Living in a hot sun burnt country and staying hydrated is a challenge! Hot days and heat waves stress our bodies particularly in summer. Here’s how to stay cool and hydrated in summer.
Drink plenty of water
One of the best ways to avoid heat related illness is to drink plenty of water. It’s important to keep drinking water even if we don’t feel thirsty because this can prevent us from becoming dehydrated. Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks including tea and coffee because these can make dehydration worse.
Choice of Food
Many fruits provide healthy doses of fluid. Have more fruits like pineapple, pear, watermelon, mango, apples and peaches in your diet. The added bonus is that these fruits are high in fiber and low in calories! Increased consumption of certain vegetables can help keep you hydrated in addition to the obvious benefits of healthy food. Cucumber, eggplant and bell peppers are all good hydrators.
Keep the body cool
Staying out of the sun can help to keep cool avoid most of the problems in summer. Making sure to stay out of the sun, drinking cold drinks and eating smaller cold meals, such as salads and fruit, can help us to keep cool. Other things to do include wearing light colored and loose fitting clothes made from natural fibers such as cotton, and taking cool showers or baths.
Keep the house cool
We can keep our house cool by shutting curtains and blinds during the day. Stay in the coolest room in the house and use the stove and oven as little as possible.
Who needs more care in hot weather?
Some people have a higher risk than others of becoming ill. These include:
• Babies and young children
• People who work outdoors or in hot and poorly ventilated areas
• Elderly people aged over 75 years
• People who are obese
• People engaging in vigorous physical activity in hot weather
How much water do we need?
What does being well hydrated mean? The amount of water a person needs depends on climatic conditions, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration.
Even though it’s believed that we need 8-glasses of water a day, there’s no scientific basis for drinking eight 8-glasses of fluid daily. It may be too much for inactive people or too little for those who exercise or work outdoors. Hydration needs can change daily and are highly individual. One easy, anytime check of hydration levels is urine color. The darker it is, the more likely you’re dehydrated. It’s a more accurate measure of hydration than thirst.
Hydration – Dos and don’ts
• Always have water with you. Keep a good-sized water bottle with you in the summer at all times.
• Minimize your caffeine and alcohol intake. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and soda, and all are diuretics, which mean that they increase your urine output. Alcohol is the same—in warm weather months, you want to decrease any diuretic fluids instead increase your fruit intake.
• Avoid exercising in the heat, or at least avoid being outside during the hottest times of day.
• Start slower, pace yourself, stay hydrated, and be aware of changes in energy
• Indoor exercise can also be a great change in routine for outdoor enthusiasts.
• Wear lightweight, breathable clothing in light colors. Sweat-wicking fabrics will be the most comfortable.
• Stay away from energy drinks. They contain large amounts of sugar and stimulants that can be dangerous.