Summers.,., hot, humid and dehydrating .,. that’s how I describe this weather… I am more of a winter person. I don’t like summers.. But most of my family and friend really love summers. I can’t understand why people spend half the year looking forward to summer. I get so frustrated every time these summers comes … it makes me go crazy..,.!!! Summer’s heat drains away all the energy and you end up feeling exhausted, with less of energy.
The only thing I like about summers is birds singing and see flowers blooming etc. and yeah I can enjoy my morning walks too.
Summer is hottest, longest & also most tiring season. It begins generally middle of March & lasts almost until the end of June. During earlier part of this season, weather is dry, mild, & agreeable. However, every day it gets warmer and warmer until in May and June heat becomes intolerable. The sun’s rays are so strong that it is almost impossible to stir out during the middle of day with the hot wind blows all day long.
So, the hot days of summer are now upon us. With temperatures increasing, the heat waves can lead to a lot of health problems too. (I can already see the signs of some health issues). Our body is comprised of around 70% of water so it is very important to maintain the fluid ratio in our body, but it more challenging as the weather heats up. Increasing temperatures and outdoor activities during summer increase water loss through sweating.
Even 1-2% water loss can compromise your performance and impact your body’s ability to cool itself. The heart pumps harder, circulation slows and muscles fatigue more quickly. If the loss goes up to 3 to 4 percent, you can be at higher risk of developing heat-related illness, like cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Thus learning optimal methods for staying hydrated is really important. We know that drinking water is necessary, but as we lack the know-how, many of us remain dehydrated. So I have compiled few easy hydrating methods that will keep your body well during humid days.
- HOW TO CHECK WHETHER YOU ARE DEHYDRATED
If you are not sure whether your body is properly hydrated or not, check the signs your body is given you.. The signs of dehydration may include extreme thirst, fatigue, and muscle cramps. Dehydration can affect your brain too as your brain is made up of more than 70% of water. If you don’t get enough drinking water during summer, it can affect your thinking ability and cognition.
Other signs of dehydration include
- Dry mouth or increased thirst
- Dry eyes.
- Muscle cramps
- Lack of sweat
- Dark colored urine
- Less elastic or dry skin
- Irritating skin troubles: acne, dryness, chapped lips
- Heat cramps, heat stroke
A few days back when I got dehydrated my symptoms where severe headaches and dizziness. The symptoms may vary from person to person. You can check yours. Children and older people are at higher risk of becoming dehydrated due to the way their body responds to the hot weather. It is really important for everyone to prevent dehydration by drinking water throughout the day. Do not wait until symptoms appear to start drinking water.
BUT HOW MUCH WATER YOU NEED
Okay you might have got it now, you need to keep fluid balance to keep your body fit during summers but how much fluid your body needs..!!! Actually, the amount of fluid you need depends on your weight, how much active you are, the outside temperature and the state of your health. But as a thumb rule, most of us need minimum eight cups daily, and those who work out vigorously or tent to sweat a lot should drink more than that.
HOW TO MAKE HYDRATION A HABIT:
Now we know how important being hydration is to our health, but the question is, how do we increase our water intake without feeling water-logged or rushing to the bathroom again and again?
Here are few tips for staying hydrated this summer:
- Drink water before you feel thirsty:
Feeling thirsty? But actually, chances are you’re already dehydrated. Your best defense against dehydration is drinking water on a consistent basis, then you’ll never reach the point of thirst. To do so take frequent water breaks. Taking a time out for some much-needed liquid nourishment from your work will pay off in the long run. Drink one full glass of water before starting any activity. Once the games begin, drink another 7 to 10 ounces every 20 to 30 minutes.
- Make a routine to drink water first thing in the morning:
It’s beneficial because hydrating first thing in the morning is the most effective time of the day to do so! If you didn’t drink much water all day but always made it a point to drink at least 1 liter of water first thing in the morning, you are going to do wonders in your efforts to stay hydrated.
- Always carry a water bottle with you:
Make a habit of keeping a water bottle with you whether you are at home or going outside in a summer day so that you can drink water throughout the day. Having a water bottle with you will be a reminder for you to drink water all day. Even if you are in AC, drinking water becomes more necessary as the air condition extracts water particles out from your body making your skin dry.
