It’s set to be a scorcher this week, right through to July, it’s important for yourself and your health, to make sure that you’re prepared.
It’s hot today, have you noticed?
The weather is beautiful and also one of Londoners’ favourite topics of conversation, how many people have mentioned it to you so far? With many people discussing working uncomfortably in heat, how hot the tube was, how you wish you weren’t cooped up in the office…
What’s probably not at the forefront of these conversations is, how you can stay hydrated. Many of us tend not to be used to leaving the house with water bottles in hand, but with the temperatures expected to reach high 20s all week this week, it’s important that all Londoners are prepared.
If you’re not too sure about how to go about that, or how to stay cool in general, here’s everything you need to know about keeping cool and hydrated in the city this summer…
Keep a water bottle on you…
Yes, this is probably quite obvious, but it can also be so easily forgotten, since we’re not about plastic bottles these days, you could try purchasing a reusable one and make sure that it’s kept topped up all day.
How much water should you drink
Basic guides include drinking from 1.5 to 2 litres of fluid a day, this is about eight to 10 glasses. However if you’re in the heat during the day, you can become dehydrated quicker, so drink more often and aim for at least two litres.
It’s unlikely that you’ll drink too much water, but if you’re going to the toilet a lot more and your urine looks pale, then you’re drinking more than you need.
If you’re sweating a lot due to the heat and start to feel signs of dehydration then, as well as replacing your fluids, you may need a recover drink, something like a low sugar energy drink.
What should we be drinking
Water is the best option but if you’d rather something with more flavour, you can add some citrus like lemon, lime or orange, or perhaps cucumber and mint.
Coconut water is also very good for you and a great alternative to fruit juice, just make sure that you watch out for the sugar content and don’t drink them if you have diarrhoea or are vomiting as this could may it worse.
Another good tip is to avoid alcohol, that will only further dehydrate you.
How do I know if I’m dehydrated?
Our bodies become dehydrated before we see any obvious signs, so it’s important to keep your fluids topped up, before you feel thirsty.
If you feel thirsty, the chances are that your body’s telling you that you need to drink more, one of the best indicators is the number of times you go to the toilet and the colour of your urine, it should eb pale yellow. If you don’t need to go often and you only pass a little each time and it’s dark in colour, it’s likely that you’re dehydrated.
Other signs of dehydration include headaches, dry mouth, lips and eyes, cramps and feeling tired, lightheaded, dizzy or confused.
What do I do if I think I’m dehydrated?
Get yourself in drink, for mild dehydration, it’s best to drink small sips of water and often, rather than trying to drink a lot all in one go because this will make you vomit.
If your dehydration causes you to have diarrhoea or vomit, then you’ll be losing important sugars and salts from your body. A good way to replace these is with rehydration sachets, these can be bought over the counter. Some people may choose sports drinks but these contain a lot more sugar than you need, so it’s best to stick to rehydration sachets. If your dehydration gets more severe then visit your GP for advice.
How to keep cool in the heat…
There are an infinite number of ways, however, take a look at the tips below, this is a good place to start. The most important this is to remember to wear sunscreen if you’re planning on being outside.
- Carry an ice pack with you, or a frozen drink. It’s not practical and will drip as it melts, but its guaranteed to instantly cool your down.
- Run your wrists under cold water, that will help to cool your blood.
- This is rocket science but wearing loose cotton clothes in light colours will help keep you cool, cotton is lightweight and breathable, synthetic fibres trap heat and will also absorb sweat, light colours reflect the sun’s radiation.
- Use something to fan yourself that isn’t your hands, the flapping motion not only uses to energy but will likely make you hotter in the process. If you don’t own a fan, use paper of something flexible, anything that doesn’t require too much work to get the air moving.