Keep Your Body Hydrated: Avoid Dangerous Dehydration in the Heat

In hot weather, it is extremely important to maintain the body’s water balance. What products help to do this?

Fresh fruits and vegetables are ideal sources of hydration (moisture) because not only do they have a high water content, but they also contain fiber, which provides other nutritional and health benefits.

As we experience summer with record temperatures, hydration is more important than ever. If you don’t drink enough liquid to produce sweat on a hot day, you can get a heatstroke. Dehydration can be caused by high air temperatures. Such a state of the body can provoke convulsions, etc.

Pfluid intake is vital, but hydration* is not limited to just drinking water.

**Our muscles are 73% water, so hydration (from other Greek ὕδωρ “water”) plays a huge role in all processes – from muscle recovery to protein synthesis and nutrient absorption.

“Drinking eight glasses of water a day is not necessary. There is no scientific evidence for this “myth,” says Dr. Dan Negoianu, a nephrologist at the University of Pennsylvania. For example, “Just because your urine is dark doesn’t mean you’re dehydrated.” According to Negoyan, to avoid dehydration, you just need to drink enough liquid to quench your thirst, and this amount varies for everyone. Experts say that not only plain water keeps you hydrated: hydration includes juicy fruits and drinks.

Fruits and drinks

“We think we should be drinking plenty of water all the time because that’s what we hear all the time,” says Tamara Hugh Butler, a sports medicine scientist at Wayne State University who specializes in fluid balance. But any food or drink also contributes to hydration: “the body doesn’t care where the hydration comes from, it just needs fluid.” Watermelons and melons are especially favorable. Strawberries, oranges, grapes, cucumbers and celery also have a high water content.

All kinds of drinks can maintain the balance of water in the body. Juices, milk, tea and coffee contain liquids that the body can use. Drinks high in sugar may not be the best nutritional choice, but studies show they are just as effective as water in rehydrating the body. In the heat, frozen desserts such as granites and sorbetsalso a good choice.

“We can meet and exceed our daily fluid needs by consuming high-moisture drinks and foods without drinking a single glass of water,” says Hugh Butler.

Caffeinated drinks can also hydrate. While caffeine is often considered a diuretic or dehydrating agent, studies show that drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages has about the same effect as drinking plain water. If you consume a significant amount of caffeine after a long period of caffeine abstinence, you can experience a mild episode of dehydration, says Kelly Hindman, a researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who studies kidney function and fluid retention.

Don’t be afraid of salty foods

You’ve probably heard that salty foods dehydrate the body, but that’s not entirely true, Hindman says. Our body is constantly trying to maintain a balance between salt and water, which it does with the help of a number of hormones. One of the best known is antidiuretic hormone or ADH.

When we eat a lot of salty foods at once, the brain releases ADH, which in turn causes the kidneys to retain water, preventing excess fluid from being excreted in the urine. At the same time, the brain releases another hormone, vasopressin, which is associated with the feeling of thirst. All these hormones together signal the need for more fluid. If the body is craving “something salty,” olives and pickles are acceptable choices, although people rarely consume large amounts of them. Soups, especially broths, can also help with water intake.

But what really dehydrating is alcohol. “Alcohol suppresses ADH,” Hindman says. When we consume it, “the hormone that causes the kidneys to reabsorb water is not produced,” so any fluid we consume leaves us “without being retained.”

Expert opinion

“Most of those who say they’re dehydrated probably aren’t,” Hindman says. If you’re complaining about frequent urination (just urinating more than usual), you may not need to drink as much fluid because it just transits through your body. Those who are more prone to dehydration are children, the elderly, and citizens with underlying health conditions, Hindman said.

the rest should just drink something or eat liquid rich food (watermelon) when we are thirstysays Hugh Butler, and trust your feelings. “I think the ‘drink whenever you’re thirsty’ rule is the right one,” says Negoianu.

three day heat

The country is in the grip of abnormal heat, in some places the thermometer has risen to + 39-40 ° С. In Attica, the hottest days are expected today, Friday and Saturday, up to +39°C, and in some places, possibly even higher. The maximum temperature is predicted at the continental level from +39 to 40°С and locally in Thessaly and in the east of the mainland +41°С. On the islands it will be up to + 36-37 ° С.

On Saturday, the temperature in the west and north of the country will drop by 2-3 degrees, but in the eastern continents its maximum value will rise again to +39-40°C. From Saturday afternoon, a change in weather is expected from the northwest, with strong storms and strong winds likely in places.

On Sunday (08/21/2022), temperatures will drop significantly throughout the country and return to near-seasonal values, with a maximum in most areas of +32 to 35°C.

In the north of Greece, the weather will be unstable. In general, the upcoming heat is characterized as expected for the season and short. But this does not mean at all that you need to neglect your (and your loved ones) health.

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