The long days of summer bring us warm, sunny days, vacations, and loads of different fruits and vegetables. Plenty of fluids, fresh fruits and vegetables along with some simple rules can easily help you beat the heat, stay cool and fit while the temperatures soar !!
Beverages are essential to stay hydrated in the summer heat. Whether they are part of a meal or in between, a refreshing drink can help you rejuvenate just when you begin to wilt with soaring temperatures. Just like choosing your food, the choice of your drinks can make the difference between how you feel and how it affects your body’s water balance.
Some herbs are known to be ‘pick-me-ups’, others like coffee and alcohol may be dehydrating. The ideal drink is either pure drinking water or those that provide health benefits and replace minerals and electrolytes with few calories from sugar and no preservatives, chemicals and preferably organic.
Many of us are unsure as to whether it’s fine to drink beverages with meals. The truth is that there is no need to separate beverages from solid foods, rather, sip in moderation. It is not advisable to drink copious amounts of water or cold drinks along with meals as it has been shown to suppress gastric secretion and impair digestion. A plain glass of room temperature water or some green tea or soup are fine with meals-better still a squeeze of lime or lemon can enhance iron and calcium uptake from food, besides adding vitamin C.
Another eternal debate is how much one should drink? As per recommendations many would be guilty of not drinking enough. It is true that an adult body requires an average of about 2 – 2.5 litres (8-10 glasses) of fluid daily to make adequate urine and stay in balance. Based on the recommendations that 1ml. of fluid is required to metabolize 1 calorie, this figure may vary with seasons and individual needs. This includes beverages, soups, milk and daals.
Thirst may not be a reliable indicator of your fluid needs. Inadequate fluid intake could lead to dehydration. Some of its early signs are poor concentration, lethargy, fatigue and dry mouth. Chronic fluid insufficiency can lead to hyperfilteration in the kidneys leading to renal disease or stones. Severe dehydration can be dangerous with serious health consequences like nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness and can even be fatal. Sportsmen or those exposed to high temperatures and children easily are prone to dehydration. They must ensure adequate fluid intake before and during exposure. Women following weight loss diets may need extra servings of low calorie fluids. However, those suffering from renal disease or heart failure must strictly regulate their fluid intake and thereby their beverages. While, it is vital to remain well-hydrated and hot dry days may increase needs. Summer beverages may be a good way to meet your extra needs.
Vegetable juices traditional sattoos, chaach, coconut or lime water and herbal teas are loaded with electrolytes, minerals and antioxidants which help to fight diseases. They have healing and restorative properties and make simple natural ways to enhance health and vitality. Bael and rose sherbet, lemonade, mintade, aam panna, barley or chana sattoo, zeera-hing lassie, smoothies, cocum water, thandai, litchi juice, jamun juice, cucumber and mint soup, cammomile tea, are great summer coolers.
When calorie counting, go sugar free and use alternative sweeteners which taste just as good! Green tea and zeera dhania paani are specially useful in weight loss. Boost your immunity with the green power in cabbage, spinach, lemon, coriander, lauki and garlic cocktail. These go well beyond hydration to immune boosting, detoxifying and cleansing tonics. Create your own refreshing ones with these inspiring ideas and just chill!