Three key principles to remember for drinking water during hot weather

By My Y   April 16, 2024 | 05:00 pm PT
It’s recommended to avoid letting your body feel thirsty, to consume water gradually, sip by sip, and to limit the intake of beverages like tea, coffee, beer, or alcohol.

Extended periods in the heat can cause dehydration, fatigue, and potentially heat stroke. Thus, when active or working outside in warm temperatures, it’s important for individuals to shield themselves from the sun using hats, long-sleeved clothing, masks, gloves, or sunglasses, and to consistently hydrate.

Dr. Tran Thi Phuong Thao of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital notes that water constitutes approximately 60% of the human body and is vital for the optimal function of bodily systems. As such, it’s crucial to drink water both adequately and consistently, especially during hot days.

The following outlines the advised guidelines for water consumption in hot weather, as per the doctor’s advice.

Proper hydration methods

In the hotter months, it’s beneficial for individuals to develop the routine of consuming room-temperature water, ideally between 10-30 degrees Celsius. Drinking cold water immediately after sun exposure is discouraged as it may shock the body, leading to a sore throat, digestive discomfort, and diarrhea.

It’s also advised to avoid drinks such as tea, coffee, beer, alcohol, and soft drinks for cooling purposes since these can lead to dehydration due to their diuretic properties. If choosing to drink a cup of tea, it’s suggested to compensate with two extra glasses of plain water to offset fluid loss.

A woman drinking a glass of water. Illustration photo by Unsplash

A woman drinking a glass of water. Illustration photo by Unsplash

Adequate water intake

Both excessive and insufficient water consumption can negatively impact health. The required daily water intake varies based on several factors, such as age, sex, physical activity, and health status. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, along with individuals laboring in hot conditions, need to increase their water intake.

Typically, a woman should drink about nine cups, 250 ml each, of water daily, whereas a man needs about 12.5 cups to counterbalance water loss.

A reliable indicator of sufficient hydration is the color of one’s urine. Consistently pale yellow urine signifies appropriate water consumption.

Consistent hydration

With the rise in temperature, the body’s tendency to sweat increases. Drinking excessive water quickly can heighten sweat production, risking the loss of essential electrolytes like sodium and potassium.

It’s advised not to consume a large amount of water in one sitting, particularly after physical activities. Preferably, water should be consumed gradually, sip by sip, throughout the day, ensuring one doesn’t wait to feel thirsty before hydrating.

Moreover, it’s beneficial to incorporate fruits and vegetables with high water content and rich in vitamins into daily diets. Examples include watermelon, strawberries, bananas, grapes, oranges, pears, pineapples, kale, cabbage, celery, spinach, squash, carrots, and broccoli.

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