Heat and humidity are factors that can put a strain on the body, mood and brain. Nutritionist Luca Piretta explains some tips and tricks to counter the high temperatures typical of the summer season
Luca Piretta, gastroenterologist and nutritionist at the Biomedical Campus University of Rome, intervenes on the In a Bottle website (www.inabottle.it) to provide some useful tips to better deal with the summer heat.
Reintegrating the right amount of liquids is essential to allow all the chemical reactions that take place in our body to take place in optimal physical and chemical conditions. This mainly concerns temperature, hydration level and pH value. “If these parameters are altered, the chemical changes within our organism do not occur correctly. The organism’s task is to guarantee a homeostasis, that is a stable chemical, physical, biological condition so that the whole organism can function in the best conditions “.
Our body temperature fluctuates around 37 degrees. In summer, thanks to the high temperatures, there is a risk that this value will increase. If this happened, the organism would not work well and would lead to feverish symptoms, excessive sweating, possible hallucinations and lack of lucidity. The same is true if the core temperature drops, with the consequent risk of hypothermia. “Because of this – Piretta points out – proper hydration in summer is essential to maintain a correct body temperature and avoid the risk of overheating “.
In summer, through sweat and perspiration, we lose more fluids than in the rest of the year. If you do not proportionally increase the fluids introduced into the body, you are more at risk of dehydration. “There is a risk of not drinking enough in summer because the thirst mechanism, regulated by some receptors that measure the level of dehydration and blood pressure, does not always work regularly in all people”. According to Dr. Piretta, there are age groups more exposed to this risk. “In particular, the sense of thirst may not work properly in the elderly, who the older they get, the more thirsty they feel, and in young children, because they are more fragile from the point of view of body structure, from since their external surface compared to the content is much higher, so the evaporation of sweat leads to faster dehydration ”.
What kind of water to drink? Starting from the assumption that any type of water can help avoid the risks of dehydration, in the summer Dr. Piretta recommends preferring those richer in mineral salts than water with low mineral content, since with sweat a significant amount of sodium, potassium, magnesium. In particular, experts recommend drinking functional waters rich in mineral salts such as those of the Levissima + line: four functional fruit-flavored waters, which within a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, are a valid contribution to the daily requirement of magnesium, potassium, zinc and vitamins B. Four flavors that offer the possibility of positively regenerating, declining perfectly at different times of the day and on different occasions of use.
How to fight the summer heat, useful tips
To combat the sultry days, there are remedies that can be put into practice, both in the city and at the sea. Here, thanks to the support of Dr. Piretta, some useful tips to better deal with the hottest periods.
- Drink water: it is recommended to drink at least 2 liters of water a day (8 large glasses), avoiding sugary or too cold drinks. Furthermore, it is suggested to drink one or two glasses of water during the day even when you are not thirsty, advice especially for the elderly, it prevents the risk of dehydration.
- Eat large quantities of fruit and vegetables: remember that many foods contain water, especially fruit and vegetables. For example, cucumbers and watermelons contain 95% water. These types of foods, and in general a correct diet, help to introduce the right amount of water daily.
- Consume fruit drinks: for people who cannot drink enough water during the day, it is recommended to supplement their diet with snacks based on fruit juices, centrifuges, extracted using fresh seasonal fruit. A pleasant and tasty “trick” to introduce water in an alternative way.
- Keep the body cool and hydrated: in summer it is recommended to use baths or showers, avoiding using cold water. In fact, lukewarm water lowers your body temperature without making you suffer sudden changes. Furthermore, it is suggested to constantly moisturize the skin of the body and face with specific creams.
- Do not expose yourself to the sun in the hottest hours: avoid leaving the house in the hottest hours, ie between 11 and 17. If possible, it is recommended to exercise during the early morning or late afternoon.
- Use a suitable outfit: in this period it is recommended to wear light, light and not too tight clothes. When leaving the house, it is recommended that you always use sunglasses and a hat.
- Maintain the right temperature in the house: if you use the air conditioner, check that the temperature in the house is never lower than 6-7 degrees compared to the outside one and that the air jet is not too strong or directed directly towards people . In addition, it is recommended not to sleep too covered at night to avoid sweating too much during the hours of sleep.