Summer Nutrition for Hydration. We all agree, summer, is a time in our hearts, however giving a bitter experience to many persons with its extreme heat, hot sun, high temperatures and suffocating atmosphere.
Dehydration or heatstroke episodes during summer months do not show low figures every year. The reason is the deviation from basic rules for protecting the person’s health from the dangerous sunrays and (to a large extent) the poor nutrition followed in summer.
Especially during the hot summer season, our body needs even more water. In fact, many persons do not pay the necessary attention on the organism hydration, being more concerned with the calories consumed, avoiding fats or sugars not allowed, but finally what happens with the water?
A reasonable question, why nobody counts the water amount consumed per day?
This is probably the biggest nutrition mistake made by a large population.
Especially during summer months (when the organism needs a higher hydration), the problem is obvious.
In extreme heat, the body requests water for maintaining its internal temperature constant, not jumping higher.
Excessive exposure to sunlight and intense heat with insufficient hydration certainly leads to an increase in internal temperature (to tenths or fever), a feeling of fatigue / nausea / illness, finally spoiling anyone’s holidays.
This disease occurring in organism following intense exposure to high temperatures is called heatstroke, mainly due to extreme organism dehydration from heat.
Certainly, this does not mean you cannot go out to enjoy the summer sun. All you need to know is WHAT you will do & HOW you will take care of your organism to remain hydrated in the extreme heat and not endangered by exposure to sunlight.
A few nutritional tips for the hot summer months are in discussion here to keep you hydrated, full of energy and good mood, avoiding the creation of bloating or heaviness feelings (something unbearable especially at high temperatures, as organism for performing the digestive process is forced to raise its internal temperature even higher).
However, what’s the amount of water required (especially in summer) so the organism stays healthy & hydrated?
This is the serious question for all of us.
Together we learn how to take care of our organism (depending on daily life and the lifestyle maintained).
Your organism, needs water, looking for it in various ways and sending signs. Unfortunately, most people have not learnt how to understand these signs, resulting to unpleasant conditions when the problem becomes obvious.
Surely, one day you might forget to drink a sufficient amount of water. This is not a serious problem (unless you plan to spend long hours in the heat and sun, exercising & sweating).
In summer, however, it’s not only the amount of water the important parameter, but also WHAT & HOW much food consumed.
Your summer diet cannot remain the same as your winter diet.
Your organism needs in the intense cold of winter fatty foods and many calories (to withstand the cold) have nothing to do with light meals rich in water required during the hot summer months.
Normally the organism requires (on average) about 2 – 2.5 liters of water per day to function properly and keep all organs healthy.
In summer, however, due to a large loss of body fluids (mainly due to heavy sweating) the body needs even more water.
An easy way for maintaining stable water consumption is to have a bottle of water with you in your bag or next to your desk at all times.
In this way, you may have a few drops waiting for the traffic light, till download is complete on the computer, until the water in the pot boils while you cook or until the ads end while you fool around with your favorite program on television).
So before you go to fridge to eat whatever you find, try to drink a glass of fresh & cool water. “Sometimes we tend to confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger,” say nutritionists.
“We have not learned to decode the messages sent by our body, misinterpreting the feeling of thirst with that of hunger, leading our body to unnecessary overeating.”
In fact, another common mistake of most people (men & women) is that we do not treat our eating process properly, meaning this:
“The body receives messages from the brain. Every organ in the body takes commands from the brain and works accordingly. However, in case we do not give the organism enough time to send this message and decode it, we make mistakes”.
Let’s make it simple. When you have consumed enough food (for your organism standards), the brain sends a message of fullness. However, this takes some time. In case you do not give your body this time to “process” the information received, more likely you are going to consume excess food (and therefore calories), leading to weight gain.
The same applies to water. Once you feel a need to run to fridge, try drinking a glass of water and give your body some time to process it. If the supposed feeling of “hunger” subsides, this will mean that in fact you were thirsty and not hungry.
Summer and heat show a preference to foods & drinks with high water content.
Heavy foods, sauces, spices, fats and in general food making digestion difficult, are contraindicated.
On the contrary, fruits & vegetables should be the basis of your every summer meal.
They are healthy, nutritious and delicious, offering energy (containing even natural sugars) and they are light for the stomach.
You can also give more variety to your diet with imaginative smoothies, juices, sorbet & granites, and certainly with cold coffees and iced teas (which with no sugar are even better).
Even an ice cream in a hot summer afternoon is permissible rejuvenating you from the high temperature.
As mentioned, the body has a way of “informing” for its need in water, as long as you “listen” to it.
The main signs of a dehydrated body (which we should all be aware of) are the following:
No clear answer to this question. Each organism has its own needs. Height, weight, age, gender, level of physical activity per day, body shape, lifestyle, habits, fitness, even conditions of suffering from any disease and medication data, are factors affecting its needs for hydration.
On average – as already mentioned – an adult needs about 2-3 liters of water a day.