Do you feel yourself getting tired and lethargic as the days start getting hotter? If the summer sun is draining the energy out of you, it is because of the sudden rise in the atmospheric temperature which causes dehydration. This dehydration reduces the ability to convert food into usable energy in the cells of our bodies. This is why you feel mental and physical fatigue in the summer months, affecting not just your exercise regime, but also your mood.

A well-hydrated body is able to achieve all fitness goals easily and optimally. We are all aware of the amount of water we need to drink per day to keep ourselves hydrated. However, to optimize the functions of water in your body, you need to maintain the electrolyte balance. An important electrolyte is a potassium, which is responsible for assimilating the proteins in our muscles and converting carbs into usable energy. Electrolytes can be easily found in simple everyday foods that you can find in your kitchen. Sveta Bhassin, MSc.

Head of Nutrition Coaching, Alpha Coach shares five such foods that can help maintain a good electrolyte balance in your body, while hydrating you.

  • Lemon barley water: 

Lemon barley water is made by soaking 2 tablespoons of barley for 8 hours, overnight, in 500 ml of water. Boil it for 15 to 20 minutes on low flame till it reduces to half. Add lime juice, mint leaves, rock salt and roasted cumin powder to it and serve chilled as a mid-morning beverage on a tiring summer day. Lemon barley water not only helps with dehydration but also helps flush out toxins from your body.

  • Rose milk:

Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup skimmed milk, 4-5 leaves of red rose petals, 1 teaspoon sabja or basil seeds and 2 crushed green cardamoms in a bowl. Refrigerate and soak it overnight. Serve this as chilled as your post-workout drink, especially after an intense cardio session.

  • Raw banana: 

This raw banana snack is perfect to keep your energy levels high till the end of the day. Peel the outer layer of the raw banana and cut it into thin slices. Stir fry it in coconut or sesame oil. Season it with chaat masala, or green chillies for a hint of spice.

  • Bottle gourd raita:

This raita makes an excellent lunch accompaniment, especially if you are having any meat. Peel and coarsely grate bottle gourd. Next, cook it by steaming it. Once cooked, mix it with homemade curd. Add rock salt, black pepper and roasted cumin powder to this mixture.

  • Mixed vegetable broth:

Mixed vegetable broth makes an excellent appetizer before dinner and ensures good digestion of a protein-rich meal. To make this broth, you need finely chop vegetables like French beans, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, spring onion stalks, mushrooms and spinach and boil them in water. That’s it! Add a few drops of lime, black pepper powder and coriander leaves and serve it hot before any meal.

These foods are seasonal and easy to make at home. They will boost fat loss and enhance your performance during workout sessions.

Orginally published on India.com.

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