The heat of summer is dangerous not only because of overheating. Defending itself against excessive heat, it activates the sweating mechanism, which results in the release of a large amount of sweat. This is a short way to dehydration, which is a health-threatening condition. How to protect yourself against dehydration? How to hydrate your body healthy? What herbs to drink to provide the body with all necessary fluids?
What is dehydration?
Simply put, dehydration results from too much fluid excreted from the body in relation to their delivery. In this state, we don’t drink enough and we sweat too much. Importantly, electrolytes important for the proper functioning of the body, are also excreted from the body with sweat. To counteract this, proper hydration should be taken care of. Remember, however, that water alone is not enough, the body still needs the necessary minerals and electrolytes.
The body is very sensitive to a lower level of hydration. Water shortage quickly becomes apparent. Symptoms of dehydration are primarily persistent headaches, digestive problems, decreased concentration, memory problems, and sometimes cardiovascular problems. Even slight dehydration (at the level of 2-3%) is clearly felt, by reduced physical performance. What’s more, the body, defending itself against water loss, reduces urine output, which results in weakening the detoxification process and reducing the number of toxins removed from the body. And this is also a simple way to spoil the body.
An adult should drink about 2-2.5 litres of healthy fluids per day. In hot weather, this amount increases, even by 1-1.5 litres. Unfortunately, according to expert estimates, we drink too little, even in summer. There are often situations that we reach for drinks only when we feel a strong thirst. And this is a mistake. Thirst is a signal that the body has already fallen in the water deficit and this is a certain degree of dehydration. It should be drunk even when we do not feel thirsty and constantly replenish liquids. Importantly, proper hydration of the body is worth taking care throughout the day, drinking liquids in small portions. Drinking a large number of fluids at one time (which usually happens when we feel thirsty) does not give the body too much benefit, but unnecessarily burdens the circulatory system.
What to drink during the summer
Let’s reach primarily for healthy liquids. But what does this really mean?
It is primarily still mineral water, but also freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices and herbal teas. If the water is drunk in small sips throughout the day, preferably medium-mineralized, low-sodium mineral one should be chosen. It is worth adding herbs and fruits to the water, such as fresh mint or parsley leaves, a slice of lime or lemon or ice cubes with frozen fruit inside. Surely you should give up sparkling water (not to mention sweet carbonated drinks) because the carbon dioxide bubbles it contains make you feel full, in addition, they can fill the intestines with gas and cause flatulence.
In addition to water, it is also worth reaching for freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices. This is an important item on the list of healthy rehydration fluids because fruit and vegetable juices not only quench thirst and healthily hydrate the body but also provide a large portion of vitamins and minerals.
Herbal infusions combine the most important features of the best heat drink to hydrate and provide vitamins and minerals. It is worth reaching not only for herbal teas but also for green tea and fruit infusions. Their health-promoting properties (e.g. improving digestion) stimulate the proper functioning of the body and even clean it of toxins.
Chilled herbal drinks are a great solution for hot weather. Why? Because they also slightly lower body temperature when they have a temperature of about 5-10 degrees Celsius, making it easier to deal with the summer heat.