6 Tips to Stay Hydrated This Summer
Drink more, stay cool!
The summer season is here again and the temperature has started to soar high. The sweltering sunny days, heat waves, and humidity will make us sweat more and more, resulting in dehydration. So, let’s understand why we are more dehydrated in hot weather.
Water constitutes around 70% of our body weight, so it’s no wonder that it performs some essential functions for our survival. It regulates body temperature, takes part in metabolism, lubricates joints and muscles, detoxifies and removes waste from the body etc. As the temperature rises, sweating is a natural response of our body to cool itself down. So, as a result of losing fluid and electrolytes in sweat, we suffer from dehydration. Some common signs of dehydration are excessive thirst, headache, muscle cramps, dry skin, fatigue, and dark urine.
Dehydration affects your brain functions too. Scientific research proves that even mild dehydration (2%) can temporarily impair your memory, attention, and clarity. Conversely, if you are severely dehydrated you can’t sweat enough. This causes your body temperature to rise abnormally and leads to heatstroke. Heatstroke is characterized by very high body temperature (104 F or higher), flushed skin, rapid heart rate, dizziness and in some cases it can be fatal too.
But, you need not lose your enthusiasm as Dr. YOU is here to provide you with some special tips to handle the upcoming scorching days with ease.
- Keep a track on water intake — Drink water throughout the day and don’t wait until you are thirsty. Thirst is a sign that you are already dehydrated. Drink more water especially when the weather is hot and after your physical exercise. If your work requires you to sit for long hours behind the desk, keep a water bottle handy and sip throughout the day.
- Flavor your water — Infuse your water with fresh fruits and vegetables like orange, strawberries, pineapple, cucumber slices, mint leaves or lemon juice. The added taste and flavor will make you like water more and increase your regular consumption. Water infused with fruits and vegetables boosts energy levels, detoxifies the body, and also increases your intake of vitamins and minerals from ingredients added.
- Eat hydrating fruits and vegetables — Around 20% of your water intake should come from food. So, eat plenty of water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, melon, mangoes, pineapple, cucumber, gourd vegetables, lettuce, zucchini etc. They are extremely hydrating because of high water content and also boost immunity due to presence of vitamins, and antioxidants. The mineral content makes up for the electrolytes that are lost in sweating.
- Limit intake of dehydrating beverages — Caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee, colas, and energy drinks can cause mild dehydration. So, it is best to limit the intake of coffee and tea — not more than two cups a day! Try to replace your regular tea and coffee with herbal green teas. They boost your intake of antioxidants and benefit your health, without making you dehydrated. You can also have refreshing fruit smoothies and milk shakes for fluid intake.
- Try these summer drinks — Hot weather drains energy and hence it is highly likely for you to gravitate towards icy and sugary drinks. It is best to avoid colas, soda drinks, and packaged juices that only give you empty calories and temporary cooling effect. The energy drinks that promise you instant energy boost have high caffeine which can further dehydrate you. Replace those drinks with refreshing coconut water- it is full of minerals and replenishes electrolytes that are lost in sweating. Make traditional drinks using natural fruits like unripe mango (Aam panna), kokum (kokum drink), lemon (lemonade) etc. Drinks made from natural ingredients provide important nutrients that benefit your immunity, and also contain dietary fibre for gut health.
- Cool down — It is important to regulate your body temperature to avoid dehydration. Avoid going outdoors as much as possible during the day. Schedule your workout during cooler times of the day. Incorporate cooling herbs like mint, coriander, and sweet basil in your regular food like sandwiches, salads, pasta. Avoid spicy food as it heats up your body and leads to sweating.
Remember, the only person who can keep YOU the healthiest is YOU!
DISCLAIMER: Dr. YOU aims to bring you the latest evidence-based science, and our content is for informational purposes only. The content is not medical advice or guarantee of an outcome. You should always consult a doctor or qualified healthcare professional if you need further clarification and before making any changes to your treatment plans and lifestyle, or that of others.
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