassady, Pushing Fluids.
There are some things you can do from a dietary standpoint that can help prevent either of those conditions from setting in.
First and foremost, drink lots and lots of water if you spend time outdoors. But, depending upon how long you’re outside, and the level of activity, water itself may not be enough to keep you hydrated.
“You can look up recipes for your own electrolyte drinks but also you can just have a little Gatorade. Some people have a problem with drinking those kinds of drinks, and even if you swish and spit, you’re still going to get some benefit from the electrolytes,” said Karen King, Joplin Y Personal Trainer, Nutrition & Running Coach.
Even though they are liquid-based, she says you should avoid drinks containing caffeine like coffee, tea, and soda because they have a dehydrating effect.
“So soda is one of those things you think that you’re hydrating because it feels like it’s quenching your thirst, but it’s actually not the best thing to drink when you’re trying to hydrate,” said King.
And some foods are better than others when outside in the heat.
“Notice that the word “carbohydrate” has the word “hydrate” in it, and what I would look for is more complex carbohydrates. I’m not talking about sugary foods, I’m talking about fruits that are high in water like grapes, or watermelon, a juicy apple, those things will help you,” said King.
Even the color of your urine can be a sign that you aren’t taking in enough fluids. She says dark yellow means you need to drink more.