[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Summer is hot and it is essential to stay healthy and hydrate well.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
In fact, the body is composed of more than 60% water that it is imperative to renew on a daily basis.
The consequences of a poorly hydrated body are numerous and perhaps you have already experienced them:
- Disrupted transit;
- Digestive problems;
- Skin problems;
- Fatigue and lack of energy;
- Lack of concentration ;
- Weakened physical performance;
Be careful though, to stay well hydrated it is not enough to drink anything, anytime.
What should we drink?
The best drink is of course water!
Today there is a wide range of drinks, to be consumed cold, at room temperature or hot, how to choose them, what can they bring you and are they all good for your health?
Choose water: tap or mineral, natural or flavored?
No ! It is important to remember that water is the only drink essential to life.
Just like alcohol (beer, wine…) which should be consumed with great caution when it is hot because it increases metabolism (increases your body temperature and does not hydrate you).
Finally, juices and sodas rich in sugar are also to be avoided because they have a dehydrating effect, the same goes for flavored mineral waters or non-alcoholic beer, sweetened with sweeteners!
Instead and to stay well hydrated in summer, opt for water infused with mint leaves, green tea, herbal teas and lemon!
Certain mineral waters have particular virtues
- rich in magnesium: helps fight stress, fatigue and constipation;
- rich in calcium: supplements your intake if you eat few dairy products in order to promote the mineralization of your bones and improve the assimilation of all nutrients;
- rich in bicarbonates (associated with sodium): highly bicarbonated waters (>1000 mg/L) can then be indicated in cases of difficult digestion or after physical effort in order to facilitate the evacuation of lactic acid and to remineralize;
- sodium : acting on the heart rate and on the muscles, waters rich in sodium (>150 mg/L) can be recommended for athletes carrying out endurance activities. Be careful not to consume too much because excess salt is harmful to your health, especially if you suffer from hypertension, heart or kidney problems;
- sulfates : waters rich in sulfates (>300 mg/L) have diuretic and laxative effects. They will therefore be recommended during certain kidney dysfunctions or during episodes of constipation.
Also think about the water naturally contained in fruits and vegetables!
You will supplement your water and mineral intake by consuming, with each meal, fruit and vegetables, which are naturally rich in water and contribute to your hydration!
In summer as in winter, drinking soups, gazpacho and smoothies contribute to good hydration. In addition to the water added to the preparations, the foods that constitute these preparations (fruits and vegetables) are rich in water. They can be eaten with meals or as a snack.
Favor seasonal ones: cucumber, tomato, salad, zucchini, etc. are very rich in water, consume them without moderation!
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink
For many of us, drinking comes after the feeling of thirst has set in. Please note, however, that thirst is a sign of an already advanced state of dehydration.
It is estimated that this sensation occurs when the body has already lost 1% of its constitutional water and the body is already weakened, cognitive and intellectual functions have already declined. Staying well hydrated in summer also requires anticipating thirst!
How much to drink and when to hydrate?
In case of high heat, drink at least 2 liters of water per day.
This need is further increased in the event of physical activity and in certain specific situations (diarrhea for example).
The way you drink directly influences the body’s absorption of water. This is why it is recommended to distribute hydration throughout the day by drinking a large glass of water every hour. Drinking too much water at once limits its absorption.
Drink water at room temperature
When it’s hot, the reflex is often to opt for a very cold drink but this is a mistake because iced water causes spasms in the digestive system and is less well assimilated by the body.
In addition, after drinking very cold water the body must expend additional energy to restore its physiological temperature.
In other words, to hydrate well in summer, we choose water at room temperature.
Tips to better hydrate yourself!
To increase and stimulate your pleasure in drinking, you can invest in beautiful water bottles, blenders or gourds. Take your bottle wherever you go: in front of the TV, in your handbag, at the gym, at the office, at the cinema, on the bedside table…
Hydration and physical activity!
During physical activity, water loss due to sweating can be quite significant. This is why it is important to hydrate well before, during and after physical activity.
In addition, it is essential to hydrate yourself well to avoid the risk of injuries such as tendonitis and cramps and to increase your physical performance.
Furthermore, if you are sufficiently hydrated, your recovery will be even better!
For athletes, including those who sweat particularly during exercise, you can provide homemade “recovery water” (for any activity lasting more than 1 hour).
For 1 liter of drink:
- 1/3 apple juice
- 2/3 water
- ½ teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate
In summary : SHydrating enough on a daily basis is above all a question of habit.
Habit that it is imperative to take especially in summer and in people at high risk of dehydration what are children, the elderly and athletes!