Becoming dehydrated can occur during any time of the year; however, it is much more common in the summer months where individuals are more active outdoors and in the heat.
Dehydration is when our body’s do not receive the adequate amount of water it needs to recover itself from the tremendous amounts of fluids lost due to profuse sweating; a result of increased external temperature. Nevertheless, preventing dehydration could not be easier.
Here are 5 tips to help keep our bodies healthy and hydrated while the heat is on!
- Drink water. It is the first and golden rule in keeping clear of dehydration. While we all know it is beneficial for us to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, suitable fluid requirement does vary from person to person; depending on factors such as height, weight, physical activity and so forth. No matter the case, water is simply just something you should not avoid because dehydration will catch up and come in for the win. Not a fan of plain water? Try adding fruit or cucumbers to give it an added flavor.
- Avoid diuretics. Although it seems difficult to do so, staying clear of substances and/or foods that increase the production of urine are best when trying to stay hydrated. Yes, this means avoiding beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine such as coffee and sodas, and that all-time favorite go-to snack we all know as chocolate-anything. If you can’t resist, it’s not the end of the world; we all have our moments! Just be sure to replenish yourself with water to make up for fluids lost.
- Avoid spicy. Aside from the possibility of additional health issues such as acidity and heartburn, spicy food can also contribute to the loss of body fluids as well; since it increases your internal body temperature. Though spicy foods are known for speeding up one’s metabolism, it can also speed up the chances of dehydration if you are partaking in physical activity in the heat.
- Avoid exertion. Maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle does require one to stay active, but during the months of the summer, it is vital that one be smart when exercising outdoors. Direct exposure to the sun naturally causes you to sweat more, and sweating more leads to the loss of more fluids. So have a water bottle on hand, that way you can tend to all your body’s needs in staying healthy! Or on those really hot days, try to find a place where you can workout indoors.
- More potassium. Let’s not get confused, dehydration doesn’t just mean loss of water from the body. In conjunction, is the loss of electrolytes in extreme amounts. Therefore, eating potassium-rich foods such as bananas, pineapples, sweet potatoes and mangoes is very important in maintaining a healthy and hydrated body.
Above all, drinking water is simply the best and most beneficial way to maintain a hydrated body and cure a dehydrated one. A couple other things that can help keep your heat levels down include:
- Practicing yoga. It’s been known to calm down the nerves that signal excessive sweating due to increased external temperature.
- Wearing light and loose-fit clothing (preferably cotton). Darker shades tend to absorb more heat, causing the sweat glands to open up and tight-fit clothing prevents external cool down from happening; which is essential for your body to regulate temperature internally.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking alcoholic beverages, and if/when participating in either, be sure to drink water in between.
So be smart this summer and remember that water is going to be your best friend; if you haven’t already, I think it’s time to start getting acquainted!