The first even red warning of extreme heat in the UK has been issued. A record heat of 38.1C was recorded in Santon Downham, Suffolk, making Yesterday the hottest day of the year so far, while 37C was exceeded in several places.
Here’s how to stay cool.
Yes, it’s gross, but it could be the one thing that keeps you coolest, the longest. Try not to wipe away sweat, it’s basically, salts & water from our body. As the water in our sweat evaporates, the surface of the skin begins to cool. This leads me to my next point…
A Warm Shower
Stay with me on this one, it’s all about core temperature.
Cool (not cold) showers make you feel better in the short term, however, it makes the body react like it would in winter. During the colder weather, the body, based on the external temperature, reduces the flow of blood closer to the skin surface, meaning we keep the heat inside our bodies. A cold shower tricks this process & makes the body think it’s cold out, therefore keeping hold of the heat to keep you warm. A higher external temperature, such as a warm shower, makes you sweat and push the blood flow closer to the surface, allowing you to release that internal heat, cooling you down.
Have a Curry
So you know how you sweat when you eat a curry? That’s because of the capsaicin, naturally found in all chilli peppers, like jalapenos, habaneros and shishito peppers in most hot curries, & if you’ve got this far in the article, then you know the deal with sweating.
Ok so we all know that keeping hydrated is paramount, but recognising when you’re dehydrated is equally important. look out for Sugar Cravings, Dry Eyes & Decreased Skin Turgor.
If you have sugar cravings, you could be dehydrated. Dehydration makes it harder for your liver to convert glycogen into glucose. You need to have sugar (glucose) in your blood for energy. It’s the primary source of fuel for your brain. Without Sugar in the blood, your brain won’t work properly.
Dry Eyes seem pretty obvious, however, tears lubricate & clean our eyes out, less water to create those tears could lead to irritable eyes or eye infections.
Skin Tugor is the skin’s elasticity. Gently pinch the skin on one of your knuckles, it should feel resilient, move readily, and quickly return to its original position when released after a few seconds. if it retains the shape when you let go, you’re dehydrated.
Keeping your temples, feet, insides of your wrists & elbows, the back of your neck & knees, and inner ankles and thighs cool, helps to reduce your internal body temperature. This is because the blood runs so nearest to the skin surface in these specific areas, as the blood passes these points, it cools down, allowing you to feel cooler in the process.
Avoid the heat makers.
So if you’ve managed to cool down to a comfortable temperature, then it’s time to avoid common ingredients like onion, garlic, black pepper, ginger and the above-mentioned spicy foods. They are known for producing heat in the body as they take more energy to digest. This is also why they are used in comfort foods for the winter.
Ice Bowl Fan
The Classic. Ice cubes or better yet, freeze water in bottles, & place it infront of a fan. As long as the flow hits the ice directly, it will cool the air down instantly, & you have a cold drink when it’s melted!
Have a Siesta
You have to lower your body temperature in order to nod off, so your bedroom should be the coolest place in the house, having a nap will give your body a chance to escape the heat, and allow your body to cool down & recharge.
Freeze Water Bottles
Not only is it refreshing, but it will stop you from taking in too much water too quickly. Taking in water too fast can cause water intoxication. Too much water increases the amount of water in the blood which dilutes electrolytes, especially sodium, in the blood. Sodium helps to maintain fluid levels in & out of our cells. When sodium levels drop due to excessive water consumption, fluids travel from the outside to the inside of cells, causing them to swell. This includes brain cells, which can become life-threatening.