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How to beat the heat with what you eat

Are you feeling sluggish during this heat wave? What you eat and drink can make all the difference.

SAVAGE, Minn. — After so many days of this crazy heat, you might be feeling a little drained right now, a little tired and sleepy.

You're not alone.

Heat like this is hard on our bodies. That's why nutrition is more important than ever.

Hy-Vee dietician Melissa Jaeger showed us a few tips and tricks we can all use to stay energized during this heat wave.

Gordon Severson (KARE 11 News): I have to say, it feels really nice to be inside right now.

Melissa Jaeger (Hy-Vee Dietician: It really does, especially in front of a cooler. I think we have ourselves in a great position here in the produce department.

Gordon: I know a lot of us, with this heat, are feeling sluggish. We're feeling worn down. Is there something to that?

Jaeger: Well, with these hotter temperatures we're more likely to sweat right?

When we do sweat we're losing valuable electrolytes and minerals so things like sodium, potassium and chloride which we can actually find in the foods we consume, as well as in popular re-hydration beverages.

Gordon: So, the heat and the sun can literally be sapping away your energy?

Jaeger: When you are dehydrated that's when you might feel fatigued. You can't concentrate. Maybe you're a little extra irritable with all this heat, who knows.

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Gordon: So, with drinking more fluids that helps with your dehydration, but can that actually affect your energy levels?

Jaeger: Rehydrating yourself should provide you with that energy boost that you might need to get through the heat.

Gordon: I know a lot of people, myself included, their gut reaction is to go grab a coffee an energy drink or a soda. Is that the best idea?

Jaeger: Not necessarily. And in my mind if we can hydrate through the food that we're eating and then through fluid choices that we're consuming whether it just be plain water and maybe you're more inspired to drink it if it's in a fun water bottle.

Gordon: What are some foods that are like the best of the best? That will give you energy through this heat wave?

Jaeger: We know that watermelons are about 92% water and so if you're looking to rehydrate quickly and you want a nice summer time treat, watermelons are an excellent way to do that.

Grapes, strawberries, peaches. Even those oranges you may cut up for your kids’ soccer game for half time. There's a reason behind that.

Things like cauliflower and bell peppers are really easy ones that you can slice up and snack on.

Not only do they contain fiber which really helps with our digestive system and helps us to feel better in the long run, on top of that they contain lots of vitamins and minerals to help support our immune system on top of support our energy levels and contain those valuable electrolytes that we've been losing through sweat.

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Gordon: How about like starting in the morning at breakfast? What are some things someone can grab quickly?

Jaeger: If you're somebody who likes to build smoothies, that's a great way to incorporate a few fruit and vegetable servings along with tacking on some protein.

Gordon: What are some things that people should try to avoid that might be making you feel more sluggish or taking away their energy and they might not know it?

Jaeger: Some of those deep fried foods or more of those processed refined sugary carbohydrates that are maybe just not giving our body the nutrients that it needs to perform at its peak.

Gordon: So, there is a way to get some of that energy back you just have to pick and choose what you eat and drink this summer?

Jaeger: Exactly, and focus on it as an overall goal. I love to say it's not one day that's going to make or break your entire health and wellbeing.

It's just about balancing out the choices that we're making.

Gordon: And hopefully the weather will help us out a little bit.

Jaeger: Hopefully it will cool down a little bit and it will stop making us feel so sluggish and really allow us to rehydrate and get back to feeling our best.