- Track your water consumption:
To make you remind to drink water get an app to track your daily water consumption. You can also set reminders on the app that it’s time for a glass of water, as many of us don’t drink enough water because of their work schedule. If you have trouble keeping track, these tools are life savior to keep you in check throughout the summer months. Plus, getting up to grab a cup of H2O from the water cooler is a great way to stay social during your work hours.
- Opt an electrolyte drink:
While you are working out, consider sipping a sports drink or a banana to restore lost electrolytes (minerals in the blood that regulate bodily systems). Your body loses important electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride when you sweat while working out. A good sports drink can help you replenish all of them. There is a slew of healthy, low-sugar options in the market.
- Infuse your water with flavors:
I know pushing yourself to drink plain water is really difficult, this comes naturally from the human need of variety. So try to be creative with your water habits. Actually jazzing up your water can be an incredible way to make it more hydrating.
Whether you prefer lemons, oranges, limes, berries, or either cucumber, infusing your water with fruits make for a refreshing beverage, without any added artificial sweeteners or preservatives. You can also try adding unrefined sea salt to your water with fruits, this will mineralize the water.
You can also try sipping on raw green juice or smoothies, preferably for breakfast to increase your water intake. The natural waters of raw vegetables and berries will absorb better than regular water because of their high mineral content. Plus, they taste better.
- Drink before you eat:
We all can relate to the late-afternoon snacks and hunger pangs. But before reaching for the calories, drink some water! Sometimes our brain confuses thirst with hunger, so next time the feeling strikes, grab a glass of water before eating and your hunger just might disappear.
- Munch on water-rich food/ Load up on fruits and veggies:
Water-packed foods, like melon, berries, bell peppers, Celery, Grapes, Tomatoes, and cucumbers all are really good options. And the best thing is all of these foods contains a decent amount of electrolytes, and are low in calories too! These whole fruits and veggies can deliver up to a half-cup of H2O per serving. So you can eat your way to hydration as well.
- Go for coconut water:
Coconut water is a great choice for summers. It is a mineral-rich liquid from the inside of green coconuts and is a storehouse of potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. Coconut water can replenish lost fluids and electrolytes that you lose during exercise and hot summer temperatures. You can even freeze coconut water as ice cubes or pops for a refreshing, hydrating summer treat.
- Sip on herbal tea every evening:
If you make this a habit, you’ll add an extra cup of fluid to your body every single day. On top of that, this ritual is a wonderful way to de-stress at the end of the day. You can even sip (unsweetened) iced tea, as tea is both antioxidant-packed and a great way to sneak in some extra H2O to keep hydrated. Sip (unsweetened) fruit flavored herbal versions, black, green, or oolong teas to your heart’s desire.
- Start your day with oatmeal:
Oats is a heart-healthy cereal that will help you fight dehydration easily. Try having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, and when you make a bowl of oatmeal it absorbs water or milk you used to cook it, making your breakfast a great source of hydration. Additionally, if you add fresh fruits to you oats bowl it contains the same amount of water as a cucumber.
- Avoid sugary energy drinks:
Little bit of sugar is good for you especially when your energy level is totally down. But consumption of excess sugar must be avoided during summer as it affects the balance of body fluid. When people become highly exhausted during hot weather and thus they end up consuming energy drinks. But, this is really harmful, as these energy drinks contain a good amount of sugar which will be responsible for the imbalance of fluid production within your body. Even this can also give rise to increase in the heartbeat and blood pressure.
- Make a habit to wake up early:
Try to make a habit to wake up during the early morning hours, and go out for a walk or do jog. The atmosphere is cool during the early morning hours and you can inhale fresh oxygen during that period. And you’ll end up feeling refreshed and you can drain away the sweat at once. You can drink plenty of water and stay hydrated for a longer period.
Water is truly the elixir of life. As you experience all the wonderful milestones of summers, remember to drink plenty of water and eat a diet rich in whole fruits and vegetables to keep you going all summer long. Your body (and soul) will thank you! The goal for the summers should be to replace what’s lost. And with a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy your time during any outdoor activity, no matter what temperature the thermometer says.