July 2, 2015

Two Deliciously Simple 4th of July Picnic Recipes to Boost Your Hydration & Performance

Post by Alex Brown
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Ahhhh… ripe, juicy, slightly-sweet and oh-so-refreshing watermelon.

The delighted laughter of kids playing in the sprinklers. The smell of burgers on the BBQ grill. The setting sun and the boom and crackle of fireworks in the sky.

Happy 4th of July!

As you enjoy this Independence Day weekend with your friends and family, we want to give you two simple recipes that will help keep you hydrated during the heat of the summer.

Adequate hydration, especially while training and competing in the heat, is a big key to athletic performance. Performance can degrade by up to 20% following just a 2% loss of body fluid. That’s a big drop!

(In scientific terms, “Exercising in the heat induces thermoregulatory and other physiological strain that can lead to impairments in endurance exercise capacity.”)

A study done by a panel of sports performance professionals confirmed that hydration during the two weeks leading up to an athletic event can have an impact on race-day performance.

Water is the very best source of hydration, but a number of foods with high water content can also help improve hydration and prepare you to be your best on race day.

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So this weekend, enjoy relaxing with your loved ones AND keep your body in tip-top race shape with these two hydrating (and incredibly simple) recipes.

Head to the produce section of your nearest grocery store, or better yet – visit your local farmer’s market for fresh fruits and veggies that are in season. Pick the ripest, freshest looking fruits for a tasty fruit salad, and look for the richest colored veggies for a crisp tossed salad.

Fruits and veggies are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and WATER.

Fruit Salad

Pick out a handful of your favorite fruits, chop them up into bite-sized pieces, and toss together. (Sprinkle your fruit salad with lemon or lime juice to keep your fruit from browning.) Here are some suggested fruits along with their water percentages:

Watermelon (92%)
Strawberries (92%)
Grapefruit (91%)
Cantaloupe (90%)
Peaches (88%)
Pineapple (87%)
Oranges (87%)
Raspberries (87%)

Tossed Salad

Start with a base of dark, leafy greens (think romaine or leaf lettuce, spinach, and kale) and add in chopped cucumber (95% water) and peppers (93% water). Throw in some carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, and any other favorite fresh veggie to complete your tossed salad. Serve with olive oil and lemon juice for a refreshing side to your grilled BBQ favorites, or make it a main dish with sliced grilled chicken breast on top.

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Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated, and choosing fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content can help you beat the heat this summer.

A study shows that “during intense prolonged exercise in the heat, body water mass losses should be minimized (without increasing body weight) to… preserve optimal performance.”

In other words, hydrating before AND during your next obstacle course race is important. Including these recipes (in addition to plenty of water) will help you perform at your best.

From all of us at Savage Race, we wish you a very Happy 4th of July!


 

References:

  1. Simon Kidd, An Athlete’s Guide to Hydration: When, What, and How Much. Accessed July 2, 2015.
  2. Racinais S, Alonso JM, Coutts AJ, et al. Consensus Recommendations on Training and Competing in the Heat. Sports Med. 2015;45(7):925-38.
  3. Laurentine ten Bosch, 10 Foods to Help You Stay Hydrated! Accessed July 2, 2015.

 

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