The best advice for staying hydrated this summer, whether at home or aboard, is given here by the Natural Hydration Council.
‘Whether you’re enjoying the British sunshine or holidaying abroad topping up your fluid intake might be the last thing on your mind, but is important,’ says Dr Emma Derbyshire, public health nutritionist and adviser to the Natural Hydration Council, ‘When the weather heats up this can drive up the body’s temperature and lead to over-heating i.e. feeling very warm, dizzy and disorientated. In worst cases, more typically among children, the elderly or those exercising for long periods in the heat, this may lead to heat stroke when the body’s temperature rises too high, which can be a very serious condition.
‘So, if you are planning some time in the sun, especially if you’re looking to exercise,’ says Dr Derbyshire, ‘it’s important not to forget to drink cool fluids at regular intervals so you feel at your best and can enjoy your holiday to the utmost.’
Public Health England’s new Eatwell Guide recommends drinking 6-8 glasses of fluid per day. This is supported by European recommendations. Whilst you can meet your body’s water requirements from other drinks, water is one of the healthiest ways to hydrate, as water contains no sugar or calories.
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THREE TIPS for your summer travel
1. For car journeys, keep different sizes of water bottles—smaller for children, larger bottles for parents. If you’re concerned about spillage, opt for pure water that isn’t sticky if spilt. Sports caps also help to reduce spills.
2. For short- and long-haul flights make sure you drink enough fluid before flying, as air-conditioning systems during the flight can increase water evaporation from your skin.
3. On particularly hot days, always make sure you have access to enough fluid to help keep you feeling cool.
FOUR TIPS for your summer holidays
1. Fancy a few lengths in the pool, a round of golf or a seaside stroll? Physical activities often immerse you in what you’re doing and it can be easy to forget to drink, or you may not realise how necessary it is, so taking little breaks with easy access to fluid is advisable. For most people water alone is adequate and this will hydrate you without you consuming sugar or calories, so packing a bottle of pure water is a must.
2. Heading to the beach? There may not be access to drinking water, so don’t forget to take drinks with you. A cool bag with ice helps to keep the drinks chilled.
3. Young children don’t recognise the early signs of thirst, which can make them particularly vulnerable to being dehydrated, so give them drinks on a regular basis.
4. An easy way to monitor changes in hydration status is to check the colour of your urine. This should be pale straw colour—anything darker means you need to drink more water.
For more information, go to: www.naturalhydrationcouncil.org.uk
The Public Health England Eatwell Guide is available online at:
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