Summer is here with its sun-drenched days and longer daylight hours. Kids have the summer to run free while parents and grandparents do their best to keep up with them. Whether you have kids or not, more sweating and losing electrolytes is almost a given this time of year. You can buy expensive, sugary energy drinks or you can make your own with fruits and veggies. Even better, water infusions pull double duty because they also can help your skin! Just what are electrolytes? Think of electrolytes as the electrical spark your body needs to function. If you've ever been out running around and sweating a lot and you noticed you were tired or even nauseous, it may well have been related to the fact that your body had lost a good amount of salt in your sweat, and even more so, there was an imbalance in your body. Salt isn't the only type of electrolyte, but it is the most common. Other electrolytes, such as potassium and magnesium, are also plentiful - and necessary - for your body to function properly. Even if you aren't sweating copiously, it's still important to stay hydrated. Drinking water when you're thirsty might not necessarily be the first thing you reach for. Instead you might grab a sugary drink loaded with caffeine and empty calories to satisfy you. Caffeine, however, is a diuretic, which means it actually dehydrates you instead. And empty calories, well, we all know how useful they are... If water doesn't do it for you, and you're virtuously trying to cut down on your sugar and caffeine intake or you want to build up your depleted electrolytes, we have the solution for you - yummy and refreshing fruit infusions! But...it's not soda pop! Fruit infusions aren't meant to be a one-for-one exchange with soda or a sugary energy drink. They are meant to help you drink more water and less of the other stuff. It's not an in-your-face flavor. But these infusions are packed with the vitamins and minerals your body needs without all the extras. The Recipes Fruit infusions are very easy to make! You can store them in your refrigerator and use them in your portable water container when you're on the go. You can use either fresh or frozen fruits, though if you're using a fruit that doesn't get peeled, it's best to use organic. Also, when it comes to fruit measurement, the exact amount is often arbitrary. It's more based on the flavor you like rather than what it's supposed to taste like. These infusions give you flavor options to experiment with. Raspberry Lime Monica, from TheYummyLife.com, says she starts by squeezing out the lime juice into a 2 quart jar, then puts the rinds and the raspberries into the jar. She muddles the fruits either with a muddler or with the back of a wooden spoon (Just be careful not to pulverize the fruit). Next, she fills up the jar with ice, then fills the rest with water.
- Raspberries are high in vitamin C and vitamin K, which are antioxidants that help to fight free radicals, prevent easy bruising, and help maintain the elasticity in the skin.
- They are also high in the electrolytes magnesium and manganese.
- Limes are also high in vitamin C, the level of which you want to maintain in your body for optimal skin health.
- Cucumbers are a good source of vitamin K.
- They are also a good source of the electrolyte potassium.
- Strawberries are high in antioxidants as well as vitamin C. They are also a good source of vitamin K.
- They are also high in the electrolytes manganese and potassium.
- Pineapples are a powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamins including vitamins C and B6.
- They are also extremely high in electrolytes such as manganese and copper.