The warm sweaters have all been packed away and so have all the other woolen clothes; for winter is fast fading and summer is almost upon us! While summers have always meant clear blue skies and beautiful days, they have also meant perspiration and dehydration.
What’s the first thing that comes to our minds, the moment we think of summer? Sweat. And lots of sweat! While we may opt to wear loose cotton clothing to keep the heat from getting to us during the summers, there is no denying the perspiration or sweat as most of us call it.
But sweating is good! It helps rid the body of toxins
Sure, sweating is good and it does help to rid the body of its toxins. But at the same time it results in the body losing precious water as sweat mainly contains water and other vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, copper, calcium and so on, which are needed by the body for its normal functioning.
So, as you can see that while sweating has its pro’s, it has its cons too!
So why must we drink more water during summers?
Summers see a spike in the temperatures, meaning the air gets hotter around us. To combat this heat and maintain its core temperature, the body begins to sweat in an effort to cool down. In short the body begins to sweat excessively during summers, resulting in a much larger loss of water which can lead to dehydration in many cases.
While sweating and the subsequent loss of water from the body are inevitable during the summer season, we can counter it by simply increasing our water intake! The food that we consume helps our body to fulfill about 30% of its required water quota. Hence a great way to increase our water intake during summer would be via eating foods that are high in water content.
Simple ways to increase our water intake are by opting for foods with high water content such as
- Leafy green vegetables – Lettuce, spinach, cabbage and radish.
Watermelons are a huge favorite during the summers and rightly so, as they contain a high water content owing to the fact that almost 90% of the watermelon is water! Melons too are a great source of high water content food, during summer.
- Tomatoes are also an excellent choice when it comes to foods with high water content.
Fruits too are an excellent high water content food choice, especially apples and citrus fruits (sweet lemon, orange).
- Coconut water is another excellent summer beverage, as it is isotonic in nature. In layman’s term it means that coconut water contains similar vital minerals, which are lost due to sweat and urine.
Don’t ignore the downside to limited water consumption
All this while we have been discussing how our body loses water to sweating and how we can counter it by increasing our water intake, but haven’t touched up on the topic of the effects that limited consumption of water can have on the body.
Dehydration: Dehydration refers to the state in which the body suffers from a major loss of its water content. Moreover with the human body being about 60-70% water (depending on its size and shape), a state of dehydration affects its ability to function normally. Common symptoms of dehydration setting in are a dry mouth, dizziness, muscle cramps and heart palpitations.
Sluggish Metabolism: Lack of adequate water intake is one of the top reasons for sluggish metabolism in many people. A surprising fact about our body is that it mainly consists of water; our blood in fact is about 90% water! An inadequate intake of water during summer where our body loses a lot of water, results in a slow metabolism, as water is essentially a carrier of vital nutrients, proteins and minerals within our body.
Common symptoms indicating the onset of sluggish metabolism are a change in one’s posture i.e. a hunched back or a protruding belly. Other symptom is feeling cold, despite the hot weather of summer, this is mainly due to the body lacking the energy to maintain its core temperature.
pH Imbalance: As mentioned earlier, water is a carrier of vital nutrients within the body. Along with this, water also helps in maintaining the right viscosity (thickness) of blood and plasma, helping the cause of a good blood flow in our body, thereby helping to protect the body against many diseases and conditions such as dehydration.
Lack of adequate water intake during the summer season results in pH imbalance, making us susceptible to many diseases in the process, especially those of the gastric variety and also to flu and colds.
The above mentioned are only some of the many problems that can happen if one does not take care to ensure that an adequate amount of water is drunk during summer. However summer can also be enjoyed, given that we take care of our diet and fluid intake.