The 8 best ways to stay cool this summer

Everyone has a different idea of what to do when it is hot out. Some people stop what they are doing and some grab a “cold one”. Some drink water and some work even harder in the heat. But what’s going to satisfy your body when the heat is up. What should you drink when you are biking 30km, golfing for 5 hours or gardening in the backyard all day.

Even today, many people don’t keep something with them to stay hydrated when they are outside. Most of us wait until we go back inside to replenish our fluids. These are bad plans. Vigorous exercise in hot weather can be challenging and even dangerous and should be done cautiously on very hot days. In very hot conditions you can loose as much as 2 liters of water per hour. If those fluids are not replenished, the body begins to be dehydrated and can affect every system in your body. Muscles loose strength, your heart has to work harder and your brain functions slower.

The amount of water needed to keep you hydrated depends on many factors including your height, weight, body temperature and type of exercise you are doing. Regardless of those factors, here are some important tips.

  • Begin exercise well hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids before you go outside and exercise.
  • Drink enough water to prevent thirst and monitor your fluid levels by checking the colour of your urine. It should be pale yellow.
  • Drink cool water rather than cold water as your body absorbs cool water faster.
  • By the time you feel thirsty, you are already somewhat dehydrated. If you are drinking water you should also eat a salty snack such as pretzels or nuts because the sweat that you loose contains sodium. The combination of water and sodium will replenish the fluids and electrolytes that you lost during any exercise
  • For every 15 minutes of exercise drink 3 ounces of non-alcohol non-caffeinated liquid. If you are exercising for more than an hour, consider a sports drink that contains electrolytes and carbohydrates.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes that will allow circulation but still protect you from the sun
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect you from the sun
  • If you are doing any physical activity, when you finish drink sports drink, fruit juice, water and a healthy snack to replenish your body’s fluids and nutrients.