How to Stay Cool as the Days Heat Up | Summer Care Tips for Hot Summer Heat
5 Tips to Stay Cool in the Hot Summer Heat
With summer officially upon us, all of the joys and travails that come with it commence as well. For some, the prospect of hot days, barbeques, and trips to the nearest body of water elicit thrills of excitement. For others, the notion of sweltering under a relentless sun, dodging crowds, navigating traffic, and getting in a bathing suit evoke feelings of dread.
Regardless of which camp you land in (or whether you straddle the middle), it’s necessary to know how to stay cool as the days heat up. The following five tips will assist you in achieving that end, keeping you cool, calm, and collected as the temperature rises:
- Drink Your Weight in Water (not literally, more on this later)
- Consume Healthy Electrolytes
- Eat Water-Rich Cooling Foods
- Take a Dip
- Cool Your Jets
1. Drink Your Weight in Water
With long hot days, you can count on having increased hydration needs. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, adult men should drink 104 ounces of water daily, and adult women should drink 72 ounces. (1) However, they acknowledge that this doesn't account for variables like size, exercise levels, and external temperatures.
WebMD endorses a rule of thumb that suggests you drink half your body weight in ounces daily. (2) So, if you weigh 150lbs, you drink 75 oz. Still, the amounts you need each day will vary with your circumstances.
Essentially, you need to increase your water intake when temperatures rise, you’re exercising heavily, drinking alcohol, experiencing a fever, or exhibiting signs of dehydration such as dark urine-the appropriate color is light yellow- dry mouth, mood changes, and fatigue. It’s good to be clear on your minimum hydration needs. However, drinking more is often better, provided you maintain the appropriate balance of electrolytes (minerals that are electrically charged when dissolved in water). This brings us to our next tip…
2. Consume Healthy Electrolytes
As it gets hotter, sweating causes our mineral needs to increase, but not all sources are created equal. I emphasized consuming healthy electrolytes because many electrolyte replacements are loaded with sugar, making them a dubious delivery system.
Even fruit juices, which have known benefits, are sugar-rich. If you’re going to have the sugar, make sure you also get the fiber and other essential nutrients by eating the whole fruit. Smoothies are a great way to achieve this.
According to a PubMed study, 50% of participants who consumed a western diet were mineral deficient. (3) Let’s make sure you’re not one of them! Additional natural sources of electrolytes include, but are not limited to:
- Coconut water
- Nuts, beans, seeds
- Sea salt (particularly the mineral-rich pink or Himalayan variety. An easy hack is to put a pinch of salt with a squeeze of lime or lemon in your water)
- Spinach and other leafy greens
3. Eat Water-Rich Cooling Foods
This tip doubles down on the previous two. When the weather is searing, you need to have some sources of time-released hydration, aka whole foods, working for you. This is where eating water-rich cooling foods comes in handy.
According to Mayo Clinic, you should be getting about 20% of your daily hydration from food. (4) If you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, you’ll easily achieve this. A couple of my favorite sources are watermelon and cucumber, both of which are more than 90% water and rich in electrolytes.
4. Take a Dip
It turns out that taking a dip is both a favorite way to cool yourself down in the summer and generally a good practice for your health. Studies have shown that immersing yourself in water “contributes to improvements in health maintenance, from cardiovascular function to musculoskeletal pain relief.” (5)
If you needed another excuse to go swimming, there you have it!
5. Hot Temperatures = Hot Heads
If you’re feeling hot around the collar, ready to fly off the handle, or just a bit cranky, you might literally need to cool off. It’s a well-documented fact that tempers run higher when temperatures do.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, extreme heat is linked to an increase in irritability, aggression, domestic violence, and mental health issues. (6)
Recognizing this universal impact, it can be helpful to check in with your body and be on the lookout for signs of overheating before you blow your lid. If you see the signs, consider taking a few deep breaths, drinking a glass of cool water, and focusing on ways to bring your temperature down before reacting.
Staying Cool All Around
You’ll be better able to stay cool as the days heat up if you follow through on drinking plenty of liquids, dosing up on ample fruits and vegetables, taking regular swims, and keeping your temper in check. With these behaviors on tap, your chances of experiencing an enjoyable, refreshing summer look good.
Last but not least, don't forget to get your omega 7s! They'll help your skin stay young, healthy and hydrated from the inside-out with the proper nutrition it needs, down at the cellular levels.
1. “Water | The Nutrition Source | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/water/
2. Shaw, Gina. “How Much Water Do You Need? Can You Drink Too Much?” WebMD, 13 February 2022, https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/water-for-weight-loss-diet
3. Schiefermeier-Mach, Natalia et al. “Electrolyte Intake and Major Food Sources of Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium among a Population in Western Austria.” Nutrients vol. 12,7 1956. 30 Jun. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12071956
4. “Water: How much should you drink every day?” Mayo Clinic, 14 October 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256
5. An, Jiyeon et al. “The Thermal Effects of Water Immersion on Health Outcomes: An Integrative Review.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 16,7 1280. 10 Apr. 2019, doi:10.3390/ijerph16071280
6. “Psychiatry.org - Extreme Heat Contributes to Worsening Mental Health, Especially Among Vulnerable Populations.” American Psychiatric Association, 30 June 2021, https://psychiatry.org/news-room/news-releases/extreme-heat-contributes-to-worsening-mental-healt