Keeping it cool while the summer is HOT!
With the summer temperatures reaching the mid 90’s (and feeling like triple digits with the high humidity) it is important to keep cool and avoid heat illnesses while exercising outdoors. Luckily, there are several tasty ways to beat the heat with cold, health-boosting beverages and foods. For long runs outdoors, try making a pre-exercise “slushy” by blending frozen berries and 100% fruit juice and pouring the mix over shaved ice. A 2001 study found that having a “real fruit slushy” pre-run helped the participants run 20% longer than drinking cold water (with equal amount of sugar) due to the fact that the slushy cools you down better than cold water, preventing overheating and reducing risk of heat illness. To boost the immune system, try toping sugar-free frozen yogurt (i.e. fro-yo) with ¼ cup fresh fruit and 1 tablespoon chopped raw almonds for added antioxidants and healthy fats. Compared to grocery store bought frozen yogurt, fro-yo contains more live cultures and healthy bacteria that promote gastrointestinal health and boost the immune-system strength. Lastly, to help speed recovery post-exercise, drink a homemade real-fruit protein smoothie. Creamy and cool, real-fruit smoothies (with no added sugar) provide all the nutrients needed to recover post-workout (including carbohydrates, antioxidants, and protein). Additionally, a recent study found that real-fruit extracts could help lower measures of oxidative stress following a vigorous endurance run-as well as a strength-training session. Just make sure to use water as a base (not juice), real frozen fruit (with no sugar added), and make sure your smoothie has at least 15g of muscle-building and repairing protein! So this summer, stay cool while exercising and enjoy the chilled, tasty health-boosting foods!