As short as the summer may seem to be here in Canada, we have been lucky enough to have both the spring and summer weather, pushing the double digits for what it seems like to be almost every day this year! Between BBQs, pool days, biking, running and whatever other outdoor activities we might partake in, we can find ourselves out in the sun quite often throughout the warmer months. With sun and hot temperatures, it is very easy to become dehydrated or to experience sun stroke without even knowing.
The human body is made up of 60% water and after spending time in the sun for hours at a time, whether through sweat or other bodily losses, some of that water can be lost. If your body is losing more fluids than it is taking in, then this can lead to dehydration. The harmful effects of dehydration can be seizures, brain swelling, kidney failure, shock, coma, and even in more severe cases death. Early signs and symptoms to look for would be things such as increased thirst, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, feeling tired, dry mouth, lips, and/or eyes, headache, delirium (or confusion), decreased urination or very dark yellow (concentrated urine). Whereas the signs and symptoms of heat stroke (or sunstroke) are high body temperature, delirium (or confusion), changes in sweating, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, skin that appears flushed, headaches, and nausea and vomiting. These two conditions often go hand in hand because they can be both caused by not being proactive when we are out an about in the hot spring and summer weather. When someone becomes very dehydrated and their body is not able to produce an adequate amount of perspiration (or sweat), the body will be unable to cool down. This inability to cool the body temperature down can lead to the body’s internal temperature to reach higher than normal levels and result in the serious effects of dehydration that were mentioned above. The team here at Nutrimeals wants to help you and your family beat the heat, whether that be dehydration or sunstroke to make the most of our very short-lived Alberta Summer. Some tips and tricks to staying hydrated the summer are:
- Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even before you are feeling thirsty
- Drinking fluids with electrolytes such as Pedialyte, coconut water, Gatorade, Powerade, etc. can not only increase water in the body but can also help replenish important nutrients such as potassium, phosphates, calcium, magnesium, and sodium all electrolytes that can be lost through your sweat
- Avoiding long periods of time in direct sunlight and if unavoidable ensuring that you’ve got adequate SPF to keep you sunburn free. Wearing a wide brim hat can help decrease direct contact with the sun and can help keep your body temperature within a normal range
- Wearing more breathable clothing. This can help you stay a bit cooler and hopefully decrease the amount of sweat being produced
- Ice packs or wet towels can help decrease body temperature after long periods of time out in the sun
- If you are wanting to run or bike outside during the summer months, try going earlier in the morning before the sun is at its peak or mid evening when the sun and the temperature outside have gone down.
- Eating foods that have a higher water content. Many local fruits and vegetables are high in water and can add to and increase your hydration status.
All our meals here at Nutrimeals feature fresh produce that can help you keep yourself and your loved ones happy, healthy, and well-fed to save some time and allow you to make the most of the nice weather! Living here in Alberta we are fortunate enough to have access to some great farmers markets here in town and in neighbouring towns that offer access to nutritious and high-quality produce items such as cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, and zucchini to name a few. Another wonderful thing about living here in Alberta is being next door neighbors to the beautiful province of British Columbia where the orchards and farmers’ fields seem to be a never-ending part of the very picturesque landscape. From a trip to BC or a trip to the local farmers market (or grocery stores) here in Calgary, we can get access to other nutritious and water heavy produce items such as fresh peaches, apples, berries, melons, nectarines, etc. Along with the recommended intake of 8oz of water, 8 times per day, these fresh and often local food items are not only healthy and nutrient dense but can also help you stay hydrated and beat the heat.
If you are looking to beat the heat and enjoy healthy pre-made meals check out our meal prep Vancouver service.