By Alyssa Adler
Many people think water is the only way to stay hydrated, but there are actually other ways to maintain hydration. There is a term called a hydration index, which was used in a study to evaluate how long fluids stay in the body. This study looked at the hydration indices of different fluids in comparison to water. It was found that orange juice, fat free milk and whole milk had higher hydration indices than water. Further, these fluids stay in the body longer than water does. Comparably, both milks had higher indices than orange juice, but all were still above the water hydration index.
When water is ingested, the kidneys are stimulated to dispose of the excess water from the body, which allows for the production of urine. In contrast, when milk enters the body, the electrolytes (sodium and potassium) allow for the fluids to empty at a slower rate and not stimulate the kidneys as rapidly. Therefore, fluids with electrolytes stay in the body longer than water does, so these fluids keep a person hydrated for a longer period of time.
These hydration tips are important for cancer patients, especially when combating the side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy, where dehydration can occur from nausea or diarrhea. Fluids that contain electrolytes such as orange juice, milk, or water infused with electrolytes are great beverages to consume regularly.
The study also found that alcoholic, caffeinated, and high sugar beverages had similar hydration indices to water. But, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, sugary drinks should be limited for cancer patients. In addition, the AICR recommends that a person consume 8, 8 ounce glasses of water a day.
Interestingly, fluids are not just obtained from liquids. You can eat your way through your fluid requirement by indulging on summer fruits and vegetables that have a high water content, such as watermelon, strawberries, broccoli, cucumbers, celery and so many others. Try our Watermelon Salad or Cucumber Water for some tasty treats that will quench your thirst. Here’s a list of refreshing Summer Coolers that will make your taste buds happy.
Always drink if you feel thirsty, especially during the summer to stay hydrated!