It’s summer! ☀
The sun is shining, school is paused, many people take a vacation and just enjoy the lovely weather! But summer also comes with a few downsides. We’re not talking about mosquitos and overcrowded tourist spots here. Rather, we are talking about what you can do to stay healthy and hydrated this summer.
The Do’s & Don’ts Of Summer Drinks
Staying hydrated, drinking enough, making sure that your body can withstand the heat is vital during the hot summer months. Many heat-related issues and problems can be avoided by taking care of your fluids intake. Heat strokes, rashed, exhaustion, collapses, cramps, all of these can be avoided with proper drinking habits during summer.
What should be your rule of thumb – and what has also been confirmed by the US Centres of Disease Control and Prevention – is that you should consume more fluids in warm weather.
Now, read on and find out the Do’s and the Do Not’s of summer drinks.
Temperature Doesn’t Matter
There are strong supporters for both of the following claims:
- In hot weather, drink cold drinks to cool your body down.
- In hot weather, drink hot drinks to save energy.
In reality, the temperature of your beverage is rather attributed to feeling rather than what saves your body more energy or what cools it down. If consumed in a huge amount, extremely cold drinks can cause cramps and vomiting, while extremely hot beverages can burn your mouth and make you sweat even more.
In small doses, however, the temperature plays no role. Your body has to bring up the same amount of energy to handle and regulate cool and warm drinks.
How To Stay Hydrated
In summer, your body is losing a lot of fluids along with salts and minerals. In order for your body to keep working like it should, you need to compensate for this loss. If you engage in straining physical activities, you need to increase the intake even more.
The safest bet here is to drink a lot of water. Water contains many minerals and provides your body with the basics it needs: fluids. But there are some other rules of thumbs or habits that, once taken on, can improve your fluid balance tremendously:
- Drink before you are thirsty: feeling thirsty is your body alarming you about a severe deficiency and drinking regularly keeps your body from having to undergo this stress
- Always carry a water bottle with you: in summer, a traffic jam, hike or standing in line somewhere can quickly become a serious issue, so rather be prepared than sorry
- Add natural flavor: if you find it difficult to drink flavorless water, especially when you’re not thirsty, try adding some natural flavors with a slice of lemon, cucumber, a strawberry or mint
- Water via food: you don’t have to drink to get the fluid intake you need since fruits like oranges, watermelon, coconuts or grapefruits, as well as vegetables like cucumbers, spinach and celery contain a lot of water already
What To Avoid
Water can be bland or boring at times, even if you add some natural flavor. We don’t want you to feel too bad about drinking a sweetened iced tea or soda every once in a while. However, there is a strong reason behind why you should never rely on these sugary drinks only for your fluid intake, especially during the summer.
With soda and iced tea sweetened using sugar, the issue isn’t so much that you take in the “wrong” kind of fluids, but the sugar. Since you have to drink more than usual in hot weather, you are also taking in more calories when reaching for that coke instead of some water. Furthermore, when the fluids level of your body is already down, adding sugar to your digestive system can cause some trouble and issues for your stomach.
Same goes for alcohol. You can enjoy a fresh, cold beer after a warm day, but it does not suffice to take care of your hydration. Alcohol is highly diuretic which means that you will find yourself on the toilet quite often, getting rid of the fluids your body so desperately needs. By the way, same goes for coffee and other caffeinated drinks. They also have you running for the toilet more often, hence why in many warm countries, you will always get a glass of water complimentary to your coffee to make up for the unavoidable trip to the restroom.
Thus, if you find yourself drinking a lot of coffee, energy drinks, cocktails or beer over the summer, make sure that you make up for this additional loss of fluids. You can easily do so by compensating with a bottle of refreshing water.
And, just in case, a little tl;dr for you: