It’s hot, it’s sweaty, and there’s no way to escape it. The hot weather and humidity that we’re all experiencing not only makes it hard to sleep at night, but also makes it tough to focus when working from home, away from the comfort of the cool air-conditioning in our offices.
However, with a prolonged heatwave, there are health risks and it can affect almost everyone. You could experience dehydration, overheating, or heat exhaustion. With higher temperatures and high humidity, it feels uncomfortable when you sweat because the sweat isn’t drying on the skin. You may also experience heat cramps, which happens when your body is overheated and your muscles aren’t getting the electrolytes they need to function properly.
So how do you stay cool without driving up your electricity bill?
What you eat and drink is important during a heatwave. It is important to maintain proper nutrition and hydration so that your body is able to deal with the symptoms of heat exhaustion and recover quickly. Here’s your food and drink guide to deal with this heatwave.
What to eat for the hot weather
Most of the fluid in your body comes from the food you eat. Consuming water-rich food is a good way to hydrate and replenish liquid in your body. Some fruits and vegetables have a water content higher than 90%, like apples, cantaloupe, honeydew, oranges, peaches, pineapple, strawberries, watermelon, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini, and more.
According to Chinese traditions, there are also cooling foods that can help disperse the heatiness in your body, like eggs, clams, bitter gourd, broccoli, eggplant, spinach, tofu, mung bean, soybean, barley, yoghurt, and more.
To avoid heating up your kitchen in this heatwave, go for salads which can be kept in the fridge for that refreshing crisp and cooling effect instead of using your oven or stove.
Foods to avoid for the hot weather
While salt can enhance the flavors in your food, you might want to hold back on it. Consuming excess salt can cause dehydration, hindering your body’s perspiration functions, and making you feel bloated. Your body will also have to work harder to get rid of the extra salt in your body.
It’s tough to resist snacking on fried and junk food, however, these foods can cause dehydration, and are harder for your body to digest. If you feel like snacking, stick to healthier alternatives like fruits.
What to drink for the hot weather
It’s tempting to reach for a bottle of cold beer or a glass of cool cocktail, however, alcoholic drinks are known to be diuretic—which can cause you to be dehydrated. Even when you do consume alcohol, drinking more water will rehydrate your body and make tomorrow’s hangover more bearable.
It is also important to keep your body’s electrolytes level balanced in the heat. Electrolytes help regulate the fluid levels in the body, support muscular contractions in the body, build new tissue, and more. Some drinks that are rich in electrolytes include coconut water, milk, watermelon juice, smoothies, and sport drinks.
If you can’t skip your coffee in the mornings, or resist that cup of tea, drink them cold instead of hot. Drinking them hot may increase your overall body temperature, causing you even more discomfort in this heatwave.
And of course, the most important and easy way to stay hydrated, is to drink water. While you can drink mineral, osmosis, or filtered water, there is another type of water that is more beneficial for your body. Not only does hydrogen water keep you hydrated, but it also has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can help reduce inflammation and get rid of free radicals in our bodies. Hydrogen water can also help prevent major health issues like high-blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases, joint pain, and slows down the ageing process.
You can also add hydrogen water to tea and coffee, which will help enhance the flavors. It can also reduce the acidity of these beverages and works really well with lightly-roasted coffee.