Early in the day, drink plain water. To replenish electrolytes lost from sweating, you can switch to coconut water, Smartwater or Powerade. Your body requires electrolytes, which are minerals such as potassium and sodium that have an electrical charge. You must replace them if they are lost through sweat.
You can also buy electrolyte tablets, like NUUN tablets ($7), and drop one in a bottle of plain water. When the heat is oppressive, fruit smoothies are my favorite. As an alternative that you don’t need to drop into your water, try chewable SaltStick Fastchews ($3). For an energy boost and cooling down, try something icy with some coconut water, almond milk and fruit solids. To stay hydrated, you should continue to drink them throughout the day. You should take small sips at most. If your urine becomes darkened, it is time to increase your intake.
If you lose power or are outdoors, grab an insulated cooler with loose ice. This will keep your drinks cool. This Igloo Laguna Ice Chest ($20) is nothing fancy, but it’s a time-tested design that excels at its main job without any frills: keeping beverages cold for a long time.
Coffee and soda are safe to drink, contrary to popular belief. They have enough caffeine relative to water that they will still hydrate you even if you are dehydrated. Beer can be enjoyed as long as it is a session beer, with 3 to 4 percent alcohol per volume and no high ABV. Be careful not to drink too much. Studies that highlight beer’s diuretic effect, which is when it makes you urinate, tend to use higher-ABV beers (5% or more) and test subjects who are well-hydrated or hyper-hydrated. Even in such cases, the negative effects on your hydration are unlikely to be significant unless you drink a lot of these beers or fancy, high-ABV beers like tripels and barley wines.
Hard liquor should not be considered. It is not healthy to consume too much alcohol relative to the volume of liquid contained in each serving.
What to Eat in the Heat
You can pee clear and still be dehydrated. The body can move faster if it has nothing to eat. Because there are no nutrients in the water, the digestive system knows that the body doesn’t need it. Without food to digest, the body gives the green light for the body to move as fast as it can. It’s like a high-occupancy-vehicle lane for fluids. It