By Jalal Bek
In summer, we tend to spend a lot of time outside enjoying the warmth and the beautiful weather. Because of the time spent outside, we do not always have time to eat our meals at home. But when it is hot, we need to be more conscientious of what we put in our bodies so that we can have the most energy to enjoy the summer months. Did you know that what you eat can influence your physical temperature, and thus your well-being when you are in the heat?
Digesting food is energy consuming, and it makes it generate some heat by metabolizing nutriments. So when it is very hot, our body enters a discharge mode and decreases our appetite to reduce our physical temperature. As I often mention in my articles, it is important to listen to our physical signals because our body always knows what is best for it!
The trick is to eat smaller portions and to eat more often, versus consuming big heavy meals which will make you generate more heat, weakening your body.
Proteins are nutriments which make generate the most heat in the body. So eating a big steak, even if it looks appetizing, will increase your physical temperature much more than a dish of legumes or cold chicken.
Fats, in large quantities, are also to be avoided because they decrease the speed of digestion by increasing the work of the body over a longer period. This makes our body generate more heat than it would for a meal that is low in fats. So a big bowl of poutine on a 30°C day is not the best choice!
The art of the hydration!
When it is hot, it is important to also take note of what liquids we are putting in our bodies. If you drink some water by itself, the body will absorb only a small amount of this, and will discard the rest. Because of this, it is advised to mix water with a little fruit juice, but only juices that are 100%. The sugar in the juice helps your body absorb the water, effectively making you more hydrated.
To drink !
Mix 1/4 of pure 100% juice of your choice with 3/4 of water gasified without sugar and add some slices of lemon, which contain electrolytes lost from your body when you sweat for a moisturizing and refreshing beverage.
To avoid !
It is of course recommended to avoid consuming in great quantities the drinks which contain some caffeine or some alcohol because they are dehydrating ingredients.
· Brown carbonated drinks
· Wine, beer, or liquor
If you consume these drinks, make sure to drink a lot of water between every consumption to avoid their negative effects.
You can also hydrate by eating foods that contain lots of water:
The best food to eat with water is watermelon, which is lucky because it is the perfect summer food ! Watermelon is more than 90% water, slow in calories, and is an ideal fruit to use to cool yourself down and quench your thirst. Other good, water-rich foods are cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, kiwis, blueberries, cabbage, zucchinis, and celery. Bon appetite, enjoy your summer!