As temperatures rise, our bodies have varying needs in order to function optimally. Everyone is aware that high temperatures require more liquid intake, but sometimes it takes the symptoms of dehydration to remember to grab the water bottle! It’s far safer to drink water throughout the day, since thirst is already a sign of dehydration.
Overheating is especially easy for children and family dogs that we transport frequently in cars. It only takes 10 minutes for a car to heat up by 19 degrees; and since children’s bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s, it renders them far more susceptible to heat stroke. 1 By the same token, a dog’s normal temperature is about 101.5, and a degree up or down is fine; however, once a dog’s internal temperature reaches 105, its life is in danger. 2 Never leave a child or a dog (or any other pet) in a car in the summer, even if the windows are cracked open.
In addition to staying hydrated, what we eat can also affect how our bodies cope with the summer heat. Meats and other high protein foods need to utilize more water during digestion, and food poisoning reaches its annual high during the summer. According to the Center for Disease Control, anything that has mayonnaise, dairy, or eggs in it and any meat products can develop some pretty nasty bacteria after only a couple of hours unrefrigerated.3
To prevent food poisoning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture advises us to “Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.” This refers to washing hands and surfaces where we prepare foods, wrapping raw meat and keeping it separated and stored away from other food, cooking meats to a minimum of 145 to 165 degrees internally (poultry requires the highest heat), and keeping everything chilled in the refrigerator as long as possible, then transported in an insulated cooler.4
If drinking enough water proves challenging, there are certain foods that are easy to eat and prepare. Since they’re composed mostly of water, they help us hydrate.
- Broccoli and cauliflower are composed of more than 90% water, as are radishes.
- Eggplant is a great source of hydration and fiber and can serve as a versatile meat replacement, minimizing the need for much liquid during digestion.
- Bell peppers are more than 92% water, with the green variety containing the most.5
- Melons such as honeydew, cantaloupe, casaba, Crenshaw, hami, golden, Korean, and so many more, are natural hydrators and packed with sweetness and antioxidants.
- Watermelon is the universally loved summer fruit that contains lycopene, an antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables with red pigmentation. Lycopene offers the added benefit of protecting against sunburn.6
Take advantage of the sunny weather to participate in outdoor activities but remember that hydration is part of Active Wellness. Keep your PiMag® Sport Bottle handy as you go to picnics, barbeques and summer outings.