How to stay hydrated during a heat wave?

Great swaths of the United Statesas well as many parts of Europe, China and other regions around the world, is facing dangerous heat levels. That means many people living in the affected areas will need to be especially vigilant about keeping themselves safe and healthy.

Here are some ways to stay hydrated during a heat wave.

When the temperature starts to rise, it can be a challenge to gauge how much fluid your body is losing. We all know that the body releases fluids in the form of sweat when it’s warm, but if it’s too humid, it can be difficult to tell how much sweat your body is producing.

The golden rule of hydration is Drink when you’re thirsty. But if you, like many others, find it difficult to motivate yourself to drink old filtered water, then rest assured. Thankfully, all beverages work to provide your body with fluids, not just water. Juice, milk, tea, and even soda can all be great hydrators. However, keep in mind that soft drinks and juices are often high in sugar, which can cause other health concerns.

However, if the drink makes you reach for it, that might be your best bet.

Kelly Hyndman, a researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who studies kidney function and water retention. While research suggests that drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages can have a hydrating effect similar to that of water, an effect that doesn’t quite apply to people sensitive to caffeine. If you are a regular coffee drinker, your body has most likely adapted to that caffeine, and therefore Your hydration level may not be affected by it.

It’s best to stay away from that beer during a heatwave. While it may be tempting to crack a cold, research has shown that Alcohol acts as a diureticcause the body to lose more water.

It may also be best not to drink only country. When you sweat, you not only lose fluid, but also excrete salt. (You can tell if you’re a salty sweater if, after sweating, your clothes still have marks on them.) So add salt and electrolytes. That’s also important, and you can do it with sports drinks or through the foods you eat.

Chris Minson, an exercise physiologist who has studied hydration and heat stress, however, is important to distinguish between sports drinks and energy drinks. Energy drinks are often high in sugar and caffeine, but do not usually contain salt or electrolytes. However, sports drinks do contain electrolytes – however, Dr Minson adds, most people will get more than their added salt intake just by eating a typical meal.

Watermelons, peaches, berries, grapes, and oranges are all good candidates. Succulent vegetables like cucumbers, celery and olives are also full of liquid. Meals with liquids, like soup or porridge, can also help you stay hydrated.

Frozen treats can also provide a double cooling and hydrating effect. Shaved ice, slushies, and sorbets can be fun and delicious ways to get fluids in and help relieve the heat.

There is some research showing that some animals and even some people, tend to eat less food when it’s hot. That’s because metabolizing food is an energy-demanding process that can raise the body’s temperature.

Although skipping meals, hot weather or not is not entirely healthy, some foods are more difficult to digest than others. These foods are “thermogenic,” which means they generate heat inside your body during intensive digestion.

All forms of protein, for example, including meat, fish and eggs, are highly thermogenic – especially red meat. Spicy foods that contain cayenne pepper and ginger are also thermogenic, as are sweet potatoes and whole grains. That said, Dr. Minson adds that your body temperature rises slightly any time you eat, and most healthy people won’t feel too much of a hit from eating thermogenic foods.

Exercising in alarmingly high temperatures means you will lose fluids at a faster rate than usual. To stay safe and hydrated, follow some common guidelines. Try not to exercise during the hottest times of the day. Early mornings and later evenings are usually cooler and, therefore, easier for your body to exercise. Another way to keep cool is to stay indoors, or at least in the shade, out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

As a safety precaution, Dr. Minson recommends avoiding exercising in remote places. If you think you may be prone to hot drunklet someone know where you are, in case of an emergency.

To minimize dehydration and keep your body temperature low, choose low-impact exercises. Certain types of yoga or Pilates — exercises that typically involve slower movements — don’t tend to raise your heart rate or body temperature in the same way that you would a quick run up a hill. If you must do cardio, try to avoid exertion – you don’t have to set yourself up for personal best during a heatwave.

“If you feel like you’re working harder, you probably are,” says Dr. Minson. It’s not unusual to feel more tension in your heart and muscles, even if you’re doing well in your normal workout routine. Know yourself and be aware of how much effort you are putting in. If things feel strenuous, that’s a sign to take it down a notch.

Finally, if it’s very hot, taking a day off (or a couple of days) is a reasonable option. Exercise is important for health, but so is rest.

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