Beat the heat! What to eat and drink in the summer
This week, we are looking at the connection between heat and nutrition, and will be showing you the role that your digestion can play when temperatures are high.
After all, everything we consume affects how we experience the heat. This applies just as much to our eating habits during the lunch break as it does for our morning coffee and any other drinks we usually have in the course of the day and after work.
Drink plenty of fluids!
The most important thing you can do regularly in the heat is to drink plenty. And not just the 1.5 – 2 litres that are usually recommended, you’ll do better to have 3 litres (unless there is a particular medical reason not to). The ideal thirst quencher is, as you may have guessed, water! But since your body loses minerals through perspiration on hot days, be sure to throw in drinks containing minerals, such as juice with sparkling mineral water, tea, or a broth. It’s best to avoid sugary drinks and also to make your juice with sparkling mineral water or a lemonade yourself. They tend to be healthier and you know exactly what’s inside.
Also, pay attention to the temperature of your drinks. Even though a cool drink may be tempting, greedily gulping down ice-cold drinks can actually make you perspire even more. Why? The cold drink sends your body the wrong message. The cold makes your body feel it needs to turn up the heat, which will inevitably lead to more sweating. Drinks that are neither too warm nor too cold are great at getting us through the summer heat. The best drinks to have are lukewarm.
Reduce the amount of alcohol and caffeine you consume
What could be better than an evening spent outside on your balcony or terrace with a glass of beer or Aperol Spritz? In extreme heat, you should be careful not to drink too much alcohol, though. This is because alcohol deprives the body of fluids and minerals – which will make you feel even hotter. Drinking alcohol, especially in the blazing midday sun, can be dangerous for your circulation. This can even happen with drinks such as coffee or black and green tea, since caffeine also puts a strain on our circulation in the summer heat. To avoid having to give up coffee altogether, try a homemade cold brew or a tasty iced coffee. But be careful – your colleagues might be jealous
Light food in the heat
What we eat also affects how we feel in hot weather. Changing your eating habits when the temperatures go up can make your everyday life a lot more bearable. The best thing to do in hot weather is to have several light meals throughout the day. In your lunch break, avoid high-carb foods, as they may affect your stomach for the rest of the afternoon. After all, the heat will already be making you feel tired enough without adding digestive problems to the mix. The last thing you need at the office is more food that will reduce your productivity to near zero. More suitable are foods like a vegetable stir-fry, salad, or just some fresh fruit as a snack. Fruits and vegetables with a high water content such as cucumbers, tomatoes, courgettes, peaches, or strawberries are particularly recommended.
If you crave some more inspiration for light and tasty meals as well as refreshing drinks, check out our various recipes in the HUMANOO app. You can filter for healthy lunch options such as salads, soups and sandwiches as well as for recipes for delicious smoothies or iced coffees.
We hope you enjoy!