As temperatures rise during the summer, so does the angst that comes with its effect on our bodies i.e. dehydration. Here are a few expert tips that will help you overcome that:
The most important rule is to keep yourself hydrated. On a regular day, experts advise consuming about 6-8 glasses of water or other hydrating liquid in order to strike a balance with the amount of water lost from the body.
During the summer, drinking should be done more frequently as the heightened humidity and evaporation causes you to lose fluids faster than usual. However, just how much more you actually need depends on your body and the kinds of activities you engage in.
Q: What if I can't drink that much water?
A: Take sports drinks! These are specially created to promote fluid uptake, so they should be more hydrating than traditional water.
Q: Can I drink too much water?
A: Yes, you can drink too much water. But that will be handled by your kidney through frequent urination so you don't have to worry — too much! Experts say consuming too much water within a short period can hinder your kidneys from being able to maintain electrolyte balance, so the blood becomes very dilute. This can affect bodily functions and in extreme cases, cause hyponatremia, a condition caused by too much water which causes sodium levels to fall dangerously low.
On a final note, people with existing health conditions or those exhibiting symptoms should seek professional advice to know just how much water is right for them!
STAYING HYDRATED THROUGH MEALS
Did you know that you can also stay hydrated through your meals? Unlike drinking, this is admittedly easier to do.
According to experts, foods account for about 20-30% of our fluid intake, and they contain different levels of water than others. Examples of fruits and vegetables that have high water content are:
More evidently, water-based recipes like soups, gravy, stews and porridge also promote hydration.
Q: Do food and drinks really help us cool off?
A: Yes, but only for a short time. Summer is typically associated with cold drinks and dishes but experts say they don't really help us cool down. That’s because consuming food causes a rise in your body temperature because heat is a by-product of digestion! Contrary to common opinion, warm drinks can actually help better in this regard as they make your core temperature rise, which signals to your body that you need to cool down so you sweat more to lose heat through your skin.
Q: Are there foods to avoid during summer?
A: Yes. You should avoid meals that are high in protein, sugar and fibre as they are believed to generate more heat.
GO WITH THAT GUT FEELING
A heatwave can leave you discombobulated but always listen to your body. According to experts, seasonal changes including temperature and the number of daylight hours can influence your appetite. Typically, people have a poor appetite during the summer, as the body tries to regulate temperature by avoiding activities that generate heat like digestion.
When you feel this way, you don't have to force yourself to eat. Just ensure that when you do eat, it is a healthy – and of course, hydrating – meal.
STAYING HYDRATED AT NIGHT WILL PROMOTE GOOD SLEEP
You need good sleep during summer too! There is nothing more distressing than a night spent awake thinking about the scorching heat; this can upset your daily routine as well as gradually lower the quality of your sleep and overall mental health.
All you have to do is take more fluids!
Many people avoid drinking at nighttime because they don't want to be awakened constantly to urinate. But, when you're thirsty, you may not even be getting any sleep. So, experts advise staying hydrated even at night and keeping a glass of water by the bed to avoid frustrating trips to the kitchen at midnight.
Last but not least, DON'T forget to turn on your air conditioner!