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Keep well-hydrated this summer

On hot summer days, ice-cold drinks are very tempting.

The best temperature for summer drinks

You might yearn for a lemonade with ice cubes to cool yourself down. However, the cool drink refreshes you only while you’re drinking it. Then your body produces additional heat to compensate for the drop in temperature. On the other hand, a hot coffee is not a good idea for summery temperatures. As your body tries to release the heat, the blood vessels expand and you sweat even more. Ideal are lukewarm drinks, as they correspond to the body temperature most closely and protect the circulation. There are good reasons why lukewarm peppermint tea is a favourite drink in Arab and North African countries.

Most important is how much you drink

Much more important than the temperature, however, is the amount of fluid you drink. More than half of the human body is water. It needs fluid to function. On average, an adult should drink at least 1.5 litres a day. As the temperature rises, you should be drinking more to replace the fluids you lose through sweating. "Always take a bottle of water with you on the road, on car rides and walks," advises Harald Seitz, nutritionist at the German Federal Centre for Nutrition (BZfE). If necessary, you can make ordinary tap water more palatable by adding a splash of lemon juice, a few leaves of fresh mint or a few slices of cucumber. Other good thirst quenchers are unsweetened herbal and fruit teas or juice spritzers in the ratio of one part of fruit juice to three parts of water.

Compensate for fluid loss

Even a two-percent fluid loss (based on body weight) reduces your mental performance, which is especially noticeable in the workplace. "Keeping a bottle or carafe of water on your desk, will remind you to keep drinking," says Seitz. "A drink should also be part of every meal – and not just in the summer." The ideal between-meals snack is juicy fruit or vegetables, as the body also absorbs fluid through food. Try melon, cucumber and soft fruits.

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.bzfe.de